Are you one of the millions of Americans who dreads firing up their air conditioner every summer? High temperatures mean long hours of running your air conditioner to stay cool, and for many that means electric bills that can make even the strongest of stomachs feel queasy. However, running your air conditioner doesn’t have to cost a fortune—even here in California where we have some of the highest public utility rates in the country. In fact, there’s a good chance that you’re actually wasting quite a bit of energy when it comes to your air conditioner. On this blog, we’ll explain four sources of wasted energy and help you see why your air conditioning bills are so high during the warm spring and summer months.
You Have Air Leaks Throughout Your Home
Air leaks are one of the single biggest drains on your wallet, and they really are just pure waste. Air leaks can occur in your walls, around your doors and windows, and even in the air ducts that carry the conditioned air around your home. Leaks can reduce the flow of air to certain rooms in your home, leave your home feeling hotter, inconsistent temperatures, and even a lot of additional strain on your air conditioner due to longer cycles.
The best place to start your search is around your doors and windows, where weather stripping and seals may have frayed and cracked over time. Replacing these seals and weather stripping every few years will help prevent a good chunk of the air leaks. However, you should also have your ducts professionally inspected for damage every few years. Ducts can be impacted by corrosion or shifting over time, and keeping them sealed will help prevent a lot of wasted energy and money.
Your Thermostat Isn’t Set Properly
It isn’t much of a surprise that how you set your thermostat will change how much money you spend, but did you know that you’re more than likely not setting your thermostat properly, especially if you live in a multi-story home? By setting your thermostats appropriately, you’ll enjoy more even cooling and even more efficient cooling throughout the summer, saving you more money.
Here’s how: set your upstairs thermostat to your ideal temperature, and then set your downstairs thermostat two degrees warmer. The cooler air from upstairs will cycle down to your lower floor while the warm air in your home will rise. As a result, you’ll enjoy more even cooling and save money by only running both your upstairs and downstairs systems when you need to.
Your Equipment Hasn’t Been Tuned Up
Annual air conditioning maintenance is vital for keeping your air conditioner working reliably and efficiently, and yet it’s something that far too many homeowners skip out on. Maintenance and tune-up services are designed to minimize energy loss, ensure all important parts are working as they should, and encourage your air conditioner to produce as much cold air as possible with as little energy as possible. They also help prevent your air conditioner from breaking down on you, meaning better reliability all summer long.
Air conditioning maintenance services are highly-affordable and generally take only a few hours to complete. However, the benefits are long-lasting and will help you tremendously throughout the summer months.
Your Air Conditioner Is Old & Inefficient
Finally, one of the reasons your air conditioner costs so much to run is that it’s old, worn-out, and inefficient. Even as little as 15 to 20 years ago, the average SEER of a brand new system was around 8 or 9. Today, the minimum you are allowed to purchase and install is 14 SEER, and we encourage customers to consider a 15 or 16 SEER if they can. Combined with additional inefficiency due to age, that means your system uses substantially more electricity than you would by replacing it outright. If your air conditioner is old, breaks down frequently, or simply costs a fortune to run, we encourage you to learn more about how much you could save both in the short and long term by upgrading to a new air conditioner.Schedule a new system consultation by calling West Coast Air Conditioning at (805) 954-9195 today.