We know home energy costs are getting more expensive. Did you know that your heating and cooling bills account for 56% of your energy use? Here are some tips to help stick a fork in these rising costs!
Annual tune ups
We suggest twice a year to keep you’re a/c system operating at its highest efficiency possible. It is more cost effective to maintain your system than to allow unidentified problems to occur, causing damage that could result in expensive repairs. A simple tune up can extend the life of the unit as well as lower your monthly cooling bills tremendously.
Change air filters
The EPA lists indoor air quality among the top five risks to human health, probably because indoor air can be 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Changing your air filters once a month will help reduce the indoor airborne particles that cause congestion & colds, allergies and flu viruses. In addition to poor air quality that can be harmful to your health, the life of your cooling system depends on it. A dirty or clogged air filter will result in stale air and allow dirt to collect on internal parts causing overheating and possible break downs. By circulating clean air you will provide enough airflow through the system allowing it not to work harder than it needs, which will use less energy and lower those monthly cooling bills.
Installing programmable thermostats gives you much needed flexibility in your temperature settings. By making simple adjustments to your specific living situations you can save around 10% a year on your cooling and heating bills. Some adjustments might be turning your thermostats back 1°–5°, Setting your night time (sleeping) temp higher or even off, adjust your thermostat for your work hours. Another way to use a programmable thermostat is to install a spit room system allowing you to adjust temps in rooms not being used or shut them off all together.
Install an Attic Fan
Installing attic fans can really save on your energy bills. Your cooling system has to work twice as hard to cool your house and your attic. With an attic fan you spend less energy removing the hot air from the attic space allowing your cooling system to only work to cooling your living space. Ideally a high quality attic fan will pay for itself in less than 3 years as well as extend the life of your roof and house.
Inspect your ducts
Every few years it’s a good idea to inspect your ducts. A leaky or poor insulated duct could be costing you your hard earned money. Hire a professional to properly inspect, seal & insulate ducts to ensure the air flow distribution system is allowing your cooling system to work at its highest efficiency.
Make sure all registers are clear of debris & furniture. A properly breathing system will ensure correct air displacement allowing your cooling unit to not be over worked. We do not recommend closing registers to promote cooling another room better. Doing this, taxes your condensing fan, which reduces the volume of cold air, Creates turbulence in the duct system, starves the blower for air and in extreme circumstances will cause the evaporator to freeze.
Install high efficiency
For air conditioners, higher SEER ratings mean greater efficiency. In 01/06, the federal government mandated that all new central air conditioning equipment be at least SEER-13, but there is equipment available as high as SEER-18 and even SEER-23. Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air recommend you to install an air conditioning system that is at least SEER-16, especially if you live in Sacramento and surrounding counties where air conditioning systems run all summer.
Make sure the cooling unit you are purchasing is sized correctly for your home. An undersized AC condensing unit will not cool your home properly, and an over-sized condensing unit will cost more to purchase and to operate. Don’t just assume the new condensing unit should be exactly the same as your existing unit, which may not have been properly sized in the first place. Proper installation is critical. Improper installation can lower efficiency by up to 30 percent, increase utility bills and will reduce the life expectancy of the cooling system.
Spread the cold
Use ceiling fans to cool your home quicker, blades should rotate in a ‘reverse’ counter-clockwise motion. Ceiling fans don’t actually cool a room, but the ceiling fan rotation allows improved air circulation, which will greatly improve your overall comfort. You will also save energy costs when the ceiling fan is on the correct setting.
Simple Cooling Tips
- Remember to turn off your cooling system when mowing the grass. Cut grass and airborne particles can blow into to the unit and cause it to work harder.
- Keep your unit clear from debris and prune back any shrubs or leaves that will again make your unit work harder. Make sure the outdoor unit is free from clutter and has adequate airflow.
- Raise your thermostat a few degrees, 2 or 3 degrees could save several hard earned dollars.
- Use insulated curtains or drapes when not home, which will slow down your cool air escaping through the windows. As well as slow down the amount of natural heat from the sun light entering your home.
- Though basic, it still surprises me how many homes I visit and the Cooling system will be on with doors and or windows open at the same time. Each time a door opens your cold air leaves and allows hot air in. Monitor your doors and windows to eliminate any wasted energy loss.
- Keep doors closed to smaller rooms that you’re not using. Cooling smaller areas will result in lower cooling bills.
- When cooking, make sure to turn on your exhaust fan and even crack a kitchen window to allow the oven and range heat to leave quickly. This will control the cooking heat you add in to your cool room climate. Thus saving extra cooling costs you could incur.
- Just like Mom use to yell, Shut that door! Or go to the mall if you want AC or put on a wet t-shirt (with the curtains closed). There are many ways to lower your energy costs and lighten our carbon footprint, it all starts with paying attention to it.