As the weather starts to heat back up, many homeowners are dreading the rise in their electricity bills for their cooling systems. Sometimes it can seem like you have to choose between keeping your family comfortable and saving money on your bills. The truth is that there are many different things you can do to allow your cooling system to run more efficiency throughout the summer and lower your energy bills in the process.

Change Air Filters Often

The air filter on your HVAC system is designed to trap unwanted airborne particles, like dust, pollen, and pet dander. As the filter nears the end of its lifespan, it will become much harder for your cooling system to force air through it. This will drastically reduce the efficiency of your system. Fortunately, changing your air filter on a regular basis can help to prevent this efficiency drop. As a good rule of thumb, you should be checking your HVAC filter at least once a month.

Cook Outside

During the hot summer months, it can become even more apparent how much heat your stove and oven make when running. Just standing near your stove on a hot day can make you feel exceedingly uncomfortable. Every time you run your stove or oven, your air conditioning system has to run to combat that hot air. This isn’t very efficient, as it’s actually costing you money. Instead, opt for cooking food outside on the grill, use your microwave, or just prepare cold-style meals for your family.

Hang Dry Laundry

Another HVAC efficiency killer during the summer months is your clothes dryer. While some of that heat gets vented outdoors, there’s still a lot that gets trapped in your home. Fortunately, you can avoid this problem by simply letting your clothes hang dry outside. This will not only save you money on energy to run your dryer in the first place but will eliminate the need for your cooling system to combat the excess heat your dryer would create.

Get Your Ducting Cleaned

If you rely on a centralized air conditioning system to keep your home cool throughout the scorching hot summer months, then you have ducting. This ductwork can trap airborne debris, like dust, pet hair, and dander. Over time, this buildup of debris can restrict the flow of air through sections of your ducting.

With your cooling system only able to push air through a portion of your ducting, it will have to run much longer to get enough cold air delivered throughout your home. You can prevent this problem by investing in duct cleaning service. An HVAC technician will use specialized cleaning equipment to remove that unwanted buildup from your ducts so that air can flow unrestricted through them.

Seal Air Leaks

It’s not uncommon for the exterior walls of your home to develop air leaks as it goes through the natural processes of expansion and contraction as well as settling in the ground. The most common places that you’ll find air leaks are around doors, windows, light switches, and receptacles. A good idea is to run your hand over these areas on your exterior walls to see if you notice a change in temperature.

If you do, you’ll want to seal up that leak. Weatherstripping or caulking will do for doors and windows. When it comes to the light switches or outlets on your exterior walls, there are specialized foam inserts that go behind the cover plates. Stopping all these air leaks will help keep your cool air indoors and leave the warm air outside.

Get Professional Maintenance Service

In the early springtime, you should set up a maintenance service for your cooling system. This will ensure that all the internal components of your air conditioning system are working efficiently and alert you of any problems that need to be addressed before the summertime hits. When your cooling system is working at its peak efficiency level, you can be assured that you’re not wasting money on excessive energy bills.

Increase Your Insulation

Insulation should be thought of as a barrier between the inside of your home and the outdoors. All insulation is given an R-value, which essentially measures its resistance to temperature changes. The higher the R-value your insulation has, the more resistant it will be to letting hot air into your home. If your home is lacking insulation or its current insulation doesn’t meet the recommended R-value for your area, it’s time to beef up your insulation.

Seal Up Your Ducting

Just as air can seep into the gaps on your exterior walls, the same holds true for gaps in your ducting. As cold air is forced through your ducting, it can escape through leaks in your ducting into your wall and floor cavities. This will require your cooling system to run longer in order to create more cold air to get your home down to the right temperature. Duct sealing is a great way to eliminate air gaps in your ducting and ensure that all the cold air your cooling system produces makes its way into the rooms throughout your home.

Use a Smart Thermostat

When it comes to energy efficiency, this technology in the HVAC world has skyrocketed lately. Smart thermostats are the newest must-have for homeowners who want to optimize their cooling system’s usage. Your smart thermostat will easily connect to your smartphone and allow you to change your system’s settings and receive alerts about your usage. As your smart thermostat monitors your usual usage, it will make recommendations on how to adjust your thermostat’s settings so your AC system will run more efficiently. It will even give you reminders to change out that air filter so you don’t accidentally forget.

Use Ceiling Fans

When you feel overly warm inside your home, you naturally turn down the thermostat. Then, your air conditioning system has to work harder to lower the temperature. Instead of relying solely on your cooling system to keep your family cool during the summertime, consider investing in ceiling fans as well. By installing these fans in the main rooms of your home, you can help to create that much-needed windchill effect.

As your ceiling fan spins in a counterclockwise direction, it will force air down onto your body. This will dry up any sweat and cool your body down significantly. When your body feels colder, you can turn the thermostat temperature up. By using ceiling fans, you can help to reduce the necessary runtime for your cooling system throughout the summer months.

Block Out the Sunlight

Direct sunlight can heat the inside of your home throughout the day. As the temperature rises, your cooling system will continue to kick on to combat the heat. You can avoid running your AC system excessively by simply blocking out the sunlight. This is possible with curtains, blinds, or a UV-resistant window film.

Reliable AC Service

First Choice Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning offers reliable cooling service for the Metuchen, NJ area. Our knowledgeable HVAC technicians can also assist with all of your heating, plumbing, oil to gas conversion, indoor air quality, and commercial needs. Give our office a call today to schedule your next service appointment.

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