Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your AC System
With April showers come May flowers and with the summer months usually come heat waves. Spring is the best time to get your air conditioning system running efficiently in order to save money from the possible heavy use during the hot summer months.
Get a Head Start
A general rule of thumb is that air conditioning repair service contractors are more readily available during off peak times of the year and usually have better rates during this time as well. Making sure that your ac system is running well during the spring months could potentially save your household from discomfort during the hot summer months. It is a good idea to get professional help with air conditioning repair services that may be beyond your DIY skills. Before calling for professional help though you will want to test run your system and do an inspection of the outside unit for any potential blockages to the flow of air to the unit.
If your system is ten years old or older and you live in a hot climate, it could be that it is costing you more than it’s worth. With the newer Energy Star systems that are available it could well be worth your time and money to have a new system installed. Either way having an annual tune up is the best way to prevent expensive bills on air conditioning repair service.
If you are confident with the efficiency of your air conditioning system then some important things you can do to keep your system running well are checking your HVAC filter regularly, wash or replace the filter monthly- maybe more if you have pets, allergies or just live in a dusty house or area (make sure to dust the grates too while you are at it), and clean the evaporator coils once a year making sure to straighten any bent coils.
Save money, electricity and the environment
Programmable thermostats are a great money saver because you can set the system according to your household schedule and adjust the settings to any changes in that schedule. When used effectively and efficiently your programmable thermostat can potentially save you around $200 a year on utility bills. To increase these savings you can set the thermostat a bit higher than your normal setting and use ceiling fans in the direction to bring hot air upward and away from the center of the room (counter-clockwise) or help circulate the cool air with low energy consumption fans.
How to Keep Cool Air In and Hot Air Out
Well sealed HVAC unit duct seams and connections prevent leaks of cool air that can be very costly. Insulating the ducts throughout the house is a worthwhile effort that can increase the efficiency and therefore save you money all year round.
Keep window and curtains closed during the day to help keep the heat out and open them at night to help air circulate throughout your house.
Sealing doors, windows and baseboards is a great way to prevent cool air from escaping your house. If your windows are old it may be beneficial to replace them with newer more energy efficient ones.
Installing shutters, awnings, blinds, shades to south or west facing windows is very beneficial in keeping heat out.
Finally, use appliances that generate heat during the coolest parts of the day to decrease the heat generated within your house. Hanging clothes outside to dry rather than using the dryer or cooking outdoors are great ways to save on heat generated in the home, energy used and utility bills.