If you’ve even cringed when someone holds a door open too long, you might be a homeowner. If you’ve ever panicked when you see daylight around the edge of your door or window, you might be a homeowner. You might be a homeowner if you’ve ever warned people, in very specific and colorful ways, not to touch the thermostat. Have you ever coveted your neighbors’ trees? Well, you might be a homeowner. Let’s breathe calmly and let us at Schnelle Heating & Air give some ways you can lower cooling costs.
Your summer HVAC situation is an important topic because so much is at stake. For example, your comfort, health, and the health of your system are paramount. But then…there’s the money. Energy costs are not going down at the moment, so what are we to do?
Look to the Outdoors
Shade from trees can lower cooling costs significantly (Up to 30 percent.) If you don’t have any, plant some now. There will still be heat in the future and you’ll be glad you planted trees today. Plants in front of windows, arbors, canopies – anything to keep the sun off of the house is an investment that pays off. Cleaning the coils on the air conditioner and removing any debris or weeds around the unit will help as well.
Keep the Outdoors Out
Leaks around windows and doors are a sneaky but huge way to lose your “bought air.” Seal those things up. Also, keep some opaque, or at least semi-opaque, blinds and curtains over the windows. Don’t allow the sun to bake your home. Think of your home like an Easy-Bake oven. A little light doesn’t seem like a big deal, but slowly it cooks and cooks. Also, it’s obvious but still worth repeating that every member of the home needs to work on keeping the doors shut as much as possible.
The Enemy Within
Speaking of baking, one of the key contributors to heat in the home is cooking. When the goal is to save money, you can’t eat out every night, but if there are other options, take them. For example, grilling outside helps. Using the microwave is good. Basically, avoiding the oven is a good goal. Other sources of heat can be bathroom ceiling heaters, excess lighting, dishwashers, clothes dryers, and cars in the garage. Every time you heat up the garage with a hot car, some of that heat radiates into the house.
Keep the Air Moving
Change the air filter regularly for several reasons, but a big one is because a dirty air filter impedes the flow of air. Having blocked or clogged duct work or vents is also worth investigating. Make sure there are no pieces of furniture or anything else on top of the vents or return vents. Check the vents for airflow that might be reduced due to obstacles or damage to the ducts. Low airflow can also be caused by mechanical failures, so if the solution isn’t obvious, you may need a professional.
Don’t Hesitate , Insulate
Insulation is the unsung hero in the fight to lower cooling costs (Up to 20 percent). Without great insulation, your children will be medium rare for the first day of school. Want to know how previous generations survived a home without air conditioning or adequate insulation? They didn’t. They went outside. When the August heat is better than being indoors, you’ve got a problem. Insulation is not a place to skimp. Usually, ponying up on the insulation nets a fantastic return on investment.
Get a smart thermostat, for one. Like insulation, typically a great thermostat will pay for itself many times over. Programming it to run more or less at different times of the day, or in different zones if so equipped, will greatly lower cooling costs. Likewise, smart appliances and lighting can be controlled remotely. You can actually save money from your phone at any time.
Call in the Big Guns
Whether it’s a routine maintenance service call or a consultation, a competent, ethical HVAC company can tell you what you need to do to lower cooling costs, even if sometimes they might suggest an upgrade. Higher efficiency models have a great ROI and some can save you big time while still providing a higher degree of comfort. An upright company will also tell you other great ways to save money without the investment of a new HVAC system, such as getting lighter color shingles, increasing the number of fans, installing quality doggy doors, letting a vehicle cool before pulling it into the garage, using the dryer on lower temperatures, and more.
As a homeowner, you cringe inside when you hold the door open for someone and they don’t do the quickened pace walk to the door, the little trot of gratitude thing we all do. A kid tells you from their bed they are hot and asks if you can turn up the air conditioner, so you politely tell them, “No, I’m sorry, but you see, it would only be stealing from your inheritance and I love you too much for that,” as you quietly turn up their fan and leave the room.
At Schnelle Heating & Air, we understand our role, and that’s to make you as comfortable and as affordably as possible. We have oodles of successful experience and the customer care to be the HVAC company you deserve. Contact us for consultation or service!