High electricity bills and summer seemingly go hand in hand. After all, you rely on your home’s HVAC system throughout the season to maintain a comfortable, cool and safe indoor environment. While running your AC system is a veritable necessity, you may be spending more money on electricity bills than necessary. In fact, there are many common HVAC system mistakes that can make your bills skyrocket. By addressing these factors today, you may see immediate savings in your home cooling costs.
Not Replacing the Air Filter Regularly
When your home’s air conditioning system runs, it funnels air through a filter. The filter is responsible for trapping pet hair and dander, dust, dirt and other elements to maintain great indoor air quality. As the filter does its job daily, it will naturally grow filthy. As this happens, the air cannot blow as freely through it. This causes the cooling system to work harder to do its job of pushing air throughout the home. By simply replacing the filter regularly, you can address this common energy drain and keep your home’s indoor air quality high in the process.
Not Completing Annual AC Maintenance
If you are like many other people, you run your AC system hard throughout the summer and perhaps on warmer days in the spring and fall. Such heavy use can take a serious toll on the AC system’s hardworking parts. Parts will gradually wear out. They may get dirty or damaged, or fluids may be depleted. All of these factors can impact how efficiently the HVAC system runs and can ultimately lead to higher electricity bills. Annual AC maintenance service should be completed at the start of the season before you turn on your system for the first time. You can conveniently request AC maintenance service through our office.
Not Cleaning the Fins and Coils
There are also some AC maintenance tasks that you can address on your own. The external unit in your system has fins and coils that are exposed to the elements. Over time, they can become caked with dirt, plant debris and more. This dramatically reduces the efficiency of your system. In addition to impacting electricity bills, it can play a role in your comfort level indoors. Cleaning the exterior unit can be done with a broom or even with the water hose. Avoid using high water pressure as this may damage the unit.
Blocking the AC Vents
To work as efficiently as possible, the HVAC system must be able to circulate air throughout the home without hindrance. In some homes, however, drapes, furniture, home décor and other items may be placed in front of the air vents. They block air from circulating, so the AC system cannot cool the home as well as it otherwise would be able to. As a result, the homeowner may lower the thermostat setting in order to achieve the desired temperature in the home. By removing the obstacles that are standing in front of the air vents, you can promote superior air circulation without having to inflate your electricity bills through a thermostat adjustment.
Turning the Fans Off
If you are trying to save money on electricity on warm summer days, you may be inclined to turn the ceiling fans off. After all, running them nonstop will use electricity. The AC unit, however, uses far more electricity than the ceiling fans do. When ceiling fans are turned on, they promote superior air circulation throughout the home. This helps your AC system to work more efficiently. More than that, the gentle breeze that you feel from the ceiling fans may actually support a higher thermostat setting for additional savings. To further promote air circulation, keep all of the interior doors open.
Cooling Empty Rooms
A central HVAC system will cool the entire home when it runs. Because of this, running fans and keeping doors open throughout the home makes sense. However, a different strategy is needed to save money if you have a split system. A split system cools a specific area of the home, and your home may have two or more of these systems installed. By closing off the rooms that are not in use and turning off the split system for those rooms, you could save a significant amount of money. If you need to schedule an AC installation service soon for a replacement, it makes sense to consider the financial savings available through the installation of split systems.
Running Heat-Generating Equipment
Many machines and appliances throughout the home are heat sources. Some of these are the oven, the washing machine, the dryer, the range and computer equipment. When you run these machines, the heat that they generate will disperse throughout the room and raise the temperature. As a result, the air conditioning system will need to work overtime in order to cool the space to the desired temperature. You understandably need to do things like wash laundry and cook. However, you may be able to save energy and money by trying to run the equipment earlier in the morning or later in the day when the home is not already being affected by solar heating.
Not Programming the Thermostat
If you do not yet have a programmable thermostat, it is time to make the investment. These affordable units moderate the temperature in the home throughout the day to help you optimize energy consumption. Many people who have a programmable thermostat do not check its settings and make adjustments as needed. Something as simple as adjusting your work hours outside the home can necessitate the need to adjust thermostat settings. You also should adjust the programmed settings seasonally to accommodate changes in weather conditions and the length of the days.
Keeping the Blinds Open
Many people love the effect that natural sunlight has on a room’s ambiance, so they prefer to leave the blinds and drapes open throughout the day. However, in addition to filling a room with light, the sun’s rays can heat up the space. A smart idea to reduce your electricity bills is to only open the blinds and drapes during non-peak hours, such as earlier in the morning and in the early evening. A great alternative that allows you to keep the blinds and drapes open is to install solar screens or window film to reduce the effects of solar heating.
Installing the Wrong Size of Unit
The installation of a new AC system gives you the incredible opportunity to invest in a more energy-efficient unit. Systems with a higher SEER rating are more efficient than those with a lower SEER rating. Some people incorrectly believe that they could save additional money by investing in a smaller system. After all, a smaller home cooling system will use less energy. However, smaller AC systems are designed to cool smaller areas. This means that a cooling system that is too small for the home may actually use more energy trying to do a job that it was not designed for. Likewise, an AC system that is too large for the home can use more energy than necessary. When you contact us for AC installation, our team will help you to find the right equipment for your home.
Opening and Closing Doors and Windows Frequently
Each time a window or exterior door opens, the climate-controlled air escapes, and warm outside air enters the home. This directly and negatively affects the temperature in the home and the efficiency of the AC system. On warm days, windows should be kept closed at all times. Exterior doors should only be used minimally, and they should be closed as soon as possible. Avoid keeping front and rear doors open even if you have a glass screen door in place. This is because glass screen doors are generally poorly insulated.
Not Updating the Insulation and Seals
The climate-controlled air produced by your home’s HVAC system can escape through the walls. The areas around the windows and doors may also have tiny leaks that enable the air to escape. When this air escapes, the temperature in the home can be impacted, and the HVAC system may need to run longer to compensate. Insulation in the walls can deteriorate over time. It can also be damaged by pests, water and more. Likewise, the seals around windows and doors will gradually break down. To promote optimized HVAC system efficiency, you will need to replace the insulation and seals from time to time.
Failing to Schedule AC Repair Services
There are a variety of telltale signs that indicate the need for AC repair services. For example, the home cooling system may no longer adequately be doing its job, or it may make an unusual sound when it runs. Some people will procrastinate on scheduling AC repair services as long as their indoor climate remains bearable. However, damage to some system components can lead to more pronounced and widespread damage if it is not addressed quickly. In addition, the damage may cause the system to run for longer periods of time or more frequently to compensate. The best time to schedule AC repair work is as soon as you become aware of an issue.
Schedule AC Maintenance and Repair Service Today
At Alaskan Air Conditioning and Heating, we want to help you maintain a comfortable indoor environment throughout the year. Our team is available to address all of your needs for maintenance, repairs and installation. Contact our office today to schedule your next service.