Home Energy Saving Tips for the Spring
Before summer rolls around, you’ll want to make sure your home and air conditioning system are ready for the Utah heat. Below are some tips you can consider that will help you minimize the expense of keeping a comfortable home.
Request Cooling Maintenance
Ducted and ductless systems alike, regardless of age, brand, or model, need annual maintenance. Moreover, these checkups should be left to a professional. AC units contain all sorts of components, any of which can impact your energy bills if they start to malfunction. The following problems will put a strain on the unit and raise your cooling costs:
- Dirt and debris in the evaporator coil
- A frozen evaporator coil
- Dirt and debris in the vents and filters
Another issue that will lower the AC’s effectiveness is leaking ductwork. ACs will also have strain put on them if certain moving parts, such as the fan motor, are not lubricated. Maintenance can identify these and other problems before they grow.
Replace the Air Filters
Most maintenance plans will include filter replacement, but we put this in a separate category because it’s something you should be doing more than once a year. Dirty filters block airflow — an issue we already touched upon. Now, it’s important to know when to replace these critical components.
Filters range from cheap fiberglass types to high-end rigid cell filters. You don’t want to bother with the former as they last a mere 30 days and trap nothing but large pieces of dust and dirt. On the other hand, you don’t need rigid cell filters unless you’re running an office building or a medical center. Most homes do fine with pleated filters, and the average kind lasts 60 to 90 days with the more advanced kind lasting up to six months.
Program the Thermostat
Many own a programmable thermostat but never bother to program it. Some believe that varying temperatures with the time of day doesn’t save you money, but the fact is that it does. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, every degree you lower the thermostat for heating and every degree you raise for cooling, provided you keep that setting for eight hours, saves you 1% on energy costs.
With a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperatures for each day on a seven-day schedule. Other options exist, such as 5-2 programming, which allows for one weekday schedule and a separate weekend schedule. The important thing is to have the AC off when you’re asleep or away from home. Try to avoid chilly temperatures; setting the thermostat to 78 in the summer would be ideal.
Craig's Services is proud to offer the residents of Bountiful, UT, a wide array of Lennox thermostats. These include both programmable and Wi-Fi thermostats. Some boast zoning and humidity controls.
Seal Any Drafts
Your home may unwittingly be letting in the warm outdoor air through cracks in your doors, windows, and attic. This will cause the AC to work more than it should.
You can identify these drafts with an infrared sensor and proceed to seal them. All kinds of materials are available. Foam sealants would work for large gaps in windows and doors while caulking is better for pipes and those areas in the walls or flooring where the pipes come through.
Reduce Heat Build-Up
Even if little outside air gets in, you may complicate matters by generating some heat yourself. The following will cause you to do precisely that:
- Cooking with the oven
- Washing the laundry
- Bathing without using the fan
It’s better to cook on the stove or to resort to the microwave oven. Summer is also, naturally, the ideal time to use the outdoor grill. You could consider drying your laundry in the open air, too, and taking short showers rather than long baths.
Add or Upgrade Insulation
Chances are your attic is insulated, but you may benefit from more of it. Another option is to replace your current insulation with something more resistant to heat flow. R-value is the measure of this resistance, and the higher the R-value, the better. A professional can give you advice on this matter after taking into account your home’s size, the regional climate, and other factors.
Hire Our NATE-Certified Technicians
Craig's Services is ready to take on all of your cooling and heating needs here in Bountiful. We also work with water heaters, water softeners, and indoor air quality systems. Call today for an appointment.