The winter of 2018 was exceptionally cold, so many homeowners dealt with months of higher-than-average heating bills. Unfortunately, weather predictions for the coming summer indicate that temperature and humidity levels are also expected to be higher than normal, which can easily translate to spiraling cooling costs.
Luckily, you still have time to take proactive measures to help control the cost of air conditioning. Here are some of the best tips for doing so.
Clean Interior and Exterior Components
Let's face it — an HVAC system that has been forced to work harder over the past winter is likely to have attracted a lot of dust and dirt. Even systems that have had their filters changed per manufacturer's instructions have probably accumulated dust that can damage the system or make it operate less efficiently when the cooling season begins.
To remove this dust and dirt, start by cleaning the interior and exterior components of their system, as well as all vents and cold air returns. You should also examine the exterior components and clear away any accumulated dirt, dead leaves, grass clippings, or debris that can block airflow and make the system less efficient.
Conduct a Home Energy Audit
If your home heating and cooling bills have seemed high in years past, even in moderate weather, have a professional perform a home energy audit. In addition to determining potential issues such as air leaks and air flow issues, these examinations can help homeowners find possible solutions that will help make their home more efficient to heat and cool.
In North Carolina, these audits can often be obtained through home energy providers or by hiring a certified home energy auditor.
Make Efficient Home Improvements
Bumping up the amount of insulation in the home continues to be an excellent suggestion for homeowners who want to enjoy a more efficient and comfortable home environment. This measure is particularly important in older homes in which the original insulation is insufficient or has lost its effectiveness through age or damage.
In addition to insulation, homeowners may also want to consider these home improvement projects:
- Awnings to shade windows that are exposed to full sun
- Enclosed porch or vestibule to create an airlock effect
- New, energy-efficient windows and doors
While it can initially seem costly to pursue some home improvement projects in an effort to reduce heating and cooling bills, the long-term savings plus the potential of improved market value can often offset this cost.
Save Energy With Usage and Interior Changes
Homeowners can also make changes in the interior of their home to save significantly on the coming summer's cooling bills, as well improve usage habits. Some good ideas to do this include:
- Installing ceiling fans to help improve air flow through the home
- Adding protective film to windows to reduce the amount of strong sunlight that can enter the home
- Using heat-generating appliances, like clothes dryers and dishwashers less often
- Using small appliances, such as slow cookers and countertop ovens, instead of using the full-size appliance
In addition, you can save money by raising the thermostat just one or two degrees and acclimating the household to warmer temperatures.
Call to Schedule a Pre-Season System Check
Have an HVAC contractor examine your air conditioning system before the cooling season begins to make sure it is running at peak efficiency. In addition, the technician will be able to make any repairs necessary, helping to prevent unexpected repair issues when summer begins.
For more ways to help bring down the costs of cooling your home this summer, contact ET Ferrell & Son Heating & Air Conditioning Specialists today.