After a long, cold winter, nothing can feel better than the return of warm, sunny spring days. Of course, once outdoor temperatures begin to rise, indoor temperatures rise as well, making it vital to rely on your central air conditioning system to keep your family comfortable during the warmer seasons. While increasing your family’s comfort, your home’s central air conditioning system can also increase your energy expenses during the summer only if you are making a few mistakes that cause your air conditioning system to work harder than it has to in order to keep your home cool.
Read on to learn three tips for keeping your home cooling costs low all spring and summer long without sacrificing your family’s comfort.
1. Have Your Home’s Air Ducts Sealed
To keep your home energy bills low, you want all of the cool air your air conditioning system produces to reach the occupied rooms of your home. However, if your home’s air ducts have leaks in them, then a large percentage of that cooled air may be leaking into areas of your home that are not occupied, like behind walls and inside crawlspaces. According to Energystar.gov, the average homeowner loses up to 30 percent of the cooled air their air conditioning system works hard to create through leaks in their homes’ duct work.
Have a professional inspect your ducts for leaks and seal any they find. Once your ducts are leak-free, you can look forward to all of the cooled air your air conditioner creates reaching your home’s inhabited areas, which will lead to your air conditioner cycling “on” less often, even when set at the same temperature. This is a relatively affordable service that can lower both your heating and cooling bills drastically year-round.
2. Turn on Those Ceiling Fans in Occupied Rooms
When trying to keep your home energy bills low, it may seem counterproductive to turn on yet another electricity-powered home cooling device when your home’s central air conditioning system is already running. However, turning on ceiling fans in rooms that have occupants in them can actually help you lower your home energy bills.
Just as it can feel a lot cooler outside when it is windy, your home will feel cooler when your ceiling fans are blowing a cool breeze on your family members. In fact, the “wind chill” produced by a ceiling fan can make a room feel about 5 degrees F. cooler. That means that when your home’s ceiling fans are on, you can set the thermostat about 5 degrees higher than usual without even noticing a difference in the temperature of your home.
3. Have Your Air Conditioner Cleaned and Inspected
To save money on electricity this summer, you want to make sure your air conditioning system doesn’t have to “work harder” than it has to due to damaged parts and/or dirt and grime build-up that accumulated over the winter. You should have your home’s air conditioning system cleaned and inspected by an HVAC professional, such as those at HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, and Electric, every spring before you begin using it for the season to make sure all dirt and debris are cleared out of your system and that every system part is in good working order.
The most important steps of air conditioner annual spring maintenance that help keep your air conditioner energy efficient include cleaning the condenser coil, lubricating the fan motor (if needed), checking for oil or refrigerant leaks, cleaning or replacing the air filter, and cleaning the condensate drain line. Of course, all other parts also need to be inspected and, if damaged, repaired or replaced to keep your air conditioner running as smoothly and energy efficient as possible all summer long.