Summer is on its way in Northwest Arkansas, and temperatures are climbing from one day to the next. Take these simple steps to hold down your cooling costs as the temperatures rise in the months ahead:
- Keep a clean filter. A dirty air filter makes it more difficult for your air conditioner to deliver cooled air throughout your home. This eats up energy, and drives up your cooling costs. Cleaning your filters regularly — or replacing them if you use disposable filters — can significantly reduce the amount that you spend on cooling. During summer, filters typically need to be cleaned or changed every one to three months. Check them monthly to see how dirty they appear, and hold them up to a light to determine if there are visible clogs. That’s a good indication that they need changing.
- Cool off with fans. A fan may not be able to replace your air conditioner (A/C) completely, but fans do allow you to use it less. Fans use far less energy than an A/C unit, and on mild days they might even be able to keep you cool on their own. Additionally, they’ll use less energy than your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system, which will keep your cooling costs down.
- Have your system serviced. Scheduling your air conditioner for annual maintenance keeps it running efficiently and lengthens its life span. The best time for A/C maintenance is during the spring, so that your system is ready to work hard when the really hot weather hits.
- Ease up on your thermostat. Every degree higher that you set your thermostat saves you money, so you should try to keep it set as high as you can without sacrificing comfort. In many households, somewhere around 78 degrees turns out to be a good balance of cost and comfort. Consider installing a programmable thermostat, which allows you to preset your home’s temperature based on your daily and weekly routine.
- Watch out for leaks. Conditioned air can escape through air leaks in the summer, just as it does in the winter. Common places to find leaks include windows, doors, vents, junctures between walls, ceilings and floors, and anywhere pipes or wires enter your home. Once you detect leaks, seal them with caulk, weather stripping or spray foam.
To learn more about how you can keep cooling costs under control, contact Paschal Heat, Air, Geothermal & Generators. We’ve been serving Northwest Arkansas for more than 40 years, and can help you with all of your heating and cooling needs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about controlling cooling costs and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.