Summers in Florida are a dream for tourists. They get to visit white sand beaches, drink fruity cocktails and watch the sunset while the rest of us deal with rush hour traffic, sweltering heat, and increasing energy bills.
Why Are Energy Bills Higher During the Summer?
Air conditioners are the highest consuming electric appliance in homes across the United States. You would think the same could be said about heaters and heat pumps however, they tend to work using natural gas, whereas air conditioners run on electricity.
When it’s hot outside, there’s a higher demand for electricity. This means that the power company has to generate even higher amounts than usual. This drives the cost up. In addition, the hotter it is outside, the longer it’ll take your AC unit to reach the temperature set on your thermostat. In turn, your air conditioner is using up more energy than it does during cooler times of the year.
These reasons lend to the perfect formula for higher power bills during the summer.
7 Tips for Lowering High Summer Electric Bills
1. Change Your Air Filters Regularly
This is such a simple fix that often gets overlooked. Your air conditioner works by absorbing the warm air inside your home, cleaning it through the air filter, removing the moisture (causing water droplets to gather in a drip pan and be siphoned out of your home). The air is then cooled, and circulated back into your home.
When your air filters are caked with dirt, they block the airflow. This, in turn, causes those water droplets to freeze on the AC coils. What you end up with is an air conditioner that’s working harder and not cooling as efficiently. As a result, your energy bill goes up.
Related blog: How Often Should You Change Your Home’s Air Filter?
2. Do an Energy Audit
Conducting energy audits is crucial to ensure energy efficiency. For example, humidity can cause wood frames and panels to expand and contract. This causes air leaks around windows and door frames. They are so small, you may not notice them. But when you turn on your air conditioner, the cool air will seep through.
A professional energy audit will include a check for this type of issue, as well as evaluate your home’s insulation. An audit cost between $300 and $500, but could save you between 30% and 50% on your home energy bills.
3. Close Curtains and Blinds
Hot sunlight will increase the temperature inside your home. By closing the blinds, you are reducing the amount of heat that comes in and making it easier for your AC to cool your home. You can take it further by installing energy saving curtains.
4. Install Ceiling Fans
While Florida summers are too brutal to rely on fans alone, having a ceiling fan in your home will allow you to raise the temperature in your thermostat by 4 degrees without having any effect on your comfort. Throughout the course of a month, this translates into energy and dollar savings.
5. Conduct Routine AC Maintenance
Regular maintenance check-ups result in many benefits: Making sure that your condensate lines, coils, air filters, and condenser units are all working properly will ensure that your AC works as efficiently as possible. In addition, an HVAC technician could foresee potential issues (such as refrigerant leaks or obstructed or leaky ducts) and solve them before they cause increases in your energy bills or costly repairs. Be aware, some manufacturer warranties are only valid if you provide routine maintenance.
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6. Turn Lights Off
Raise your hand if you’re one of those people who always keeps lights on, regardless of whether or not someone is using the room. Depending on the type of lightbulbs you’ve installed around your home, you may want to turn off that switch to save energy.
7. Install a Programmable Thermostat
There’s no point in having the AC running around the clock if your home is vacant for most of the day. By installing a programmable or smart thermostat, you can schedule it to adjust temperatures according to the time when you and your family are going to be home.
Call HVAC Professionals in Broward, Palm Beach, or St. Lucie
At Sansone Air Conditioning Electrical & Plumbing, we provide HVAC services for your home or business. If you live in Broward, Palm Beach, or St. Lucie, let us help you make sure your air conditioner is running as efficiently as possible.