If you feel like you want to throw something every time you open you energy bill, we feel your pain. Keeping your home cool and comfortable during the summer can be expensive! The following tips are meant to help you consume less energy so you can shave some money off your energy bills this summer.
Do you change your air filters regularly? If not, you should. This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to lower your cooling costs. Dirty filters prevent proper airflow, reduce the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems, and can lead to premature system failure. Polluted air can also be circulated throughout your home, lowering your indoor air quality. Make sure you replace or clean your filters every month during the cooling season. By doing so, you can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5–15%, according to the Department of Energy.
While fans don’t actually lower the temperature, they can make us feel quite a bit cooler by blowing air on us. Turn your fans on in the rooms you’re using, and lower your thermostat a few degrees so it doesn't have to work as hard and can consume less energy. Once you leave the room, turn off the fan to save electricity. Whole-house fans can be installed to get the air throughout your entire home circulating effectively to keep you cooler. On cooler days, shut off your AC and open the windows to let in a fresh breeze.
The outdoor portion of your air conditioning system is called the condenser. Make sure weeds and other vegetation are trimmed back at least a couple feet so the unit has room to breathe. If something is blocking its airflow, it won’t be able to perform as efficiently as possible.
Is your air conditioner in the shade or the sun? A unit that receives direct sunlight throughout the day has to work harder, consuming more energy, than a unit in the shade. Consider planting a bush or tree nearby to block direct sunlight; just make sure you don’t plant it too close!
Air Conditioner Tune Up
You should have a professional HVAC technician tune up your air conditioner at the beginning of every cooling season. You technician should be licensed, bonded, and insured. If your air conditioner’s condenser coils are clogged, your system could use up to 30% more energy while running. A technician will check refrigerant levels, sensors, your thermostat, and filters, and ensure things are draining properly. All of this is necessary for your unit to perform effectively all season long.
Replace Your Air Conditioner
If you’ve tried to cut energy costs as much as you can, you’ve had your AC tuned up and inspected, and your energy bills are still higher than you think they should be, your air conditioner might be old and inefficient. Air conditioners typically last around 10 years before they need to be replaced. If yours is near this age, start looking for an energy-efficient unit to replace your current system, and you could reduce your air conditioning energy usage by 20–50%!
If your air conditioner isn’t working properly or your energy bills are sky high, give us a call, and we’ll inspect your system to find the problem and offer solutions. Cyclone Contracting installs and repairs heating and cooling systems throughout Ames, Boone, Story City, and the surrounding communities. Let us know how we can help!