Easy Ways to Reduce Your Air Conditioning Bill This Summer
Summer is almost here, and this means also rising air conditioning costs as you keep your home cool. The cost of cooling a home or business is still a significant electricity expense during the summer, it is the single largest energy expense for homeowners. Energy costs have been increasing in the past decade, and electricity used by HVAC systems make up about 48% of residential energy use. There are some easy ways to reduce your air conditioning bill this summer by following better energy habits and making sure your HVAC unit is working efficiently. Fortunately, having a comfortable home does not mean you have to endure sweltering heat in order to save money running your ac system. Below we discuss easy ways to reduce your air conditioning bill this summer.
Perform Regular Maintenance
Maintaining your heating and cooling system on a regular schedule can greatly reduce your summer energy costs. A properly maintained HVAC system can improve its operational efficiency improving performance and reduce energy consumption. Schedule HVAC maintenance, a professional will be able to service your ac properly to ensure it is running at its best. Professional maintenance can help prevent costly repairs down the road and complete system breakdowns. Although this may seem like you are adding an expense, in the long run annual ac maintenance can significantly improve the efficiency of your system and an increased lifespan of the equipment. In between professional maintenance appointments change your filters. It is the easiest step you can take in helping keep your unit properly operate. Dirty air filters obstruct air glow and may allow dirt and debris into the system which could cause potential catastrophic damage. Other easy steps you can take is moving any furniture or drapes blocking air ducts, and making sure outdoor condenser has a clean and clear space around it.
Use A Programmable Thermostat
If you do not already own one, install and use a programmable thermostat to reduce ac energy use. A programmable thermostat can turn the system on and off when you’re not home. Setting your AC as high as is comfortably possible and using a programmable thermostat to increase temperature when you’re away could easily decrease your summer cooling bill. For the highest efficiency, set your thermostat to 78ºF instead of 72ºF, and set it to 85ºF when you are away. To remove moisture more efficiently, reduce the AC fan speed lower on humid days. Another option would be to install a smart thermostat. New smart thermostats can learn your schedule and preferences and adapt to accommodate them. They come with an app which will allow you to adjust your thermostat from anywhere especially useful when you forget to change settings if frequently out of town. It is also important to remember that turning your AC to a colder than normal setting will not cool your home any faster.
Have Your Ducts Inspected
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that about 30 percent of air that flows through heating and cooling system ductwork is lost through leaks in the ductwork. Damaged ducts with leaks can cause your system to run for a longer time than needed. This can lead to potential early damage or an overheated unit. When ducts have insufficient insulation,leaks or any missing seals around vents it can cause a decrease in the efficiency of the system. Furthermore, leaks in ducts can allow dirt and debris to enter your home from the attic or crawlspace. Dirt and debris can reduce the efficiency of your system and impact your indoor air quality. Hire a professional to check your ductwork for any leaks. It is important to take care of any damage early on, to prevent a complete breakdown. Also, check your attic to see if it has enough insulation.Many older homes are not properly insulated, which could be costly to cool your home in the summer. Keep in mind, cooled air can also leak from windows and doors. By caulking and weatherstripping around windows and doors you can keep cold air indoors.
Use A Ceiling Fan
A ceiling fan helps disperse cooled air and allows you to raise the temperature of your AC unit by about 4 degrees. A ceiling fan can help you feel cooler via the wind-chill effect and make a room more comfortable to be in. Turn the blades so they are going counterclockwise and turn the off when you leave the room or you will waste energy. By using your ceiling fans,you will not have to turn your thermostat down to achieve a comfortable temperature, which leads to a lower energy bill.
Upgrade to A New Energy Efficient System
If you have an older inefficient system invest in a new model to reduce energy costs. The two most important factors when purchasing a new model is correct sizing for your home and SEER rating. It is also important to spend the time researching contractors before choosing one to hire. The Department of Energy notes that an improper installation can cause up to 27% energy lost. If you are looking to cool certain rooms of the home, consider installing a ductless mini-split system. A mini-split is affordable and efficient if you are looking only parts of your home. By cooling only the rooms you use, instead of your entire home, you can help save money on your monthly energy bills.
Good Energy Habits
Along with the tips above, it is also important to practice good energy habits. An easy way to reduce your summer energy costs is to avoid heat buildup in your home during the day. Try to limit activities that generate a lot of heat such as cooking on the stovetop, using a dishwasher, or clothes dryer. Try to save these activities until nighttime when the temperatures have dropped. By limiting heat generating activities you can save money on electricity and what would cost your AC to work overtime. Reduce sunlight by keeping blinds and curtains closed on windows that face the sun. Too much sunlight can increase indoor temperature increasing air conditioner usage. Consider using light-colored fabric to reflect the sun’s heat. If you have older single-pane windows, upgrade to new energy-efficient windows to help save you money in the long run on electricity costs.
Our professionals at LA Construction Heating and Air can provide ac maintenance, ac installation, and ac repairs for nearly every HVAC make and model. Contact us today at 818-341-3406 and learn how we can help you save money on your air conditioning bill this summer. To learn more about services our company offers, please visit our homepage.