Summer’s here and you probably have already cranked up your air conditioning to cope with unseasonably hot days. Soon you’ll notice a spike in your monthly electrical bill.
This got me thinking about various mistakes people make that result in needlessly high energy bills. Here are some of the things routinely reported by our highly trained team of professional service technicians.
- Dirty filters. HVAC filters should be changed four times a year minimum. Many filter types monthly replacement is recommended. 3M Brand especially require replacement often. Dirty filters restrict air flow, reducing efficiency and jacking up energy bills. Longer term, dirty filters contribute to equipment breakdown. Most filters are inexpensive and this is something most home owners are capable of doing themselves, but surveys have found that fewer than half of them bother to do so. If that sounds like you, contact a HVAC professional about a service agreement that will assure your system receives TLC at least twice a year.
- Our service technicians often spot open windows and screened doors while the air conditioning is on. Many people like to sleep with windows open during cool evenings, but forget to close the windows when they turn on the a/c during daytime. Or they fail to close them tightly. You can understand how this wastes money.
- Some homes feel like walking into a freezer. You are entitled to control your home’s climate to your personal comfort level. Just realize that each degree of temperature represents about 3% of energy consumption. Thus, if you raise the thermostat setting from 70 to 75, you will save about 15% on your energy bill.
- If you have to turn the thermostat down way low to feel comfortable, the problem may not be with your body but refrigerant slowly leaking out of the system. Professional technicians know how to check for leaks and repair them in an environmentally safe manner.
- A simple energy saving tip is to keep shades and draperies drawn on the sunny side of the house. This can save 10-20% of the cost of cooling on a hot summer day.
- Many households have furniture or draperies positioned right over the air circulation registers. This cuts down the flow of air throughout the room and compels you to set the thermostat lower to achieve a reasonable comfort level.
- You should clear the area around your outdoor condenser of dirt, leaves and other debris that accumulates over time. This reduces system efficiency and life span. Periodically throughout the summer you ought to check for shrubbery growth around the outside condenser and keep it trimmed.
- Technicians frequently discover leaks in ductwork that often aren’t readily apparent to the untrained eye. Leaky ducts exposed to attics or outside air can have the same effect as an open window.
Heating professionals routinely detect and eliminate inefficiencies that can reduce a home’s fuel consumption by as much as 20%. Saving that much energy by itself will pay for the service call and then some.