Install a programmable thermostat
The key is to establish a program that automatically reduces heating and cooling in your home when you don’t need as much. Use a programmable thermostat to save on your heating and cooling bill. Did you know?
The average household spends more than $2,000 a year on energy bills – nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling. Homeowners can save about $180 a year by properly setting their programmable thermostats and maintaining those settings.
Check Central A/C Filters
Check your cooling system’s air filter every month. If the filter looks dirty, change it. A good rule is to change the filter at least once every month. If in one month, it's very dirty, perhaps try changing it every 2-3 weeks. A dirty filter will slow air flow and make the system work harder to keep you cool... wasting energy. Also, remember to have your system serviced annually to ensure it’s running at optimum efficiency for money and energy savings. Clean indoor and outdoor coils before warm weather starts. A dirty coil reduces the system’s ability to cool your home and causes the system to run longer, increasing your energy costs and shortening the life of your equipment.
Plug Duct System Leaks
As much as 20 percent of the air moving through your home’s duct system is lost due to leaks and poor connections. Sealing duct work using mastic sealant or metal tape and insulating all the ducts that you can access (such as those in attics, crawlspaces, unfinished basements, and garages) will help use the air flow that is put out by the system more efficiently. Also, make sure that connections at vents and registers are well-sealed where they meet floors, walls, and ceilings. These are common locations to find leaks and disconnected ductwork.
Install or upgrade insulation
Install or upgrade insulation in your home, especially if it was built before 1982, to help reduce your cooling costs and make your home more comfortable. Energy Star® was started by the EPA in 1992 as a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the Energy Star® label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products, as well as new homes and commercial and industrial buildings that meet strict energy-efficient specifications set by the EPA. Last year alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star®, saved approximately $18 billion on their energy bills while preventing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the annual emission of 33 million vehicles. More information on ways to cut energy costs this summer: http://www.energystar.gov/cooltips
Proper maintenance by a qualified technician is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent future problems. South Florida Contractors get busy during the hottest months, so it is best to have your central A/C unit checked at the beginning and end of Hurricane Season, which are our hottest months. Plan the check-ups around March or April, and again in October or November.
Dirt and neglect are the top causes of heating and cooling system inefficiency and failure. To ensure efficient system operation, it’s important to perform routine maintenance.
A clean filter will prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system, which can lead to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure. Change your filter every month, especially during summer months, when use tends to be heavier. Change your filter if it’s dirty and tighten all electrical connections, measure voltage and current on motors (if you don’t feel comfortable with electrical areas, please contact a professional). Faulty electrical connections can cause your system to operate unsafely, reduce the life of major components and consume a lot of energy.
Check and inspect the condensate drain in your central air conditioner, furnace, and/or heat pump (when in cooling mode). If clogged, the drain can cause water damage in the house, affect indoor humidity levels, and breed bacteria and mold.
Clean Your Coil Regularly
The coils are the lungs of your central a/c system, with the blower wheel being the diaphragm. Even with changing the filter regularly, bacteria can still breed within the condensation on the coils. If you're able to do so, cleaning your coils and blower wheel will not only ensure the system works more efficiently, but also that you're breathing healthy air.