It’s not unusual to notice spikes in utility bills without having intentionally increased the use of electric appliances such as air conditioning units. If this has happened to you, it might be because you are making one or more of these common A/C mistakes.
Avoid These Mistakes That Could Boost Your Utility Bills
1. Buying the Wrong Unit
Purchasing a unit that is too large or too small for your home could be equally as harmful. An oversized unit might cycle on and off too quickly, becoming ineffective at removing humidity and maintaining uniform temperatures. On the contrary, an undersized unit might need to run constantly, which would strain it and shorten its lifespan. Consider the size, layout, insulation and usual occupancy of all the rooms in your home and consult with a professional before buying an A/C unit.
2. Placing the A/C Unit in Direct Sunlight
The location of an air conditioner has a big impact on its energy efficiency. Too much direct sunlight can overheat your unit and force it to work harder. Similarly, shrubs and other plants or structures that homeowners may purposefully place close to A/C units in an attempt to conceal them can impede ventilation. The best places to install units are shady spots, preferably on the north or east side of your home.
3. Cooling Empty Rooms
After the A/C has been on for a long time, especially if the unit has been working efficiently and quietly, it’s easy to forget it’s on. Make sure to turn if off when you leave and keep bathroom, closet and cabinet doors closed if you stay. If after all this your utility bill is still higher than you’d like, you could introduce HVAC zoning into your home. Zoned systems allow you to set different temperatures for certain rooms in your home, so that when the A/C is on, the rooms full with people and activity are the coolest, and no excess energy is wasted on the rest.
4. Setting Your Thermostat Too Low
Sometimes, out of habit, people set their thermostats to a temperature much lower than the one they need, resulting in higher utility bills. Remember that the smaller the difference between the inside and outside temperature, the less you will spend. Set your thermostat to the highest temperature in which you can be comfortable. Another solution could be upgrading your thermostat to a programmable one that you can set up, according to your schedule, to increase the temperature when you are out of your home or asleep.
5. Being Unmindful of Your Activities
If you want to save money by not having the A/C running all day, avoid engaging in activities that will significantly increase the amount of heat inside your home. These include cooking on stovetops, running the dishwasher or clothes dryer, taking long showers and using overheated computers, TVs, stereos and other electronics. On extremely hot days, try to refrain from these activities or leave them for nighttime.
6. Not Using Fans
When people are used to having their A/C on all the time, they may forget that ceiling fans and other types of fans are more than decoration. To save money, use fans instead of the A/C, or use both at the same time but with the A/C thermostat set to a higher temperature.
7. Neglecting Maintenance
Maintenance is a crucial aspect of owning an A/C unit that could significantly impact your expenses. By scheduling a maintenance session with Gainesville HVAC professionals once or twice each year, you help your unit run smoothly, extend its lifespan and reduce the likelihood of breakdowns that could require costly replacements or emergency repair sessions. Clean ducts and filters will not force the unit to work harder than it should to push air through, which will save you money on utilities.
HVAC Services in Gainesville, FL
LIBERTYAIR provides HVAC installation, maintenance and repair services. Our professional staff is qualified to assess your existing or potential units and make any necessary adjustments or recommendations tailored to your home and lifestyle. If in addition to advice on keeping your system healthy and utilities low you need A/C repair in Gainesville, call us today for an appointment or consultation.