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Cold Weather Energy Savings — Make the Most of Your Ductless System With These Tips

Harsh winters typically mean high heating bills and discomforts inside the home. Hopefully, your Mitsubishi ductless system has helped keep your home and your energy budget comfortable this winter. For an even greater boost in home comfort and more energy dollars in your pocketbook, use these wintertime energy savings tips for the final weeks of this heating season and for winters in the future.

Thermostats

Thermostats are used to adjust the heating and cooling output of both ductless and conventional forced-air systems, and to set the temperature of storage water heaters for hot water usage. Home heating and water heating account for about 60 percent of the typical utility bill. So, thermostats are excellent tools to use in order to save energy – if used correctly. Use these thermostat tips to save money in your Virginia home:

  • Home heating – When away, program a turn-back temperature of 7 to 10 degrees from your comfort setting (turn up during cooling months).
  • Water heating – Set the storage tank thermostat to 120 degrees. Storage water heaters are often set at 140 degrees at the factory. This may cause scalding, expedite tank corrosion and increase water heating costs.

Air Leaks

Air leaks allow uncontrolled indoor and outdoor air exchange. This wastes energy, creates drafts in the winter, and increases indoor humidity and discomfort in the summer. Use these sealing tips to tighten up your home:

  • Spray foam – Check all piping and cables entering the home shell for gaps and spaces. Expandable spray foam is excellent for these applications. Spray foam may also be used for gaps in exterior siding, cracks and gaps at the foundation and basement walls, and leaks in the attic.
  • Caulk – Caulk is good to use to seal stationary parts of windows – a common energy-wasting issue in the typical home.
  • Weatherstripping – Seal the perimeter of access doors, including doors to attached garages, and the attic hatch/door with new weatherstripping. Use a draft guard at the bottom of doors.

Insulation

Caulk, spray foam and weatherstripping stop air leaks, but they do not stop heat loss by conduction. That’s the job of insulation. 

  • Attic – No matter the type of insulation installed in your attic, it should be insulated up to R-60 (R-value is resistance to heat transfer) in our state, according to Energy.gov. So, roll out the fiberglass rolls and help your ductless system perform better.
  • Walls – It can be difficult to discern the amount of insulation inside walls. An evaluation of the home shell heat gain/loss using infrared imaging by your Mitsubishi Diamond Contractor can identify any areas with insulation deficiencies.
  • Floor – If your basement or crawl space is unconditioned, the floor and walls should be insulated, with perhaps fiberglass rolls and batts and rigid board for the walls. Insulate beneath the floor and walls of basements and crawl spaces up to R-25. If you have a room above an unconditioned garage, insulate that floor, too.
  • Water heater – If your water heater storage tank is warm to the touch, it's losing heat. Blanket or jacket insulation is made specifically for storage water heaters, and can cut standby heat loss by about half. 
  • Piping – Use insulation wrap around all accessible hot water pipes in your home. You’ll receive hot water faster at the outlet, use less water and help cut water heating costs.

Maintenance

Regular maintenance is important, whether it’s for your ductless mini split, other heating and cooling systems, or flushing out a water heater. 

  • Professional – Consider purchasing an annual maintenance plan from your trusted HVAC dealer. The peace of mind and system performance regular maintenance offers saves energy, and helps systems last years longer and perform better.
  • DIY – Do-it-yourself care and maintenance may be part of your spring and fall seasonal preparation and cleaning. Of course, maintenance is specific to the system type, such as flushing a quart of water from the water heater monthly or ensuring leaves, snow and other debris do not block the outside unit of your ductless system. Ask your Mitsubishi dealer for easy maintenance checklists you can use around the home.

Air Filter

Perhaps the simplest of all wintertime energy savings tips is changing or cleaning the air filter. A dirty filter restricts airflow to the ductless air-handling unit. This increases electricity consumption, hinders heat exchange (optimal heating and cooling), and wears on components. Change the filter and save energy. This goes for central systems you may have installed in your home, too.

For more details about wintertime energy savings tips and more, please contact us to speak with a certified Mitsubishi Diamond Contractor near your Virginia home.

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