Your family is relying upon the air conditioner for comfort from the intense summer heat. The average home in Texas spends $420 per month on utilities and during the summer, cooling costs account for about 50% of the home energy budget. Since we are all interested in shaving whatever we can off that number, here are some tips requiring a minimal effort that will help you save on your summer cooling bill.
Give Mullinix a call for a thorough AC System tune-up to clean the system and make sure it runs efficiently all summer long. Your technician will replace your air filter, check key AC components and fix small concerns that could lead to bigger problems if not detected. Dirty and clogged filters block airflow and reduce overall efficiency. Routine preventative maintenance on your HVAC is crucial to maximizing the lifespan of your AC unit.
Replace your analog thermostat with a programmable or smart thermostat. If you still have the “dial on the wall,” you will be delighted by the 15 to 20% cost savings available to you on energy bills. If you have a programmable thermostat and have not programmed it, what are you waiting for?Program your family’s schedule into the thermostat, pushing the temperature up a few degrees during sleep cycles and while your family is away. A smart thermostat gives you the added convenience of a phone app to program thermostat settings.
If your AC system is not extremely efficient or it leaves “hot spots” in your home, consider installing a ductless, mini-split AC unit for improved comfort for your family. A ductless AC system is a cost-effective method to add cooling comfort to rooms your family uses often, like a bedroom, kitchen, or family room. Installation is relatively simple since it does not tie into the central AC system, often accomplished in one day.
Use every resource available, including fans. During an extended period of heat, turn your HVAC fan from Automatic to On. This continuously circulates the air and equalizes the temperature throughout the house. Ceiling fans will also circulate the air during a normal cooling day/night, cooling a room by about 40. Also, moving air feels good!
Check your home for sufficient insulation and weatherproofing. Hot air and cold air always seek to find equilibrium, moving through every crack and opening. This movement of air costs money, so sealing spaces around windows, doors and other openings saves money. Caulk and weather-stripping are inexpensive.The hottest space inside the confines of the house is the attic; it requires 10” to 12” of insulating material. Sealing holes and insulating the attic space will increase comfort and improve efficiency.
Glass has very little insulation value, so keep your blinds and drapes closed during the heat of the day. Solar energy coming into your home competes directly with your AC system. Window treatments are more than decoration; they can be energy savers. Reducing sunlight entering the home during daytime heat with drapes and blinds will reduce solar heat gain by 45%.
It is summertime, so cook outdoors frequently for pleasure and energy savings. Cooking in the oven or on the stovetop generates a lot of heat, straining the AC system. You have awesome grilling & smoking skills, and you want people to remember that. (If not, you need the practice.) Cooking outside uses less energy and keeps your home cooler.
Replacing incandescent light bulbs with efficient LED bulbs is a move that will provide more light, use less energy, and keep your home cooler. Incandescent bulbs can reach a temperature of 3350F, while LED bulbs are a cool 870 Incandescent bulbs are mini furnaces, so change them out.
Placing an appliance that creates heat next to your thermostat will give an artificially warm reading to the thermostat and run the AC System more often and longer than normal. It makes sense to keep electronics and appliances at least four feet from the thermostat.