Did you know running your air conditioner adds up to more than 70% of utility costs during the summer?
There are ways you can cut costs and stay comfortable this summer.
First off, make sure that your air conditioner is operating properly. Your unit may seem like it’s cooling, but if it is operating low on refrigerant charge, it is going to run more often to keep your home cool. Be sure you aren't using more energy to cool your home and have your a/c checked out. Schedule an a/c tune-up with a qualified HVAC service professional. The cost to tune that unit up can often be recouped over the summer in utility bill savings, especially if the unit does require maintenance. And, peace of mind is worth a lot.
Install a programmable or “smart” thermostat. You can adjust temperatures for the times when you will be home and needing the cooling. Don’t turn on and off your unit. Your air conditioner requires a lot of power to start up and cool down the home. By turning up the thermostat while you are away you can optimize your savings. Studies show that for every degree warmer your home is, you’ll save an average of 5% on energy costs.
Keep your air filter clean. Proper air flow through your HVAC system is necessary to keep your home cool.
Keep windows covered, especially those west-facing windows that let the hot sun in. Consider adding an SPF film to your windows. It is clear, so it won’t block your view but it will keep out UV rays and added heat. If you have storm windows, be sure they are closed, too. And keep your garage doors closed. Open garages add a significant heat gain to your home.
Consider the insulation in your home. This is as important in the summer to keep the cool air in, as it is in the winter to keep the cold air out! Check areas around doors and window casings to make sure they are sealed properly.
You can conserve energy by optimizing fans. A fan can make you feel up to 10 degrees cooler according to energy analyst Matthias Alleckna of Energy Rates.ca. Place a stand alone fan near an a/c vent and you can boost its cooling range up to 25%.
There are ways to stay cool and comfortable. Balance Point Heating & Cooling is your local comfort specialist. Call us to tune-up your air conditioner to make sure you are optimizing your comfort this summer. Our standard tune-ups take about an hour per system. We thoroughly check cooling operation and make sure the system is functioning correctly. Some of the things we check are:
1) Your refrigerant charge levels and air flow;
2) Electrical connections are sound and working properly
3) A check to make sure parts are connected properly and connections intact
4) Capacitors are checked for proper operation
5) The outdoor condensing unit is clean and free of debris;
6) Check evaporator coil for air flow
7) Check condensate drain