We’re in the full swing of spring now, which means the sweltering summer is right around the corner. Keeping cool in Phoenix can be tough to do, especially if you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on your energy bills. With that in mind, we here at Integrity AC and Heating have put together some of the best ways that you can save some money on your bills this summer, without turning your house into a sauna. If it’s been awhile since you’ve had your HVAC system inspected, it could be costing you money by operating inefficiently. Call Integrity AC and Heating today to get your free quote!
-Check for Leaks
If you have an older home, chances are pretty good that cold air is escaping outside through air leaks. These leaks may be coming from worn down window or door seals, insufficiently insulated attics, or other cracks that have formed. Contact your local utility provider or contractor to get a home energy audit. When you have a certified energy rater, check your home for leaks, they’ll be able to point out problem areas and make recommendations for making your home more energy efficient.
However, if you don’t want to spend the money on an audit, you can perform a makeshift audit yourself. Go outside your house and move your hand alongside windows and doors. If you can feel cold air seeping out, you’ve found a leak. To fix this, apply caulking around leaky windows and add some insulation around doors. While this may not fix the problem as a whole, it can go a long way toward making your home more energy efficient.
Over the past few years, there have been massive leaps forward when it comes to energy efficiency, and HVAC is no different. If you have the same system that came with your house 20 years ago, it’s a big drain on your energy bills. An upgrade to your HVAC system to an energy efficient unit may have a big upfront cost, but it will save you much more in the long run than if you stick it out with an older system that likely doesn’t have much life left in it.
If you’ve already replaced your HVAC system, or yours isn’t that old, you can still make an upgrade that will make a big impact on your energy efficiency with the addition of a smart thermostat. There are many different models on the market with lots of neat features, so it’s a good idea to compare them and see which features mean the most to you. With a smart thermostat, you can schedule your system’s heating and cooling output to the minute, which reduces wasted energy. You can also set it to a specific temperature much more easily than old thermostats allow, along with controlling the system remotely through an online app.
After you get your shiny new smart thermostat, it is important that you place it in your home properly. Avoid high-temperature areas, like the kitchen or laundry room, as those heat-producing appliances will skew the thermostat’s temperature readings, and cause it to overcompensate to keep the house cool. It’s also a good idea to keep it off a wall that gets a lot of sunlight, as that will also throw its readings off. Find an area centrally located in the home that stays a consistent temperature for the best results.
-Draw the Curtains
Sun pouring in through a window will raise the temperature within your home, especially with sun-facing windows. If you close the blinds and draw the curtains during the hottest part of the day, you can keep the temperature in your home at a reasonable level, which makes it easier for your AC system to keep you cool. This can also provide a level of insulation for the windows, which can help stop cold air from escaping.
-Use a Fan
You don’t need to crank your air conditioner as low as it can go to keep your house cool. In fact, that will cause your system to cycle more than it should in an attempt to get to that low temperature, which will be too much strain for the system to handle, reducing its lifespan and raising your energy bills without much to show for it. Instead, set the thermostat to a reasonable level and use a fan to help circulate it through the house. A ceiling fan can make a room feel 10 degrees cooler while using 10 percent of the energy of a central air system.
-Turn Up the Temperature
There has long been a myth that leads people to believe you can save more money by leaving your AC running at the same level at all times because the AC won’t need to use as much energy to cool the house. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Your AC system will consistently cycle on and off throughout the day, a constant drain of energy. Instead, raising the temperature when you’re away is the most inexpensive way to use your air conditioner and will have a big impact on your energy bills at the end of the month. Using a programmable thermostat will allow you to schedule the cold air to come on as soon as you get home, so you’re still comfortable without wasting money cooling an empty home.
-Don’t Go Low
Instead of cranking the AC all the way down, set the thermostat to the highest temperature you can handle without being uncomfortable to save some money. By running your air conditioner 10 -15 degrees higher, you can save 10 percent a year on your cooling bills. The recommended temperature, according to the US Department of Energy, is 78 degrees Fahrenheit to save the most money.
Follow these tips to stay cool this summer without breaking the bank. To ensure your system is ready for the season, call Integrity AC and Heating in Phoenix for an inspection, routine maintenance, or repair services. We hope to hear from you soon!