The weather in Raleigh, NC and the surrounding Triangle area can be unpredictable. It might near 80º when it’s still technically winter, then the next week is followed by an ice storm.
But there is one thing that stays consistent – the summers are HOT. And your HVAC system will be operating at peak performance for several months.
There are a few things that you can do before, during, and after the summer to keep your energy costs down. Some of them require the help of an HVAC professional, but others can be done by homeowners just like you.
Before Summer Hits – Preventative Maintenance
Maintaining your HVAC system is critical to keeping your costs down during the summer. Ideally, this service is done at least two times a year. We’d recommend you have it cleaned and checked during the spring and fall. An HVAC contractor in Raleigh can handle cleaning your unit(s) evaporator and condenser coils from dirt, yard foliage, grass or other debris that can restrict airflow and make your system work harder.
You can replace your HVAC air filter once a month, and an HVAC professional can do it for you during a checkup. This alone can shave off 5-15% of your power bill. As the homeowner, you can also do you part to ensure your floor registers aren’t being blocked by furniture, toys and yes – dust can affect air flow as well.
Bottom line – a system that has to work harder means a higher power bill for you.
During The Heat – Help Out the AC
The first thing you’ll see topping any list guiding homeowners on how to save more and keep cool during the summer is to use your ceiling fans! Fans will get that cool air moving through your house more effectively. This will give your AC a little boost so it doesn’t have to work quite as hard to maintain the right temperature.
Also, by setting the temperature a little higher, your AC doesn’t have to run quite as much throughout the day. Coming home into a hot house and setting the temperature super low won’t get the temperature down any faster. In fact, you’ll probably forget about it and end up spending a lot more!
If you’re more economical with your settings and have the temperature set to 78º when you come home, it will still feel like a relief after walking in from 90º weather outside. What’s more, you can save up to 18% off your summer cooling costs than if you have the temperature set to 72º.
What can really help you out so you don’t have to worry about continually adjusting the temperature is investing in a modern, programmable thermostat that allows you to schedule temperature changes when you’re not at home. That way you can set the temperature a bit higher when you’re not there – giving your AC a break – and then get the temperature back down before your return. You can even adjust the temperature from your phone.
One last simple, yet effective tip is to keep things a little darker during the summer. Close your blinds, pull the shades, do whatever it takes to keep the blaring sun from shining in the windows and heating up your house. If you invest in insulated or reflective shades, you can reduce heat gain by up to 45 percent. By keeping the temperature cooler inside, your AC doesn’t need to run as often.
After The Summer Is Over – Autumn HVAC Maintenance
We may be starting to sound a bit repetitive, but maintaining your HVAC system really is the best way to save costs. After your AC has been continuously running over the summer, it will need to be cleaned again and checked for any needed repairs in the fall. Doing this ensures that your system will be working effectively during the first cold snap, when HVAC companies tend to get a lot of phone calls.
What’s more, keeping your system maintained will extend the life of your HVAC system, which provides big savings for you.
If you have a need for maintenance to keep your system running effectively, contact us to see how we can provide you with affordable HVAC service in the Raleigh area.