Spring is a beautiful time of year. It's time to turn on your central air conditioner or ductless AC unit, and we bet you're concerned about energy costs!
The trees begin to bud, perennial flowers pop up and fill gardens with fragrance and beauty, lawns begin to green and consumers with allergies begin to sneeze!
It's air conditioning season! The warmer weather becomes the standard, and before you know it, it’s time to close the windows (either to keep the pollen or heat out) and turn on your central air conditioner or ductless ac unit.
Aaaaaahhhhh…..the wonder of cooling your home effortlessly! But along with comfort, as one might expects, comes expense. Here are a few pointers:
1. Make sure the vents in your home are open to encourage air flow in each room. (Often homeowners adjust them to allow more air into rooms that are too warm or, during heating season, to force warm air into cooler rooms at the ‘end of the duct run’.)
2. Set your thermostat so that you increase the temperature during the day if no one is home or during the late evening when you're sleeping. (Don’t have a digital setback thermostat? Perhaps it’s time to install one.)
3. Change your filters! (Ok, we’re bothering you about this yet, again!) Dirt and dust hinder the flow of air and therefore reduce efficiency.
4. Contact a professional to perform a Tune-Up on your central air or ductless AC equipment. (Manufacturers will tell you that equipment loses a percentage of its efficiency each year when annual maintenance is not performed!)
5. Consider a ceiling fan to better circulate the air throughout your living space.
6. Make an effort to run the self-cleaning cycle of your oven or your dishwasher later in the evening when you’re less likely to notice the heat these appliances produce. (Some utility companies even discount their energy costs during off-peak hours!)
7. Seal up or caulk windows or doors that leak air. A house that has been sealed properly can save you up to 20% on your energy costs.
8. Consider LED lighting fixtures and bulbs. Your recessed lights can be easily retrofitted. LED does not emit the amount of heat realized from incandescent bulbs, therefore your AC system doesn’t have to work harder to cool you off!
9. Close the shades or blinds during the hottest part of the day to keep the sun out.
10. Dress appropriately and learn to layer your clothing. When you dress cool, you feel cool (and, maybe you look cool!)
Many utility companies offer a way to save by asking if you’re interested in installing a device on your system to control energy costs. BEWARE…these devices give the utility company the power to shut your air conditioning equipment off during the hottest periods of the day in peak demand season. Remember, there’s no such thing as a ‘free lunch’.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to maintain your air conditioning equipment. Take care of it and it will last a long time. However, your central air conditioning equipment is an appliance, albeit costly and larger) that eventually will reach the end of its useful life. You’ll know it when your energy costs begin to consistently increase and repair costs, too, grow larger and more frequently. When this occurs, it may be time to consider replacing your central air or ductless AC unit. Efficiency ratings are always increasing, and the cost of installation is quickly recovered in savings. Your local air conditioning contractor will be able to advise you and show you calculations that may make a replacement the right answer for you!
Need service or an estimate on a new AC unit? Contact us today!
Bornstein Sons - Your Local NJ Air Conditioning Experts.