Stay Cool with Some A/C Tips for Summer
According to Energy Star, 13% of your yearly energy bill will probably go to cooling your home in the summer months. To lower your bill and to keep your home comfortable in the heat, try following a few of these a/c tips this season.
- Regular Maintenance – No matter what time of year it is, regular maintenance on your HVAC system is key. It’s something you can do to save money, improve your HVAC’s efficiency, and keep your family comfortable. Most HVAC specialists recommend having your system inspected twice a year – once in the spring, before turning on the air conditioning, and once in the fall before switching over to heat. A trained HVAC specialist will come in and check to see that everything is running smoothly. Any repairs will be taken care of and any small issues will be looked into, before they become a bigger problem. Paying for regular maintenance will save you money in the long run. Your HVAC system will live longer, so you don’t have to buy a new one as soon. A new HVAC costs anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 and it will last somewhere between 10 and 20 years. An $8,000 HVAC that lives 12 years costs you a lot more than if that same HVAC lives for 17 years. Regular maintenance also saves you money on your monthly bill because it makes sure that the system is running as efficiently as possible. Efficient HVACs use less energy and that means you save!
- Filters – Another simple thing you can do to improve your air-conditioning this summer (and your HVAC throughout the year) is to regularly change the filters. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it helps keep your home clean. Filters should usually be changed about every 90 days, but that can vary based on your individual needs, location, and the quality of the filter. More expensive filters usually filter out more irritants and they can sometimes last longer between changes. Filters might not seem like they would have anything to do with air-conditioning but they actually do. When your air-conditioning is running, it pushes the cooled air through the air ducts that run throughout your home. The air ducts also move the air through the air filter to clean it and remove particles that are floating. These particles can be chemicals from hair spray, pet dander, dust mites, pollen, cigarette smoke… the list is long. If the air filter hasn’t been changed recently, it can become clogged with all these little particles it is trapping. This means it is harder for the cooled air to move through the filter, sort of creating a back-up in the air duct. The HVAC starts to work harder to push the air through the clogged filter, which means it is using more energy, less efficiently, and your home won’t be cooled as smoothly. Changing the filter is simple and if you don’t know how, ask your HVAC specialist to show you the next time they are over for a maintenance visit. If you have trouble remembering when to change the filter, you can sign up online for an automatic filter delivery. It will be delivered when it is time to change, so you don’t have to keep track. You just know that when the filter arrives, it is time.
- Vents – Making sure your vents are clear and clean can also improve your air conditioner’s efficiency this summer. Dust or other build-up around the vent can be bad for your health because you are breathing it in. If you have curtains, couches, or other objects blocking the vent, that can also impede your a/c system. A closed vent in an unused room does the same thing – it DOES NOT save you energy. The blocked air pushes back down the air ducts and that creates a sort of traffic jam, causing your HVAC to work harder to push the air through the ducts.
- Smart Thermostat – Upgrading to a smart thermostat is indeed a smart idea. It allows you to control the temperature in your home remotely. If you are away on vacation this summer, you can raise the temperature a few degrees while you are gone to save money. You can also lower the temperature before you return. This allows the HVAC system to work efficiently, rather than rushing to drop the temperature as fast as possible (which is really inefficient). A smart thermostat also tracks your habits and starts to make adjustments for you, to help your air conditioner run as efficiently as possible. Talk to one of the Weather Craft team to discuss which smart thermostats would fit your lifestyle.
- Check Outdoor Unit – Another quick thing you can DIY to prep your air conditioning for summer is to regularly check the outdoor condenser unit to make sure that it is clear from any grass, leaves, or other debris that may have accumulated over the winter. It’s hard to miss, it is usually a big, gray box that blows hot air when the a/c is running. Its job is to pull the hot air from your home and disperse it outside. If the condenser is blocked by anything, it makes it harder to push the hot air out. This part of the a/c can sometimes be forgotten but it does make a big difference when cooling your home. Check it every few weeks to be sure nothing has grown up or blown in to block it.
Summer heat is no joke and once you are done enjoying the outdoors, it is nice to come inside and cool down. Making sure that your a/c unit is prepared to run efficiently is key to staying comfortable this summer. Call Weather Crafters today to schedule a maintenance visit and ensure that you are ready to go as the temperature continues to rise.