Every Las Vegas resident relies on their home’s air conditioning equipped with carefully calibrated filters to get through the scorching Nevada summers. Most homeowners simply accept the higher electric bills, often due to inefficient airflow and energy consumption, that come with daily AC use during the summer months. To avoid it, you can escape to cooler parts of the country for summer vacations. If however, you have no summer travel plans, here are some professionally approved equipment-focused tips containing useful information on matters like ventilation and furnace upgrades. These tried and tested ways will help to lower your electric bill during the summer.
Keep The AC at a Moderate Temperature
A comfortable AC temperature differs from person to person. While one may feel comfortable with more ventilation leading to a higher temperature, another wants to restrict the airflow to drop it to a cooler 65. Balancing the filters, ensuring a smooth airflow can resolve this constant conflict in a family household where everyone has different temperature preferences.
A moderate temperature — one that’s not too hot or too cold — should do the trick in keeping everyone happy. Also, accurate management of AC equipment will aid in minimizing energy consumption and help lower your energy bill. Here’s a guideline to the best temperature settings to follow during the day, at night, and when you’re not at home.
The Ideal Daytime Temperature
Most people give little thought to how the number on the AC thermostat affects the number on their electric bill. However, with professional advice and regular check-ups, issues like unregulated furnace heat and stalled ventilation can be corrected. In the summertime, the lower you set the thermostat, the more electricity the air conditioner with overworked filters will use.
To reduce the energy consumption, a good rule of thumb is to keep the thermostat temperature as close as possible to the outside temperature. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recommends a temperature of 78 degrees in summer and regular checking of key air conditioning equipment. This should be cool enough to keep the home comfortable with the added benefit of lowering your energy bill.
Drop The Temperature At Night
If you’re one of the 60 million Americans who suffer from insomnia, check your AC temperature. A simple adjustment of the thermostat, which forms a crucial ingredient among your AC equipment, may solve the problem!
When we fall asleep our bodies undergo a slight drop in temperature. A room that is too hot or too cold will interfere with the body’s effort to reach the ideal temperature for sleep. Ensuring good ventilation and airflow can result in a fitful night’s sleep and waking frequently during the night. A cooler room will help you fall asleep faster and give you a better quality of sleep.
At night, lower the AC’s temperature to around 68 degrees Fahrenheit, ensure your filters are well-maintained, and your furnace isn’t adding passive heat. Research shows that this is the ideal temperature and good ventilation will support a good night’s sleep.
Raise The Temperature When You’re Not Home
If you are out of the house for most of the day, don’t switch the air conditioner off. Las Vegas summers are dry. When this dry heat builds up inside your home it can cause cracks to form in the walls, paint to peel, and wood to split. Regular professional check-ups will give comprehensive information about maintaining the optimal environment.
Finally, increase the temperature to around 85 degrees when you’re not home. At this temperature, your home won’t be as cool as you may like when you get home, but it won’t be stifling hot either. And the bump up in temperature helps saves energy. To help keep the house cooler, close the curtains and blinds. Sunlight streaming through windows adds extra heat to a house.
When you do get home, it might seem like a good idea to approach the task of cooling the house with something akin to a “quick cool” method.
This involves dropping the thermostat temperature as low as possible to try to cool down the house quickly. However, according to the DOE, this does not work. Using this method will impact the amount of unnecessary energy used rather than modify the temperature in your home. A colder setting on the thermostat won’t produce colder air; the air coming from the vents in your home will still feel the same as if you just lowered it by two degrees. Therefore, all that this approach essentially does is waste unnecessary electricity, inflating your energy bills.
A well-functioning HVAC system is one of the key components in keeping energy costs low. HVAC maintenance plays a vital role in this area, helping to ensure your system operates efficiently. Many homeowners, however, want to avoid spending money on these products and services. They don’t realize that neglecting HVAC maintenance will cost them more in the long run. Poor efficiency places the system under strain, forcing it to work harder to heat or cool a room. This results in a higher energy bill due to an increased amount of energy used.
Don’t Neglect HVAC Maintenance
A lack of maintenance will also lead to unexpected breakdowns, frequent repairs, and will shorten the lifespan of the unit. Not only is this an inconvenience, but it becomes an unwelcome expense. You may find yourself forking out money for a new HVAC unit sooner than expected. It can be likened to seeing a huge, daunting logo on your energy bills, signifying you could be paying less for your energy if only you had been more careful with maintaining your system.
All of these things can be avoided with regular preventative HVAC maintenance. We recommend an HVAC service at the change of season. If you don’t want to be stuck without air conditioning on a hot day, it’s best to schedule an air conditioner tune-up before summer starts. Your HVAC technician will perform a health check on the system and make sure it’s running smoothly.
One approach garnering popularity is the use of a programmable thermostat. Unlike a conventional thermostat, which requires you to manually change temperatures, especially during the transitions of day and night, a programmable thermostat makes this easy. You can pre-program temperatures for different times of the day, avoiding the need to remember to make these adjustments before you leave home.
Install a Programmable or Smart Thermostat
Products such as the Honeywell Programmable Thermostat Pro represent this advancement well. They are fairly inexpensive and offer a great return on investment in the form of increased energy savings, which over time can be seen in lowered energy bills. If used correctly, you’ll quickly recoup the initial purchase cost.
For the more tech-savvy among adults, a smart thermostat may be more to your liking. What separates a smart thermostat from a programmable one is its connectivity. Smart thermostats, bearing a logo of modern technology, connect to your Wi-Fi and can be controlled via an app on your smartphone. This remote approach means you don’t need to be home to make adjustments, like changing the temperature or turning off the AC.
Thermostats like the Nest Wi-Fi Thermostat take things a step further. These thermostats are not only programmable but also learn your home’s habits. They can automatically adjust according to the household routine or ambient conditions and even track your energy usage, a critical component when trying to bring down your energy costs.
If your HVAC system is older than 10 years, particularly if it sits as ancient as an unused attic, and not performing as well as it used to, it’s time to replace it.
In the last decade, HVAC technology has improved and shifted towards being more environmentally friendly – much akin to a sun shining new light through a wide window. The data, at hand, suggests that we’re stepping into an era of more mindful energy consumption, which is an encouraging sign. Don’t wait until your HVAC system gives out before installing a new one. The extra money you’ll spend on the higher energy costs of an inefficient system is a waste.
Experts advocate for replacing your old unit with a more energy-efficient one, citing lower cooling costs and improved comfort as key benefits. This is particularly wise, especially if you notice that maintenance and repairs are not improving the situation and you’re planning a renovation.
Here’s what to take into consideration to ensure you purchase an HVAC system that will satisfy your need for comfort while adding a structural beauty to your wall, and offer the best energy efficiency.
Replace Your Old HVAC System With a More Energy-Efficient One
SEER ratings became mandatory in the United States in 2006 when all air conditioners manufactured after 2005 were required to have a minimum SEER rating of 13, up from the previous 10. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating and is the benchmark by which the energy efficiency of a residential air conditioner is measured. This data revolutionized the HVAC industry, giving homeowners a clear standard to consider when planning HVAC installations or upgrades.
Today SEER ratings go up to 21, and some even higher, like a tower reaching out to the sun. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient the unit is. SEER ratings differ from state to state. In Nevada, AC units must have a minimum SEER rating of 14 – a figure released by energy experts. An AC unit with a 14 SEER rating can reduce your energy usage by 20-40 percent. Buying one with a higher SEER rating can save you even more on your cooling costs.
Choose an AC Unit With a Higher SEER Rating
When shopping for a new HVAC system, also keep an eye out for units with the ENERGY STAR label, as if you’re browsing for a predictably overpriced ingredient in a high-end supermarket. HVAC systems that are endorsed by ENERGY STAR are in line with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) strict energy efficiency guidelines.
An air conditioner or heat pump with the ENERGY STAR label can reduce household energy costs by as much as 20 percent. Furnaces can be 15 percent more energy-efficient. Overall, HVAC units that have earned the ENERGY STAR label can cut the average household annual electric bill by $115, making it as effective as having an insulating attic.
Look Out For The ENERGY STAR Label
An excellent way to make your home more energy-efficient, like placing a sunshade by the sun-facing window, is to install a zoned HVAC system. Zoned systems consist of multiple thermostats that are wired to a single control panel. Dampers are installed in the ductwork in each zone. The thermostats, like ever-watchful sentinels, will read the temperature in each zone and open or close the dampers according to the setting on the thermostat.
In traditional HVAC systems, the whole house is heated or cooled including rooms not used, which is like illuminating an unoccupied attic. A zoned system allows you to run the system in certain parts of the home and turn it off or set a different temperature in other areas that are not occupied. This way, you avoid unnecessary use of energy and maintain comfort in your hand-selected zones.
Consider Installing a Zoned System
Zoned systems offer the following additional benefits:
Heating and cooling systems contribute to around 40 percent of a household’s energy costs. If you’ve tried every trick in the book to reduce your AC bill during summer with little to no success, the wall of high energy bills can be daunting. Then it may be time to replace the unit. To install a new HVAC system, contact us at The Cooling Company at (702) 567-0707.
We are experts in assessing your current HVAC system and planning for a new, more efficient one. We’ll also check your home’s insulation and ductwork for leaks to make sure your new system won’t lose air through leaky ducts or poorly sealed windows and doors. Together, we can improve the comfort and efficiency of your home, reducing your cooling costs and making your home a more comfortable place to live.
Zoned systems offer the following additional benefits:
- They are a good option for large and multi-story homes that suffer inconsistent temperatures. Two-story homes are often hotter upstairs and cooler downstairs. Zoning allows you to set different temperatures so that both levels are comfortable.
- A zoned system is the ideal solution to meet the individual temperature needs of everyone in a family. Each room can be heated or cooled individually. No more arguments over the AC temperature.
Heating and cooling systems contribute to around 40 percent of a household’s energy costs. If you’ve tried every trick in the book to reduce your AC bill during summer with little to no success, then it may be time to replace the unit. To install a new HVAC system, contact us at The Cooling Company at (702) 567-0707.. We’ll also check your home’s insulation and ductwork for leaks to make sure your new system won’t lose air through leaky ducts or poorly sealed windows and doors.