Spring has arrived — and with it, the need for air conditioning. Cooling expenses can quickly add up, which is why Marietta, Georgia, homeowners search for ways to cut costs. Keep the following money-saving tips in mind to ensure you keep your utility bills in check all summer long.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
The whole “set it and forget it” wisdom is outdated now that technology has given us programmable thermostats. These handy gadgets allow you to save energy by programming your family’s activities into them. When the house is empty during the week, you can program the air conditioner to maintain a higher temperature than when the family is home. Many programmable thermostat models even feature two or more settings, so you can specify weekend and weekday schedules as well as vacations.
Another handy tip: when you’re at home, program your thermostat to a temperature of 78 degrees for the maximum amount of savings. This temperature can feel warm if you’re used to a lower setting, but when you need to save energy, it’s your AC’s sweet spot.
Zone Your Home
When you need to upgrade your heating and cooling system, consider a zoned option. Zoned systems consist of multiple thermostats wired to a central unit. With this setup, the system can open or close ductwork dampers based on each individual thermostat’s settings, cooling individual rooms as needed and leaving empty rooms on a more energy-saving temperature setting.
Zoned systems also have the bonus of eliminating inconsistent cooling throughout the home. Rooms that receive a lot of sunlight tend to be warmer than those that don’t, which means they require more cooling down. A zoned system takes these aspects into account, boosting comfort across the board.
Change Your Air Filter
Changing your air conditioner’s filter regularly will ensure your system runs efficiently, which translates to more cost savings. A good rule of thumb is to check your AC filter monthly, change it if needed, and change it absolutely every three months. You’ll also want to keep your vents free from dust and debris.
If you change your air filter on time but still notice a lack of air coming through the vents, you may need to schedule ductwork cleaning. When the ducts are clogged, your system needs to work overtime to keep up, resulting in skyrocketed utility costs.
Have the System Serviced
It’s important to have a professional HVAC technician inspect your air conditioner once a year. While this may seem like an unnecessary added cost, routine maintenance is actually an investment that can prolong your system’s life and keep utility bills in check all year long. A technician will be able to identify any problem areas and alert you to inefficiencies before they become major issues.
Opt for Energy Star
When it’s time to upgrade to a new system, be sure you purchase one that’s rated by Energy Star. It doesn’t matter whether you’re investing in central air or buying a window unit — Energy Star systems use less energy than the minimum government standards, which means more money in your pocket every month.
Take Advantage of Shade
Direct sunlight warms up a room and makes your air conditioner work extra-hard to keep up. Thankfully, you can solve this problem easily by drawing the curtains, using window blinds, planting trees and foliage outside windows, or installing window film or solar screens. Insulating curtains are inexpensive and quick, but they block the majority of sunlight. Just be sure stay away from sheer fabrics. All you have to do is get in the habit of keeping the curtains closed during the heat of the day, and you’ll enjoy lower utility bills all summer long.
Turn on the Fans
You may be tempted to keep your ceiling fans turned off to save money, but that’s counter-intuitive. Fans actually help circulate air inside your home,helping you to feel cooler. Using both can help you reduce your HVAC’s settings and improve the indoor air quality at the same time.
Call E. Smith Heating & Air Conditioning at 678-369-8866 to learn more about our air conditioning services. We’re happy to help!
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