The summer months usually mean increased demand for electricity. Are high utility bills inevitable? Not necessarily. There are a few things you can do to improve your home’s efficiency.
- Check the thermostat.
One of the best things you can do is install a programmable thermostat. It automatically maintains a comfortable temperature while also making the most out of your daily habits. Also, take some time to adjust it to the highest temperature that you still feel comfortable. It could be 72 or 73 degrees, but keep in mind that you save 3% to 5% for every additional agree that you raise the thermostat. Raising the setting from 70 to 73 degrees could mean 9% to 15% savings on your energy bill during the summertime.
Air conditioners do two things for your home: they remove the humidity and cool the air. The difficulty comes when people open their windows on a mild, humid day. They’re letting all that humidity into their homes. Later in the day when they turn on the air conditioner, it has to work harder to remove the humidity.
- Close off unconditioned areas.
If you have an unconditioned area of your home, it’s really important to make sure it’s closed off. If not, you’ll have hot air moving from that room into the rest of your home. Maybe it’s a screen patio that you converted into a three season room by installing windows. You want to make sure you shut the door because your air conditioning system was probably not designed for that additional cooling load. You’d be overworking the system to keep the entire area at temperature.
- Use your fans.
If you have a ceiling fan, turn it on. Fans provide you with much better air circulation. They also give the comfortable sensation of air moving across your skin. As long as the air isn’t humid, you’ll get a feeling that the room is a bit cooler.
- Keep the heat out.
Make sure that any holes/cracks in the windows and doors are sealed. Also, keep the blinds, shades, and drapes closed. If you have a side of your home that’s facing directly into the sun, this is going to have a dramatic impact. Anything you can do to keep the sun’s heat from entering your home will have a measurable effect on your energy usage.
- Make sure the AC is working efficiently.
If something’s out of whack in your air conditioning system, it might still be able to cool your house. Unfortunately, it’s going to take more energy to get the job done because it’s not working at optimal performance. When a technician visits your home, they will go through all the steps involved in our cooling tune-up to determine if everything is operating optimally.
If your unit is running for a long time, that may or may not be a sign that something is wrong. Newer units are designed to run for longer, but that’s how they are most efficient. They may be saving you money, since that’s how they’re designed to run.
We now have a monitoring system that we can install on a home’s air conditioning unit. It will tell you if the system is operating within the manufacturer’s specifications. It has the ability to monitor performance 24/7. It’s checking to make sure everything is running optimally, and it also makes sure all components are working properly every time the system cycles through. It will alert us by text message or email if it notices that a component is operating out of spec or is about to fail.
If you notice any irregularities that need to be addressed, give Boulden Brothers a call or contact us online. We’ll assist you to make sure that your HVAC system is running at peak efficiency.