With summer heat once again around the corner for most Americans, homeowners who are already feeling the stress of a long winter of heating bills may already be worried about the cooling costs they will face in the months ahead. As nationwide electricity rates continue to trend upward, finding ways to help residential air conditioning systems operate more efficiently can be an excellent way to help keep cooling costs as low as possible, especially in areas that experience extreme summer temperatures and uncomfortable humidity levels. If you are one of the many homeowners who would like to find ways to save on the cost of keeping your home cool and comfortable during the summer, here are some proactive tips you can use before hot weather arrives.
Invest in window coverings capable of deflecting sunlight
While certainly welcome in the home during the cold winter months, sun light can quickly overheat the interior of the home when summer arrives, making air conditioning systems work harder and increasing monthly cooling bills. Taking time to measure windows and install reflective blinds or window film before summer begins is a great way to limit direct sunlight and keep your air conditioning system from working too hard in order to keep your home cool.
Provide shade and ventilation for outdoor components
Central air conditioning systems utilize a condensing unit located outside the home. This unit's main purpose is to act as a heat exchanger for the system. Homeowners can make it work more efficiently by making sure the condenser is located in a shaded area with good ventilation around all sides of the component.
Early spring is a great time for homeowners to clear away any dead grasses, plants, fallen leaves and other debris from around these outdoor units to promote unobstructed airflow when they in use. If landscaping plants or bushes are growing too closely to the unit, remove those and put down a narrow border of landscaping gravel in order to prevent plants from growing back too close to the unit.
In addition, homeowners should make sure their condensing unit is clean and free of dust and dirt before the cooling season starts. A shop vac or soft brush can be helpful in cleaning vents and seams on these units that might obstruct air flow.
Condenser units that are not shaded by the existing home, walls, or trees in the area, can also help their unit work more efficiently by erecting or providing some type of shade for the component. An open shelter or simple shade cloth erected in such a way that the unit is shaded but air flow is not restricted can protect the unit from excessive sunshine during the summer and help it to function more efficiently.
Upgrade to a programmable thermostat
Homeowners whose HVAC systems are still operated by an older thermostat should consider upgrading to a programmable model before the cooling season begins. This will allow the home's temperature to be adjusted based on when the occupants are home and allow the temperature to rise during the days when no one is home.
Invest in pre-season system maintenance
HVAC systems work hard all winter, often resulting in wear or dirt that can affect how well the cooling system will operate when summer heat arrives. Scheduling a pre-season maintenance visit by your air conditioning contractor will ensure that the system is clean, tuned up, and ready to work hard for you throughout the summer. In addition to cleaning the system, the maintenance technician can replace worn parts and look for any potential problems that have the potential to cause system malfunctions during the cooling season.
For more information, contact companies like Robison Air.