What Uses The Most Electricity?
Maintaining an even temperature your home is most likely your highest energy cost. The pool pump and dryer all do their bit to increase your energy bills. It’s the HVAC system that earns the title of the least valuable player in saving money, though.
If you’re like most people, you have a love/ hate relationship with your HVAC system. You love the heating and cooling effect. You hate that this effect comes at a steep price. That said, you don’t have a lot of choice in the matter.
Weather in Pennsylvania ranges from freezing in winter to hot and humid in summer. Having an HVAC system helps you function and keeps your family comfortable. The question then becomes, how to use the air conditioner more efficiently.
We’ll go through tips to save money on your heating and cooling bills in the next section. For now, we’re going to focus on one factor that can make life more bearable year-round – insulation.
Ensuring that your home is adequately insulated makes a profound difference in energy costs. Inadequate insulation allows more air to escape. Your HVAC has to work much harder to maintain the balance. That extra work, naturally, pushes up the amount of electricity that it uses.
Stop the air bleeding out, and you can reduce the workload on your heating system. Start by ensuring that the ceiling is properly insulated, as heat rises. We lose the most heating in the home through the roof. Next, ensure that all the windows and doors are correctly weather-proofed. Wrap it up by keeping doors and windows closed when the heating is running.
Tips To Lower AC Costs
How do you lower the costs of running your AC? Here are a few proven strategies.
Get The Best Electric Rates
Brand loyalty is admirable, but not when it costs you a fortune. You should regularly review your PA electric rates to make sure you’re getting the best deal out there. The energy industry is highly competitive. Use this to your advantage.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
Use these to optimize the temperature when you’re away. This is a great set and forget option. Set the timer to switch off the AC when everyone’s away. Switch it on again just before everyone gets home.
Regular Maintenance is Your Best Ally
Inefficiency in an air-conditioner system often boils down to a lack of maintenance. The culprit might be as simple as clogged filters or intake vents. We’ll go through some simple home AC maintenance tips in the next section. Supplement these by scheduling an annual service with a professional.
Use a ceiling fan in summer to help circulate the air. Take things further by considering what people did before there were ACs. During those trying times, people got innovative. They built higher ceilings to disperse the heat better. They’d shut the curtains during the day to keep the sun and cold out. Think, “What would grandmamma do?” for more inspiration.
Simple Ways To Maintain Your AC
These simple AC preventative maintenance tips will keep your air-conditioner running smoothly. Supplement your AC maintenance DIY with one professional inspection a year. An inspection costs a few dollars, but the pro will identify potential AC maintenance issues that are expensive to ignore.
1. Check Your Filter Regularly
The manufacturer will give you guidelines on how long a filter should last. Please note that we said “should.” There are a lot of factors that impact the useful lifespan of a filter. If you live in a dusty or polluted area, you might have to change your filter more often. The only way to know for sure is to check. Make a note to check your filters at least every three months.
2. Clean The Coils
The coils are an essential component of your air-conditioner’s efficiency. They do get dusty over time. Dust reduces how much heat they can absorb. You must clean it off. Check your owner’s manual or YouTube for more advice on how to do this.
3. Straighten the Fins
The fins within the air-conditioner take a beating over time. Check yours regularly to ensure that they’re straight. If they’re bent, it reduces the airflow within the system. You’ll need to buy a fin comb to straighten the fins. If you don’t want to attempt this, call in a pro.
4. Clear The Condensate Drain
The condensate drain is a tube that drains off condensation. If there’s a block in this drain, the system won’t run efficiently. Again, check your owner’s manual on how to find and clear the tube.