Cooling and heating your home accounts for the highest percentage of your residential energy usage. Any reduction in energy usage will result in fewer costs on your utility bills and more money in your pocket. By being proactive and thinking purposefully about your air system, you can institute many changes to ensure that your system is working optimally and efficiently. Most of these steps are easy and just require you to implement them. You will be rewarded with a more efficient cooling system and less energy usage.
1. Keeping the Right Temperature
You can reduce your cooling and heating energy usage substantially by simply adjusting your thermostat temperature settings several degrees higher or lower, depending on the season. These savings can be as much as 10 percent a year if you adjust the thermostat by seven to ten degrees Fahrenheit. Your savings will be the greatest in a milder climate.
It is generally recommended that you keep your thermostat setting at 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months for the times you are in your home. If you will be away for four or more hours, it is suggested that you raise the thermostat setting to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also use this strategy during the winter months by keeping the thermostat set at 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you are home and at 55 degrees Fahrenheit when you are away for long periods. The less difference between your thermostat setting and the temperature outside, the less energy your system will consume.
2. Installing a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is a useful tool for optimizing the running of your AC system. These handy items can be set at different temperatures for specified times and cycles of the day. This makes it much easier to program one temperature setting for when you are home and another setting for when you are away for several hours or are asleep. If you have a “smart” thermostat, you can also manage the settings remotely via an app on a mobile device.
3. Keeping Vents and Rooms Open
Many people falsely believe that you can save cooling and heating energy by closing off vents and doors in rooms that are not being used. However, this is not true. You will make your AC system work harder and run longer if you do so. The AC system requires that air be allowed to circulate freely throughout the home in order to work optimally.
4. Replacing Air Filters
Changing the air filters is easy enough to do, but many of us forget to change them in a timely manner. It is recommended that you change your AC air filter every month. The air filter serves to capture fine particulates from the air as it is flowing into the AC system. This prevents the particulates from contaminating the air and from accumulating on the AC coils. The particles and dust collect on the fibers of the filter, and, after time, the airflow becomes constricted. The AC system has to work harder to draw in the air as a result.
5. Receiving Regular Maintenance
Your AC system is a complex system and a significant investment. Most AC systems have an average life span of 10 – 15 years, and a comprehensive maintenance plan can extend this life a few more years. Regular maintenance will also keep your system running as optimally as possible.
Your professional technician will conduct a thorough cleaning and check of your system. The coils can become dirty over time, which will cause the system to work harder than it should to cool your home. The fins can sometimes become bent, and the technician will straighten and clean them. Keeping these components clean will also ensure that your indoor air is comfortable and free from contaminants and pollutants.
Preventive maintenance will not only help reduce energy usage and improve indoor air quality, but it will also lessen the chance of extensive repairs. Careful maintenance will keep components in good working order and catch issues early before they become large problems. A system that stays working is, of course, more efficient than one that is continually breaking down. The Cooling Company offers a cooling maintenance plan in Las Vegas that is performed by trained technicians for your peace of mind.
6. Having a Correctly Sized System
Your air system needs to be the correct size for your building in order to run efficiently. You may think that with an AC system, the bigger, the better, but this is not the case. An air system that is too large will cycle off before it has completely cooled the home and then quickly cycle back on again. These short cycles will use more energy than running in longer intervals because of the power required to start the cycle. These short cycles also do not run long enough to remove the humidity as needed, resulting in uncomfortably damp indoor air.
An air system that is too small for your building will also have issues. The unit will run for extended intervals as it attempts to cool or heat the home to the required temperature. This will result in higher energy costs and also lessen the life of your system.
7. Cleaning the Drain Line
Most AC systems will have a condensation drain line that takes care of draining away the moisture that has accumulated from the condensation formed from the cooling process. If the drain line is clogged, it can cause the water to back up or overflow the drain pan. A clogged drain line will cause the system to not be as effective in removing moisture, and it can also cause increased growth of biological compounds. If the water overflows the drain pan, then water damage can occur at the source. The drain line and t pan should be checked during your annual maintenance tune-up.
8. Inspecting the Ductwork
The ductwork in your home is probably not something you think about very often. However, the ductwork needs maintenance and attention, just like other parts of your AC system. The ducts can develop small tears and leaks, which can become larger over time. The ductwork may also need a good cleaning to remove dust and other particulates that can escape into your home. You should have your ductwork inspected every three to five years, and you should have a professional AC technician perform a comprehensive cleaning of the ductwork system.
The Cooling Company offers expert cooling and heating work in Las Vegas that includes most relevant air quality home services. Our trained and knowledgeable technicians can repair, install, and maintain your air system and improve your air quality. We offer ductwork inspections and can repair your ducts or install a new ductwork system. We also provide experienced cooling and heating services for commercial HVAC systems. If you would like to learn more about how you can have a fully optimized AC system, or if you need any type of heating or cooling services, give The Cooling Company a call today.