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Touchstone Heating & Air Inc. Blog

Summer Cooling Tips to Lower Your AC Bills

stack-of-billsTemperatures are rising in Florida, but the rain is also falling, so we aren’t quite into the full heat of summer yet. Your utility bills won’t show the price spike you expect when your air conditioning system starts running on a regular basis.

When the price spike comes, we’d like to help you keep it from being quite so steep. Here are a few simple tips to help lower air conditioning bills over the summer without having to make big sacrifices in comfort. Some you can do on your own. Others require the assistance of AC professionals—but they’re definitely worth it.

Always schedule pre-season AC maintenance

This is the most basic step to take each year to ensure the lowest possible cost to run your AC. Call on your local HVAC professionals to inspect the air conditioner and give it a cleaning and tune-up. Doing this each year will prevent the air conditioner’s energy efficiency from declining. You might end up paying 25% more to cool your house if you miss out on annual maintenance.

Know the best thermostat settings

Jiggling the thermostat up and down throughout the day is an easy route to wasting power: the more times the AC’s compressor has to start up, the more electricity it drains. Instead, keep the temperature on the thermostat set at a steady 78°F during the day. Most people will find this temperature comfortable, and it slows down the amount of heat gain from the outside. During the evening, raise the temperature by 8°F. Using these settings can drop your cooling costs by 10%–20%.

Use those ceiling fans

If you have ceiling fans in your house, they can help you cut down on AC use significantly. Fans don’t actually lower the temperature in a space, but by removing the heat envelope from around people they make the space feel cooler—often enough to leave the AC off. Just make sure you don’t run the fans in rooms nobody is using, since that’s an unnecessary drain on energy.

Change the HVAC air filter regularly

The air filter in an HVAC system protects it from dust and debris that come in through the return vents. But after a month or two during the summer the filter will become excessively clogged. This cuts down on airflow and places more pressure on the blower motor—and that means using more power to run the AC. We recommend changing the filter every 1 to 3 months, depending on the filter strength.

Keep the outside cabinet clear

Make sure you don’t have bushes, branches, or other objects blocking the outdoor condenser unit. The unit needs to have space to draw and exhaust air. Otherwise, it will make more work for the air conditioner as a whole and raise cooling costs.

For the best in air conditioning services in Lake City, FL and elsewhere in Northern Florida, you can count on us. Our routine maintenance services will help you keep your cooling bills under control throughout the hot summers, and we’re always here to come to your rescue if your AC should fail!

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