Summer in Florida can feel like you’re a rotisserie chicken, rotating and parched in a sweltering oven. As if that weren’t bad enough, the humidity can feel just as oppressive. Blasting the air conditioner feels like the perfect solution, so people often resign themselves to the fact that their energy bills will go up during the hottest months of the year. But is that really the case? Is there anything you can do to lower your power bill this summer?
It turns out, there are several things you can do:
1. Audit Your Home Energy Use
When you hire someone to do a professional energy assessment, the auditor will go to every single room in your house, checking to see if there’s proper insulation or if there are any air leaks that are causing your HVAC system to work inefficiently. They also check to see how much energy your appliances and electronics use, to see if there are any practical changes you can implement.
If calling a stranger into your home to look at everything is not your cup of tea, you can also do an audit yourself. If you do want to go the professional route, you can search for local auditors online.
2. Clean or Replace Your AC Air Filters Every Month
Air conditioner units work by absorbing the warm air from your home. Once inside, the moisture condensates on the coils, and the water drips into a drip pan. If your air filters are dirty, the air flow is obstructed. This makes your air conditioner work harder, yet your home doesn’t get any cooler. How often you need to change them depends on the type of filter, how many people live in your home, whether you have any pets, or if anyone in your household suffers from allergies. But a good rule of thumb is to check them at least once a month. If they look dirty, out they go.
3. Install a Ceiling Fan
You can save on energy bills by turning on a ceiling fan while your air conditioner is set to a higher setting, or even bypass the AC completely on days when the heat and humidity outside are less brutal.
Also, keep in mind the following pointers:
The size of a fan a particular room needs depends on the square footage of the room.
Setting the fans to spin counterclockwise will push air down and keep you cool.
Turn off the fan when you know a room is going to be empty, since leaving it on won’t cool the room itself.
4. Install Light Dimmers
You don’t always need to have bright lights. By installing dimmers, you get to have more control about how much light you want in the room. Sleeping baby? Lights won’t disturb her. Want to be romantic? Works like a charm. As if those reasons weren’t compelling enough, it turns out that you get to consume less energy too, which translates to lower energy bills. To get the most bang for your buck, pair them with the right kind of energy efficient lightbulbs.
5. Use a Programmable Thermostat
If you work from home, this option may not be the best solution for you, but if you and your family are out of the house for most of the day, a programmable thermostat will adjust the temperature to your desired setting a few minutes before you get home from work or school. Having a higher AC setting for the rest of the day means a reduced energy bill.
6. Schedule Preventive HVAC Maintenance
The best way to ensure your air conditioner is working efficiently is to provide it with regular maintenance. An HVAC professional is going to know whether your condenser unit needs to be cleaned or if the drain lines need to be unclogged. They’ll know if you have a refrigerant leak before it becomes a problem. They can also let you know how you could prevent losses during hurricane season.
Does Unplugging Appliances Save Energy?
It’s a very popular myth that you’re wasting energy when you keep appliances plugged in (think phone and computer chargers that aren’t charging anything, or power strips with several electronics plugged in). You could test the amount of wattage used yourself, but the amount is likely to be negligible.
Call A+ Air Conditioning for AC Service in Gainesville
Our HVAC professionals are always ready to help you. That’s why we even have a 24/7 AC emergency service line for our clients in Central Florida.
Call us, and start saving money!