The temperature in Lowell, Massachusetts, fluctuates throughout the year.
Each season brings fresh issues with the weather.
Heating and cooling are necessities and we switch between them with little downtime in-between. The combined cost of running the furnace and air conditioner adds up to about fifty percent of the home’s energy usage. In hopes of reducing expenses, lessening strain on the heating/cooling units and improving comfort, I’ve gone to great lengths to tighten up the thermal envelope. I invested into Energy Star windows and doors, caulked and weatherstripped. I installed overhead ceiling fans to help push the warm air down toward the floor in the winter and create a cooling effect in the summer. I make sure the furnace and air conditioner are operating as efficiently as possible by replacing air filters every six weeks and scheduling maintenance in the spring and fall. I’ve enrolled into a service plan with a local HVAC contractor in Lowell. They call and remind me when it’s time to schedule a tune-up. A technicians comes to the house in the fall to troubleshoot the furnace and repeats the process in the spring for the air conditioner. He completes a thorough cleaning and adjustment, and once per year, he tests the ductwork. While my efforts have helped to slightly reduce monthly energy bills, I also created some concerns with indoor air quality. Eliminating natural ventilation traps contaminants indoors. Since there’s rarely an opportunity to open windows and allow in some fresh air, the same stale air gets circulated over and over. My HVAC contractor in Lowell recommended the installation of a heat recovery ventilator or HRV. The device works to introduce fresh air into the living environment without energy losses. It helps with humidity in the summer to lessen demands on the AC. In the winter, the HRV actually utilizes the stale, outgoing air to preheat the incoming air, reducing strain on the furnace. After installing the HRV, I noticed a significant drop in my energy bills.