Plan ahead for warmer temperatures…
Once the temperatures start warming up again, you are going to want to keep cool without sacrificing the commas in your bank account. To help you out, I’ve compiled a list of five tips on how to save money on your utility bill without having to resort to letting your home become an oven.
1: Replace your old air conditioning units with more efficient models
Even if you have properly maintained your air conditioning unit, it will eventually need to be replaced.
One of the best ways to tell if it’s time to replace your unit is to consider its age. Refer to the 5,000 Rule – take the age of your unit and multiply that by the repair cost. If the number is greater than $5,000, it’s time to replace it. The average lifespan of an AC unit is roughly 14 years, though Energy Star recommends upgrading to a more efficient unit at 10+ years.
Another thing to consider is the need for R-22 refrigerant, also known as Freon. If your unit requires additional refrigerant, there may very well be a coolant leak. If there is one, your compressor will go out at some point. Getting the leak fixed, adding the refrigerant, and replacing the compressor can cost around the same amount as buying a new unit. Plus, R-22 prices have gone up as a result of the EPA’s phaseout. Production will completely cease in 2020, and the price gouge just further adds to the idea that you’d be better off buying a new unit.
Finally, if you find yourself frequently calling in for repairs to your unit, it’s time to replace it. Save yourself the hassle – and money – and opt for a newer, more efficient unit.
2: Get a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats make it possible to control your HVAC units even when you are away from home. You can sync up the thermostat with your schedule, allowing you to come home to a temperature you are comfortable in. Additionally, you can set the thermostat for particular rooms and for specific temperatures.
3: Check your air filters
Air filters should be replaced each month as a means of promoting a more efficient system performance. Clogged or dirty filters can cause a disruption within the airflow. Not only does this increase your cots, but it can also adversely affect the air quality within the room and lead to health issues.
4: Clean your vents
On a similar note, make sure your vents are clean and open. If you notice an unusually warm room or area within your home, be sure to check the vent. A clean vent will keep dirt, dust, and other such debris from circulating through your home. All that muck can easily build up, so you want to make sure your vent and air filters are in tip-top shape.
5: Keep your HVAC unit out of direct sunlight
Having your AC unit placed under an awning or a tree can provide adequate shading to your unit. This will help your unit operate more smoothly, thereby cutting down energy consumption and saving money. Just remember to make sure the branches and other shrubbery isn’t getting into the unit, though, since this will get in the way of the system’s performance. It can also cause permanent damage to the unit, which defeats the whole purpose of reading this post.