April 28, 2024
HVAC Installation in Shawnee, KS

With seemingly everything getting more and more expensive these days, most people are looking for anything that can help them save a bit of money. Electricity bills are often one of the bigger monthly expenses for many homeowners, especially in the summer when their AC system runs so much. If you’re looking to lower your energy bills this summer without sacrificing your comfort, here are some tips to keep in mind.

1. Have Your AC System Professionally Serviced

One of the easiest and most effective ways to lower your electricity bills is to have your air conditioning system inspected and serviced by a certified HVAC technician. Central AC and heat pump systems always work more effectively and are more energy efficient when they’re serviced every year. Tasks like cleaning the evaporator coil, condenser coil and blower are essential for ensuring that an AC system provides effective cooling. Unfortunately, they’re not something to attempt on your own since you could easily damage your AC or cause a refrigerant leak. An annual inspection is also important because AC condensers and heat pumps often develop issues that lessen their effectiveness, leading to longer cooling cycles and increasing energy usage.

2. Change the AC Air Filter Regularly

When your air conditioning is getting lots of use, it’s important to check the system’s air filter regularly. It’s not wise to go for more than three months without replacing the filter or washing it if you have a reusable filter. If you use a more efficient filter with a higher MERV rating, you will usually need to replace or wash it more often since it will trap much more dust and debris. You should also replace or wash the filter more often if you have indoor pets since pet hair will also cause the filter to clog more quickly.

One easy way to determine if you need to replace the filter is to hold it near a light. You can tell that the filter is starting to clog and should be replaced if you can’t easily see light through it. The color of the filter can tell you a lot about its condition. If it’s starting to look darker, it’s time to toss it out.

Running your AC with a dirty, clogged filter will result in it putting out very little cool air since it restricts how much warm air can be drawn into the system. This means that it will take it much longer to completely cool your house each time it cycles on. The longer the system runs, the more energy it will use. Failing to replace the filter often enough can also lead to other issues, such as the system freezing up.

3. Turn the AC Down When You’re at Work

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that setting the temperature on your thermostat around 7 degrees higher for just eight hours a day in summer can potentially reduce an AC system’s monthly energy consumption by up to 10%. You don’t want to turn the temperature up too high, especially on extremely hot days, since then it could take the system well over an hour to cool your home back to your desired temperature. Nonetheless, setting it at least a bit higher than normal when no one is home during the day is an easy way to save money.

4. Invest in a Smart Thermostat

If you’re worried about coming home early to find that your home is too warm, we recommend investing in a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats are easy to program and let you control your air conditioning from your phone or tablet. Most smart thermostats also allow you to use the connected app to monitor how much energy your AC is using. This allows you to experiment with different temperature settings to find the right balance between comfort and energy savings. Monitoring your AC’s energy usage can also make it easy to know if your AC suddenly isn’t working as efficiently, so you can quickly get it serviced or repaired.

5. Make Sure Your Attic Is Adequately Insulated

Making sure that your attic, especially its floor, is properly insulated is also essential for keeping your energy costs down. A poorly insulated attic will cause your home to heat up much more quickly and your AC to cycle much more often. On hot summer days, the temperature in an attic can easily reach 140 degrees. If the attic floor isn’t sufficiently insulated, much of this heat will penetrate down into your home and cause your home to get much hotter in the late afternoon and early evening.

6. Keep Windows Covered During the Day

Windows are usually the biggest contributor to heat gain in the summer. This is especially true for windows that face south and west since they allow in the most direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day. Closing your curtains or blinds before leaving work can make a major difference. They will block out the sunlight and greatly reduce heat gain through the windows.

It’s fine to open the curtains or blinds once the sun starts going down and the outdoor temperature cools a bit, but make sure to keep them closed during the day. If you work from home or like keeping your windows uncovered on weekends, another option is to apply UV-blocking window film. Although the film is clear, most products block around 99% of UV rays and can greatly minimize the amount of heat gain your home gets from the sun.

7. Use Ceiling Fans to Keep Cool

When you set your ceiling fan to run counterclockwise in summer, it forces air downward to create a nice breeze. While ceiling fans don’t actually lower the temperature, the breeze they create can help you feel cooler. This means that you may be able to turn your thermostat up by 2 or 3 degrees without causing any noticeable difference in your comfort level.

8. Always Run the Exhaust Fan When Cooking or Bathing

Cooking and bathing both release quite a bit of heat and moisture in the air, which can quickly lead to your home becoming a bit hotter and much more humid. High humidity is a major concern since air conditioning is much less effective in more humid conditions. Moisture in the air always naturally condenses on an AC evaporator coil, which is how air conditioning helps to minimize indoor humidity.

The problem is that if the air is much more humid, much more moisture will condense. When lots of water is on the evaporator coil, it can act like a layer of insulation that restricts how much heat the refrigerant in the coil can pull out of the air. These issues explain why it’s best to leave the exhaust fan in your kitchen on when cooking and the fan in your bathroom on when showering or bathing. You need to leave the fan running for at least 20 minutes after you finish just so it can draw as much heat and moisture outside as possible.

With more than four decades of experience, Air Care Heating & Cooling is the company to trust for all your air conditioning and heating needs in Shawnee, KS and the Kansas City area. We specialize in AC maintenance, repairs and installation, and our team is ready to help ensure your home stays cool this summer and your AC works efficiently.

Contact us at Air Care Heating & Cooling today to schedule an AC maintenance service.

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