- August 5, 2014
Everyone wants to keep cool throughout the Texas summer, but we’ve never met a homeowner who was happy to pay more than necessary for the privilege. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to cut cooling costs and lower your utility bills without sacrificing comfort. Here’s a simple three-step plan to improve cooling efficiency in your home.
Air Conditioning Maintenance
A well-maintained air conditioner is an efficient air conditioner. At the beginning of cooling season, check your unit for any visible signs of damage, such as rust or corrosion on the wires going into the system. Make sure there’s nothing obstructing the outdoor unit, and if possible, make sure it’s shaded, as well. These little steps will position your air conditioner to cool your home efficiently.
One of the most important aspects of AC maintenance is to clean or change the air filter at least every three months. If your unit has a reusable filter, wash it with water and let it air dry completely before putting it back in. If you use disposable filters, go to a local factory authorized dealer to get replacements sized to fit your system. In either case, never let the air conditioner run without a filter.
While you can perform the above maintenance steps on your own, it’s also very wise to schedule professional maintenance before the cooling season begins. A pro will clean, inspect and calibrate your AC to make sure it’s in topnotch condition to face the heat ahead.
The simplest way to cut your cooling costs is to adjust the thermostat. Every degree of difference on your thermostat changes your air conditioner’s energy usage by about 7 percent, so it’s in your interest to set it as high as you can comfortably stand. For most people, that’s between 76 and 79 degrees, but experiment and find the right spot for your family.
Of course, there’s no need to have your air conditioner run at full blast when the house is empty. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat to set different temperatures for different times of day. You’ll save a bundle without losing any cooling power when you’re home.
The humble ceiling fan is a terrific complement to any air conditioner. Fans improve cooling efficiency by breaking up the hot air that tends to collect near the ceiling. The cool breeze from the fan will also allow you to set your thermostat even higher without losing comfort, and you’ll see the difference on your utility bills. For the best possible efficiency, invest in an Energy Star rated fan. If yours has a reverse setting, don’t forget to take full advantage of that during the heating season.
At Webb’s Electric, Heating & Air Conditioning, we’re always happy to help our friends and neighbors in the Sherman, TX, area save money and live better. Contact us to learn more about ways to cut cooling costs without giving up comfort.