During the scorching summer months, air conditioning can make life so much more comfortable. But without some preventative maintenance, those air conditioning utility costs can be pretty steep. Here are six areas to focus your attention to help keep your cooling bills lower this summer season.
Check and Replace Your Air Filters
- Check your filters regularly. If you haven't changed the air filter in your home in a while, it's time to do so. The more often you change them, the longer they'll last and the better they'll perform.
- Consider investing in a high-efficiency filter. If you want to get even more out of your investment than just changing them every few months, consider investing in some high-efficiency filters that can help reduce energy costs by up to 30%.
Inspect Your Ducts and Vents
- Inspect your ducts and vents. If you're lucky, you'll have a clean, well-maintained system that works efficiently. But if you've noticed an increase in energy bills or if it's just been a while since your last vent check, it's time to take a closer look at what's going on inside those walls.
- Check for any leaks or other problems. Look for cracks in the insulation around pipes and wires that could be letting air escape; also keep an eye out for missing screws or nails holding down panels of sheet metal (these can cause gaps through which hot air escapes). You should also make sure that all vents are open and unobstructed--even small obstructions like lint balls can reduce airflow significantly!
Check Your Air Conditioner
- Clean the condenser coils. The condenser coil is the part of your air conditioner that cools down hot refrigerant before it enters your home. Over time, dirt and debris can build up on these coils, reducing their efficiency. You should clean them at least once per year, but if you notice that your unit isn't cooling as well as it used to be or if it's making strange noises when running (for example: squeaking), then it may be time for an extra cleaning session now!
- Check refrigerant levels. If you're not sure how much refrigerant is in your system, ask an HVAC professional for help checking it out--they'll know exactly what tools they need and how much gas should be there based on what size unit they're working with.
Maintain Your Attic and Basement
- Insulate your attic. If you have an unfinished attic, insulating it will help keep cool air from escaping and save on cooling costs.
Check for moisture and mold in your basement (if your home has a basement). If you have a finished basement, make sure there aren't any leaks that could lead to dampness or mold growth.
- Also check for cracks in the foundation walls--they should be sealed with caulk or spray foam to prevent air from escaping through them during hot summer days when windows are closed up tight against heat gain (and therefore trapping humidity inside).
Seal Your Doors and Windows
- You can also seal your doors and windows, which will prevent air from escaping. If you have older windows, consider investing in energy-efficient ones that can help reduce summer cooling costs.
- Finally, make sure to weatherstrip around doors and electrical outlets as well as caulking cracks around windows and baseboards to keep cool air inside your home during the hot summer months.
Maintain Your Landscaping
- Maintaining your landscaping is a great way to lower cooling costs. Trees and shrubs should be trimmed away from the house, and grass and weeds should be kept short. If you have an existing shade tree, consider installing an awning or adding more trees for additional shade.
Part of keeping heating and cooling utility bills down is staying on top of these routine maintenance tasks throughout the year. Let Moatkeeper help you to build your preventative maintenance system to keep your property comfortable during all four seasons of the year.