When summer comes to Opelika, AL, homeowners have to keep their AC systems running almost constantly. Doing so can lead to high utility bills. You can reduce your AC costs, however, if you follow these tips to help save energy and keep you comfortable at the same time.
Schedule Annual Preventive Maintenance for Your AC
The single, most important thing you can do is schedule an annual preventive maintenance appointment before the weather turns really warm. A preventive maintenance visit is similar to a tune-up for your car. At a preventive maintenance visit, a qualified technician will check that all parts of your system are in proper working order. In addition, the technician will also clean the system and replace the air filter, if needed.
When it comes to air filters, make sure you replace yours every three months or as needed. Why is it so important to keep your system clean? When the system is dirty, the blower will have a more difficult time moving cooled air through the ducts. The same goes for air attempting to move through a clogged filter. Your central AC will run longer when the system and the filter are dirty, resulting in higher energy costs.
Make Sure Windows Are Airtight
Hot air can infiltrate the interior of your home in Opelika, AL, even when all of the doors and windows are closed. As windows and doors age, the caulk that seals them shrinks, resulting in tiny airways that you can't see. It is important to seal up leaks and cracks in the areas where you feel air moving. You can also install weather stripping to prevent the exchange of interior and exterior air that will also lead to higher utility bills.
Another solution is replacing old windows with new ones. Recently manufactured windows have something called R-ratings, which designates their energy efficiency level. Windows with higher R-ratings will filter out more solar heat, which in turn will keep the interior of your house cooler. Sure, you'll have upfront costs with the installation of new windows, but you'll save on electricity.
Avoid Sunlight and Appliance Use During the Day
In addition to upgrading your windows, make sure they have coverings such as blinds or lined draperies that block sunlight. Make sure blinds and draperies remain closed during the hottest part of the day to reduce the amount of solar heat that comes through windows.
Similarly, don't run appliances such as washers or dryers during the day. You may not realize it, but all appliances emit heat in varying amounts, which adds to the heat inside your home, making your air conditioning unit work harder. Leave essential tasks to evening hours when outdoor temperatures have cooled. Likewise, prepare meals on outdoor grills or make food that needs little or no cooking.
Upgrade Your Insulation
Insulation is just as important in hot weather as it is in cold weather because it helps keep the interior of your home at a comfortable temperature. Consider adding spray foam insulation to your home. This type of insulation is more effective than traditional fiberglass insulation because a qualified technician blows it into nooks and crannies where it hardens to produce a more effective barrier against outdoor temperatures.
Install New Energy-Efficient Central AC
If your central air conditioning is 10 years or older, it may be time to install a new one. Today's high-efficiency central air conditioners are considerably more efficient than older models. Most have a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios) ratings of 13 to 21. If your unit has a SEER rating of 10 or less, you could save hundreds of dollars per year on energy costs with a new unit.
Sensigreen Mechanical can provide information on new high efficiency systems that will save energy while providing improved comfort in Opelika, AL. Contact us today to set up a maintenance appointment or a consultation for a new HVAC system.
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