As we transition seasons once more, you’re sure to see a bump in your energy bill. Unfortunately, we can’t always have 75-degree weather with a slight breeze. The good news is you don’t have to have a high-tech, modern home to reduce your air conditioning expense this summer. As the temperature and humidity rise, try following these tips to keep your energy bill from going through the roof and maintain your air conditioner to maximize its lifespan.
1. Maintain Your Air Conditioning System
Whether your unit is brand new or 12 years old, you will need to complete routine maintenance to keep the air conditioner running as efficiently as possible.
Change the air filter regularly
A simple start to reduce AC costs is to change the air filter regularly. Some filters should be changed each month, while others can last for several months. The frequency of replacement depends on many factors like the size of your home, if you have pets, or if someone in your house has allergies. A good rule of thumb is to check the filter periodically and if the filter is covered with dirt and dust it is time to clean or replace. Not sure what filter to get or how to replace it? Wyckoff carries a variety of filter options and can help you decide what suits your home and family best.
Routine inspections and maintenance will keep your system running as efficiently as possible. While there are some things you can do as a homeowner to help your AC, some things better left to professionals. Sign up for our Peace Of Mind Service Plan for bi-annual comprehensive inspections on your HVAC system.
Clean the coils
Dust, dirt, and debris will build up on your AC unit coils over time. The build-up can act as a wool blanket on the coils making it difficult to adequately cool the air before it enters your home. You pay the price if your unit has to work harder to do its job. Cleaning a unit can be a tricky task. Contact Wyckoff to schedule an AC inspection and cleaning.
Don’t block vents
Keep furniture and other bulky items away from the exhaust and return air vents. This assures unobstructed airflow and proper cooling of your home.
2. Use A Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats can help you save up to 10 percent on your energy bill each year according to the Department of Energy. Set a specific schedule that keeps you comfortable when you’re in your home, and capitalizes on energy savings when you’re not.
Choose the right model
Not all programmable thermostats are created equal. It’s important to be sure the programmable thermostat you choose is compatible with your HVAC system. Wyckoff has experience recommending and installing programmable thermostats in homes all over central Iowa!
Set the proper schedule
To maximize saving potential, set the thermostat as high as you can without becoming uncomfortable. The ideal temperature for energy savings while maintaining a proper humidity level is 78°. Read more about how to program your thermostat for energy savings.
3. Close Your Blinds, Shades, or Curtains
There is nothing like some natural light to boost your mood and make your living area come alive. If your blinds, shades, or curtains are left open in the heat of the day, you can expect your air conditioner to run more frequently to eliminate the heat. Try to keep your windows covered during the day. A lighter colored and highly reflective blind, shade, or curtain will help deflect solar rays, keeping your home cooler, longer.
4. Develop a Green Thumb
Planting trees or shrubs can increase shade cover for your home, helping your house stay cooler as the sun blazes. Take note of the path of the sun and find the areas of your house that get more sunlight than others. See if there is an opportunity to plant some shade in those areas of your property. The new look will boost your curb appeal while cutting down on AC costs.
5. Seal Doors and Windows
Did you notice a cool draft in your home during the winter? Those same spots will be problematic for AC cost reduction during the summertime. Track down any gaps in doorways and windows to properly seal with weatherstripping or caulking.
6. Use a Fan
Wind chill – two words you’re not ready to hear yet! Using a fan can create a wind chill effect on your body, allowing you to set the thermostat up to four degrees higher without noticing a significant difference. The blade should be spinning counterclockwise in the summer to create a downdraft to cool your body.
Tip: change the blade direction in the winter to create an updraft and redistribute the warm air for comfort and energy savings.
When you leave the room, turn off the fan or unplug it completely. Since blade fans act as a direct cooling agent, you will not cool the home by keeping the fan running all day. Instead, you will be wasting energy.
7. Avoid Using Heat-Generating Appliances
Double up your energy savings and cook outside! This allows you to avoid gas or electricity usage and your home won’t turn into a temporary sauna. Plus, you’ve been saving tasty grilling recipes on your Pinterest boards all winter. You will inevitably use the stove in the heat of the day. Be sure to turn on the range hood to exhaust the heat if you have one.
Dry clothes after dark
The clothes dryer will warm up the house when in use. Try hang-drying your clothes for a change, or at least wait for the sun to go down before putting laundry through the dryer.
Run the dishwasher overnight
Running the dishwasher is better than doing dishes by hand, no doubt. As with the clothes dryer, running the cycle overnight will help you avoid adding heat to your home in the middle of the day.
Contact Wyckoff Heating & Cooling for AC Service
Weather patterns change and no summer is ever the same. However, these 7 tips are a great way to start cutting AC costs no matter the conditions. If you have implemented these strategies and still feel uncomfortable with your HVAC system or your energy bill, it may be time for more significant action. Schedule service with your heating and cooling experts at Wyckoff today so you can have peace of mind all summer long!