Your air conditioning system and your home will largely determine how much you’ll pay for cooling in the spring and summer. If you take the following tips to heart, then you may be able to minimize those cooling costs without once sacrificing you and your family’s indoor comfort.
Have Regular AC Maintenance Done
With professional maintenance every spring, your unit will be able to provide cool air all summer without strain. Strain is one thing that will always raise your utility bills, as imperceptible as the increase may seem, because it causes the AC to work longer and harder to achieve the same results. Airflow blockage, caused by any of the following, can contribute to this strain:
- Dirt collecting on the evaporator coil
- A frozen evaporator coil
- Dirt in the vents and filters
- Fallen leaves in the outdoor AC unit
Some parts in the unit need to be oiled on a regular basis, or they may overheat. In any case, this can also result in strain for the system and higher bills. Air leaks in the ductwork pose a similar threat. The technician you call over for the tune-up can pinpoint these and other problems and can eliminate them before summer rolls around.
Replace the Air Filters
A maintenance visit may also include filter replacement, though the technician will likely tell you that this is far from a once-a-year project.
Chances are that your home has pleated filters. While these are much better than the “throwaway” fiberglass filters that need replacing after 30 days, the average pleated filter will give you 60 to 90 days of performance before it starts to work against your unit.
Make a Custom Cooling Schedule
Your programmable thermostat is just waiting to help you save money on your cooling bills, so take advantage of it. Ideally, you should create a separate cooling schedule for each day of the week, always factoring in those times when you’re asleep or out of the house.
One rule of thumb is to set the temperature to where it’s comfortable and not chilly. For most homes, 68 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended in the winter and 72 degrees is the best in the summer. The U.S. Department of Energy says you can save 1 percent on energy costs with every degree that you raise the thermostat for eight hours. If all of this involves too much guesswork, consider upgrading to a smart thermostat, which:
- Learns your temperature preferences
- Customizes the most energy-efficient cooling schedule possible
- Adjusts temperatures for you via geo-fencing capabilities
Island Heating & Air Conditioning is proud to offer the residents of Oak Harbor, WA, a wide range of programmable and smart thermostats. The three brands we deal in are Lennox, Carrier, and Trane.
Now that the AC and thermostat are doing what they should, you need to turn your attention to the home itself. No home is airtight; there are drafts that can let out warm air in winter and that let in the warm air in summer. This means more energy is wasted on cooling. You can have a professional identify these drafty areas with an infrared camera and then seal them up with materials like foam tape, vinyl tape, and caulking.
Reduce Heat Build-Up
Make sure not to generate too much heat yourself during the spring and summer. The following can easily do this:
- Cooking with the oven
- Washing laundry
- Bathing without spot ventilation
The alternatives are simple to relate. Cook on a stove with the kitchen exhaust fan on or break out that outdoor grill once in a while. Make sure the clothes dryer has its vent going outside, or dry more of your clothes in the open air. Turn on the fan when bathing, and opt for short showers over baths.
Add Insulation Where Necessary
Insulation resists the flow of heat, but the extent to which it does will differ. Every type of insulation has its own R-value, and you may want to talk with an expert about what R-value suits your home and the climate here. There are also various materials of insulation to choose from, including foam, cellulose, and fiberglass. Less heat seeping into the home means less need for the AC.
Serving Oak Harbor Since 1948
You can turn to Island Heating & Air Conditioning for all AC-related projects. We even clean ductwork and install indoor air quality systems like air purifiers and whole-house humidifiers. To schedule your initial appointment, contact us today.Tags: Energy Savings, HVAC, HVAC Tips
April 15, 2020 4:09 am