Did you know that air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the average home energy bill? And that number could be even higher in Wilmington, NC, thanks to the particularly hot and humid summers.
But there are some ways to keep your electric bill down without the temperature going up. Below are 5 ways to save money on your air conditioning expenses this summer.
5 Steps to Lowering Your A/C Costs
1. Cover your windows
It’s nice to let some natural light into the room, but it also lets the heat in at the same time. Keep your windows covered with curtains or blinds during the hottest part of the day, especially any windows on the sun-side of your house.
2. Plant some trees
Heat creeps into the house through the roof and walls. But planting some tall trees or shrubs near the house can shade the areas where the sun is normally shining. Planting trees may require more of an investment upfront but will pay dividends once those trees are providing enough shade to cool your house naturally and allow you to turn down the air conditioner.
3. Install ceiling fans
The cost to run a ceiling fan at full speed is minimal in comparison to an air conditioner. Moving air helps evaporate sweat from the skin and is cooler than stagnant air. Installing and running numerous ceiling fans throughout the house will allow you to take it easier on the air conditioner.
4. Get a smart thermostat
A lot of money is lost when homeowners run the air conditioner when they aren’t home. Nobody likes coming home to a sweltering house, but keeping the unit running when nobody is there is not exactly efficient.
A smart thermostat can save you a significant amount of money on your air conditioning bill by programming it to only turn on at certain times of the day when you expect to be on your way home, and many can even be controlled remotely with your smartphone.
5. Place your thermostat on the correct wall
A thermostat located on an exterior wall or near a window can register higher temperatures and therefore kick on the air conditioning prematurely or more frequently. Your thermostat should be positioned on an interior wall away from any outside doors or windows. Don’t place it anywhere that receives direct sunlight in order to read the indoor air temperature accurately.
Have Your Air Conditioner Serviced
The above tips are all helpful ways to save on air conditioning this summer. But the single biggest culprit of large air conditioning expenses is an inefficient unit. When an air conditioner is not working properly, it’s forced to work harder. And the harder it has to work, the higher your electric bill ends up being.
A great way to save money on air conditioning every summer is to have your system inspected and tuned up every spring. Our HVAC repair and maintenance includes a 15-point inspection to make sure your system is working efficiently and minimizing your energy output.
Schedule an appointment with Wilmington Air today to get your air conditioner — and your wallet — primed for summer.
Today’s preparation means a cooler, more comfortable tomorrow in Wilmington, North Carolina. We’re talking about AC repair, and we’ve got a few things in mind to help you get ready for summertime.
Ready to beat the summer heat? Continue reading to learn more.
How To Prep Your AC Unit for Summer
Clean and check the filters
Once you’ve successfully disconnected the power to the condenser, take a look at the filters. These filters not only act as the first line of defense against indoor pollutants, but they also directly impact the efficiency and longevity of your AC unit.
If a filter appears salvageable, use a vacuum hose to remove as much dust and debris as you can. Then, take the filters to the sink and gently wash them using one part water and one part white vinegar before rinsing with clean water and laying them in the sun to dry.
If there is visible damage to the filter, then it will need to be replaced. This process is fairly simple: Just follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Clean the coils and fan
Most AC units are located outside. Often, these units are covered during the winter, in which case very little maintenance will be required. If not, however, the open grates on the sides of the unit will allow dust and debris to build up on the fan as well as the condenser coils.
Using a soft brush vacuum attachment, gently clean the coils and fan taking special care not to bend anything out of place. If you see any debris at the base of the condenser, be sure to remove it and check that the drain (if applicable) is clear of any obstruction. If there is grime on the blades of the fan, simply wipe them down using a damp cloth.
Inspect the insulation
Coolant lines run from the air handler to the condenser and should be covered with a layer of insulation to combat against extreme temperature changes. Typically a foam coolant line insulation sleeve and insulation tape are used to protect these lines.
Take a look at these lines and replace any insulation that appears damaged or missing as soon as possible to protect the lines from unwanted exposure.
Give the AC a test run
The most important step to ensure your AC unit is ready for summer is to power it up and make sure everything works as expected.
Once the AC unit dries off and the air filters have been replaced, switch the power breaker back on and switch the thermostat to cool to ensure there are no surprises.
Schedule an HVAC Inspection in Wilmington, NC
Of course, not everyone is the DIY type. Remove the guesswork from the equation by scheduling a 15-point HVAC inspection with Wilmington Air. We provide top rated HVAC services in Wilmington, NC. Schedule your service appointment today.
When trouble arises with your HVAC unit, it’s typically best to call on the professionals for help. But there are a few common problems you may be able to address yourself.
HVAC problems can be put into one of three categories: no air, weak air, or inconsistent air. Below are some troubleshooting actions for some of the more common HVAC issues to help you diagnose or even fix problems before calling the team at Wilmington Air for help.
The 3 Most Common HVAC Issues
If your HVAC system won’t turn on, check the power source. Hopefully it’s as simple as the cord becoming unplugged. Inspect it for damage caused by moving furniture or pests. And if the unit has a built-in circuit breaker, reset it and try to power the system on again.
If you still don’t have any luck, plug something else into the same outlet and turn that device on to determine if the problem is the outlet or your HVAC system.
One common problem with HVAC units is a weak flow of hot or cold air. A dirty and clogged up filter is often to blame, so the first thing you should do is check or change the air filters in your house. It’s recommended that these filters be changed every 60-90 days.
If a fresh filter doesn’t do the trick, the problem may be present in the motor, fan blade, or compressor and may require a professional set of eyes.
Sometimes a faulty HVAC unit will heat or cool the house inconsistent with the desired settings. This can often be an issue with the thermostat. Thermostats run on batteries, so first try checking the battery connecting points for dust or corrosion before then replacing the battery altogether.
Let the Professionals Step In
If you’ve exhausted your troubleshooting options and the problems with your HVAC unit persist, it may be time to call in some professional help. At Wilmington Air, we offer the HVAC repair and maintenance expertise that can go above and beyond simple troubleshooting to restore your system to its proper working order.
Schedule your service appointment today and let our team of expert technicians help you find some comfort in your home again.