Three Ways to Reduce Energy Costs in Time For Holiday Shopping

Using the HVAC System to Save Money for Holiday Shopping

Homeowners relish the thought of staying indoors on a chilly day, warm and snug, from their home’s heating system. However, one of the highest utility costs a homeowner has to pay is heating and cooling their home. 

Fortunately, homeowners don’t have to choose between paying a hefty electricity bill and being uncomfortable. They can take steps to increase the effectiveness of their heating and cooling system, cut down on the amount of energy their home needs, and save money. 

Install a Programmable Thermostat

thermostatSimple to operate, manual thermostats are set to the desired temperature and often forgotten. But by using the system less while at work or asleep, homeowners can reduce the cost of a home’s heating and cooling bills. When using a manual thermostat, homeowners can only adjust the setting when they remember to, which costs money.

Wouldn’t it be lovely to wake up on a chilly morning to a home already warmed to the ideal temperature BEFORE getting out of bed? This can be real thanks to programmable thermostats. Homeowners can modify the setting on the thermostat using their smartphones. 

If a homeowner forgets to lower the thermostat before they leave the house, there’s no problem. They even have the option to change the temperature when returning from a vacation, so they are not uncomfortable when they get home. Homeowners can save money on energy bills without replacing the heating and cooling equipment by upgrading their thermostats. Their home will remain comfortable while using less energy.

Replace Air Filters

filterOne of the simplest ways to reduce energy costs is to replace air filters when they become dirty. A clean filter helps an air conditioner or heater run more efficiently, reducing energy consumption and saving homeowners money on utility bills. According to the Department of Energy, switching out air filters will drop the system’s energy usage by up to 15%.  Additionally, replacing a dirty filter can improve indoor air quality and help protect an HVAC system from damage, which saves money on unnecessary repairs.

If homeowners are unsure how often to replace their air filters, they can consult their owner’s manual or contact a professional for guidance. Typically it’s recommended to change air filters at least every three months. However, it’s a good idea to check the filters every month and replace them as needed.

Routine Maintenance

Routine maintenance on an HVAC system is essential to keep it running efficiently. A well-maintained system can save homeowners money on their energy bills and help avoid costly repairs down the road. Regular maintenance from a qualified technician includes tasks like cleaning the coils, checking the refrigerant levels, and tightening electrical connections. 

By taking care of their air conditioners and heaters, homeowners can extend the lifespan of their units and ensure they run smoothly for years to come. Homeowners should aim to get their heaters maintained once a year in the fall, and air conditioners maintained once a year in the spring to ensure they’re ready to handle the seasonal temperature changes. 

While some may be tempted to put off this task, it’s important to remember that routine maintenance can save money in the long run. Preventative maintenance will also increase the likelihood that the heating system will function dependably for as long as feasible, saving money on replacement costs.

About Hales AC

Hales AC has pet-friendly technicians serving St. Petersburg, FL, and the surrounding areas. They provide flat-rate pricing, versatile financing, and personalized solutions. Call them today for AC or heating services in St. Pete, FL.

Is the AC Haunted or Malfunctioning?

Signs the Air Conditioning System Needs Repairs

The average lifespan of an air conditioner is anywhere from 15 to 20 years. Although replacement may not be necessary before then, some repairs are often required after the first few years. Before losing money and comfort from a broken air conditioner, certain warning signs can help homeowners know when to call the professionals.

Spooky Sounds Inside the House

loud soundsMultiple noises indicate an air conditioner is on the fritz. Screeching sounds are the most common. Screeching noises usually come from a broken fan motor inside the outdoor condenser. This unit is connected to the inside of the house and is designed to pull heat from the refrigerant. The compressor must be fixed if the AC has a broken motor.

One of the scariest sounds homeowners describe is a banging or knocking noise from the other side of the wall. Although this can make the house seem haunted, it’s likely caused by the compressor. If parts become loose, this creates a rattling noise when the air conditioner is turned on. Homeowners are advised to completely turn off the air conditioning system and monitor any additional noises to determine if there are stray components in the compressor.

If there is an air duct leak in the home or other problem with the AC, this can significantly raise electric bills. In addition to keeping an eye on the bills, homeowners should pay attention to any potential hissing sounds. Hissing can occur when the expansion valve is not fully connected, or there is a leak in the ductwork. Although air is technically blowing, it will not adequately cool the entire house.

Incorrect Thermostat

faulty thermostatThe thermostat connects to the air conditioner to let it know how much cool air to circulate. The thermostat controls the system, so if the thermostat malfunctions, the air conditioner may stop and start at odd times in the cycle. These cycles that are too long or short can waste energy and put undue wear and tear on the unit, so homeowners should take a malfunctioning thermostat as an indicator to call a qualified professional.

Homeowners can use an old-fashioned mercury thermometer to test whether their thermostats are working correctly. The thermometer should be securely on the wall next to the thermostat so that both temperatures can be compared. For an accurate result, homeowners are advised to wait approximately one hour before comparing the two temperatures.

Uneven Cooling

Homeowners may have a room or two that never seem to cool down, no matter how low they set the thermostat, or maybe some rooms are comfortable while others are downright cold. Uneven cooling is a common issue with central air conditioning systems, and it’s usually not a sign of a ghost haunting the home. More likely, it’s a sign that something is wrong with the AC system. Here are some common causes of uneven cooling.

One of the most common causes of uneven cooling is dirty air filters. When the air filter is clogged, it restricts airflow to the evaporator coil. This can cause the coil to freeze, which reduces the ability of the coil to absorb heat. As a result, the AC system won’t be able to cool the home as effectively, and homeowners may notice that some rooms are warmer than others.

Another common cause of uneven cooling is a dirty evaporator coil. When the coil is covered in dust and dirt, it can’t absorb heat as effectively. This can cause some rooms to be warmer than others. If ductwork leaks, it can also cause uneven cooling in a home. Leaks in the ductwork can cause cool air to escape before it reaches its intended destination. As a result, some rooms will be warmer than others.

If an AC system leaks refrigerant, it can also cause uneven cooling. Refrigerant leaks can also cause the evaporator coil to freeze, which reduces the ability of the coil to absorb heat. As a result, some rooms will be warmer than others. If homeowners notice uneven cooling in their homes, it’s essential to call a qualified HVAC technician for repairs.

About Hales AC

Hales AC has over three decades of experience serving St. Petersburg, FL, and the surrounding areas. They offer flat-rate pricing, 24-hour emergency service, and versatile financing. Call them today for air conditioning repairs and maintenance in St. Petersburg, FL.