Well, it’s that time of year again, with high cooling bills sure to come. What can you do to lower them?
1. Keep your filter clean & use the pleated paper type only. Avoid the “electrostatic” type. They DO filter well but reduce airflow thru the equipment, causing it to run longer.
2. Keep the coils on your outside unit clean. When they get dirty, airflow thru them is lowered thus reducing efficiency. You can do it yourself easily by spraying on coil cleaner (available at HVAC parts suppliers or appliance parts suppliers)
3. Have your ducts and return air sealed with mastic (available at the same places you get coil cleaner). This is EZ to do yourself with latex gloves. Check out this how-to article and video: http://www.hgtvpro.com/hpro/bp_mechanical/article/0,,HPRO_20151_4583390,00.html.
The average home in Austin loses 27% of the air it cools into the attic! Some lose a LOT more.
4. Use ceiling fans but only when you’re IN THE ROOM. You can turn the a/c up 1-3 degrees and still feel comfortable.
5. I run a dehumidifier during from March to early May and again from late September till early November. This is when the a/c isn’t on long enough to make the house comfortable. (the TEMPERATURE is ok but the humidity is high). They use very little electricity but make your house quite dry which equals COMFORT). You’d be amazed how comfortable you are at 82 degrees when it’s only 30% humidity ! (those of you from Arizona know what I’m talking about…)
6. Install and USE a programmable thermostat. If you get power from the City of Austin, they’ll come out and put one in FREE.
7. If your HVAC is older than 15 years, consider replacing it. Your bills will really DROP and you’ll receive rebates from the City and Federal Govt. (installer will usually seal your ducts for free…). The new unit will probably be quieter too.
8. If you haven’t been that good about keeping your filter clean then your furnace coil is probably dirty. This REALLY raises your electric bill and reduces comfort levels (is unhealthy too due to mold growth). Only a pro can clean it, usually about $150 unless it has to be removed from the furnace, then it’s $300.
9. If your home is more than 20 years old, you need more insulation and as the old saying goes: “insulation doesn’t cost, it pays”. VERY true ! And if you don’t have solar screens, get them !
Want more money saving tips? Go to our website below and click on the “helpful info” tab…