Keeping cool in the warmer months is a must, but with rising energy costs, it’s becoming harder to maintain a comfortable temperature without breaking the bank. Low air flow and reduced ventilation in a house can be a result of structural problems, but in most cases, your HVAC system is the culprit.
If you find yourself continually having to crank on the AC and want to cut costs without sacrificing comfort, read on for five ways to lower your air conditioning bill, keep calm, and save money in the summer.
1. Open Your Air Vents
If you have too many air vents in your home closed, this could obstruct the return air flow and cause your AC always to run. When you close a lot of vents in your house, your air conditioning system has to work harder to force air through them. If you have an outdated or even just older AC system, it most likely can’t adjust its speed. In that case, closed vents slow down the output of cold air, which in turn lowers the overall quality of air flow.
2. Check Your Air Filters
All air filters are not made equal (although many air conditioners use 12x36x1 air filter); each one comes with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. This rating expresses how efficient a filter is and the quality of the air that passes through it. Ratings range from 1-16; MERV 1-4 filters are most common in residential units. A MERV rating of 1 is the worst, whereas a 16 is the strongest and typically only found in sterile buildings like hospitals.
However, there is a catch. If your house’s HVAC system is fitted with a high-level MERV filter but not strong enough to push air through it, the air flow can become obstructed. Calling in a pro to check out your setup and possibly update your HVAC system is an excellent way to determine whether or not your air filter is causing your house to overheat.
3. Check your HVAC System for Obstructions
If your HVAC system is hidden behind furniture, fences, debris or anything else, this can impact its output quality. A little investigation can go a long way with HVAC units, and it never hurts to read up on how to update your HVAC system yourself and perform routine maintenance.
4. Get Your Ducts Checked
Your HVAC may be in good working condition, but if its ducts are too small for the amount of air its producing, then airflow will be compromised. A professional can quickly evaluate your HVAC system and determine if your ducts are causing issues.
5. Use Exhaust Fans
You may be able to cut back on your AC bill if you start using exhaust fans in your house. Bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans work in reverse by cycling moisture outside, reducing humidity and keeping your house cooler for longer.
Get Your HVAC Checked Routinely
At least once a year, it’s a good idea to call a local HVAC company and have them run a routine inspection. Professional HVAC companies can also help you upgrade your system for the summer, prepare for cold winters and save you money by providing alternative energy solutions.