The average home in the United States spends just over $2,000 each year on energy usage, with about half going directly to climate control. However, there are many steps to take this summer to save money on your air conditioning costs.
You, as a homeowner, have the power to save a tremendous amount of money and energy. Saving energy assists in reducing the nation’s overall demand for resources required to create energy. It also reduces the financial drain on your budget.
Optimizing the efficiency of your energy usage can increase the comfort level of your home and improve the quality lif for you and your family.
Here, you will learn several key strategies to reduce your cooling expenses this summer.
Energy Audit a Must
The first and most productive strategy for reducing cooling costs during the summer is to have a professional energy audit. Many companies that specialize in this type of audit will refer to it as an “energy assessment”.
Basically, this audit outlines how much energy your home is using and what steps may be taken to reduce that amount. An energy audit will consist of a basic interview about your concerns, tests that measure for air leaks, faulty equipment, etc., as well as a detailed inspection of all aspects of the home.
Recommendations are made immediately after the inspection. These recommendations place a special emphasis on reducing energy costs and the overall comfort of the home. If improvements are agreed upon, contractors will come into the home to make the necessary changes. Once changes are made, a follow-up inspection may be performed to determine if the home’s energy usage has been optimized and money is being saved. While you may opt for a professional home energy audit, you may also perform an energy audit on your own; however, this may not be as comprehensive as that which a professional would be able to provide.
Evaluate and Maintain Your Air Conditioner
Now that you have a general idea where you are using the most energy, it is time to turn your focus on your air conditioner. You must evaluate and maintain your unit in order to save the most cash. According to professionals, dirt, debris, and general neglect are the top 3 issues when it comes to air conditioner inefficiency during the summer months.
To avoid these issues, routine maintenance is a critical component of success.
The following steps should be performed to save cash on cooling:
- Air Filter – Your air conditioner has a filter that helps remove toxins and debris from the air so that it does not re-enter your home. To keep your unit running smoothly, this filter should be changed on a regular basis. Most professionals recommend changing the filter once a month; however, if you have a large amount of people in the home or various pets, you should change the filter once every two weeks.
- Have a Tune Up Performed – Maintenance performed by a certified technician is an essential step to ensuring that your air conditioner is running optimally. These professionals have the tools and equipment needed to properly tune up your system. Each summer, this tune up should be performed.
- Thermostat Functionality – You should test the thermostat on your air conditioner each year to make certain that it is turning on and off, as programmed. Unless you have specific tools, this may not be possible without the help of a certified technician.
- Electrical Connections – Your air conditioner consists of many different electrical connections. If any prove faulty, they could cause your system to run in an unsafe and inefficient manner. Furthermore, it could reduce the overall life of the major electrical-based components of your system. Each year, the connections should be tightened, voltage should be measured, and the electrical current should be evaluated.
- Lubrication – In the air conditioner unit at your home, there are many moving parts. These must be lubricated each year. If this step is not performed, friction will develop. As this friction increases, electrical usage is heightened. Additionally, you will find that repairs and replacements become a regular occurrence.
- Condensate Drain Evaluation – There is a plug called a “condensate drain” on your air conditioner that should be evaluated annually. If this becomes stopped up, water-based damage may occur within the home. Additionally, the inside humidity may rise, bacteria may start to breed, and mold may start to develop.
- Coils – The indoor and outdoor coils on your air conditioner should be thoroughly cleaned each year. If these coils are dirty, it will cost more to run your system. Additionally, it will detrimentally impact the life of the parts of your AC unit.
- Refrigerant Check – The charge of your refrigerant should always match that which is outlined by the manufacturer of your system. If the refrigerant is not properly charged, it could damage the compressor on your unit. In most instances, if a compressor goes out, the cost to replace it is so much you may as well purchase a new unit.
- Blower – Next, you should clean and properly adjust the blower components on your unit each year. This will ensure that the air is properly flowing to and through your air conditioner.
- Duct Work – Finally, you should evaluate and adjust the duct work on your system. It should be cleaned and free from holes, tears, and other types of damage. If it is damaged, it must be replaced immediately. This will ensure that you are not wasting money cooling areas that do not require cooling.
In order to save money on air conditioning costs this summer, it is important to have an energy audit performed and to have your AC unit completely evaluated and tuned. We here at Reynold’s Plumbing and HVAC can help you with all of your air conditioner needs, and more! Simply Contact Us Today