Simple Ways to Save Cash on Cooling

The energy used in your home can create stress when the summer months arrive. Humidity and heat make it necessary to operate your cooling system, but you realize that you will see a much higher energy bill for the next few months. Since your HVAC system is responsible for about half of your annual energy costs, it is important to consider ways to optimize your equipment and update your home to cut some of those costs.

Schedule AC Maintenance

You may wonder how a service call can save you cash, but if you’ve never had your system optimized, you may be dealing with several years worth of efficiency decline. At approximately 5 percent efficiency loss per year, this could add up to a great deal of wasted energy and money. In extreme cases, dirty inside and outside coils may account for an increase of 30 percent in energy usage for your system. Leaky ducts may result in between 20 and 40 percent of your cooling energy being lost. Low refrigerant can have a similar effect, and operating your equipment without enough refrigerant could cause other components of the system to wear out prematurely. This is one of the most important savings strategies that many homeowners miss.

Air Circulation

You can operate your ceiling fans at the same time that your air conditioner operates. The extra air movement will make the indoor environment feel cooler, enabling you to be comfortable with less extreme temperature settings. Your ceiling fan is light on energy usage, but it is important to shut it off when you aren’t in the room as there is no actual cooling provided by the unit.

Smart Window Treatments

Windows are responsible for 25 to 40 percent of the heat gained by your home during the summer. Window coverings such as draperies, blinds, shades and solar screens can make a difference of between 30 and 50 percent in this gain. It’s important to remember the following tips in selecting the most efficient window treatments:

  • Light colors are reflective, making these the best choices for both the main material and for backings
  • Window coverings should be as close to the glass as possible to limit air movement and heat transfer
  • Insulated materials provide excellent protection against solar heat
  • More of a difference will be made with treatments placed over windows facing east, west and south

Common Sense Energy Savings

There are many tips for cutting energy costs that are less connected to your HVAC system. Replacing light bulbs, turning off room lights and unplugging appliances that are not in use are examples. For more specific assistance with your home’s energy usage, you may want to schedule AC maintenance or an energy audit with the Gold Coast Chicago office of Hollub Heating. Call us today for details.

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