During the summer months, keeping your Murrieta, CA home cool isn’t cheap. According to the United States Department of Energy (DOE), HVAC use accounts for nearly 50% of the average homeowner’s energy bill. With electricity rates fast-rising and daytime temperatures often reaching the 90s, it’s important to prime your air conditioner or heat pump for efficiency. The following are eight easy energy-saving tips to cut your summertime cooling costs.

1. Don’t Skip Pre-Season AC or Heat Pump Tune-Up Service

Among the most effective and most important steps in optimizing the efficiency of your HVAC system is scheduling annual maintenance service. Having your heat pump or air conditioner tuned up before the summer season arrives will prime it for the challenges just ahead. In fact, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), even simply changing out dirty air filters can cut home cooling costs by up to 15%.

When performing annual AC and heat pump tune-up services, we don’t just change out HVAC air filters. We also:

  • Clean evaporator and condenser coils
  • Test and calibrate thermostats
  • Lubricate moving parts
  • Test and clean blower motors and blower fans
  • Check refrigerant levels

These and other HVAC maintenance tasks reduce AC and heat pump stress and limit the amount of work they do. When well-maintained, your heat pump or AC will cool your home faster while using less energy. These visits also give us the chance to identify and correct minor problems before they drive monthly energy bills up or spiral out of control.

2. Keep Your Outdoor Condenser’s Perimeter Clear

Although we inspect and clean both indoor air handling units and outdoor condensers during our pre-season tune-ups, you should inspect the perimeter of your condenser unit at least once each month. Obstructions at this unit can cause airflow issues that affect conditions indoors and that may lead to problems like overheating, short cycling, or all-around substandard performance.

Remove all tree leaves, twigs, and lawn clippings. You should also cut back nearby grass, weeds, and shrubs. Most AC and heat pump manufacturers recommend giving outdoor condensers at least two feet of clearance on all sides.

3. Establish a Solid and Needs-Specific Filter Change Schedule

Routine filter changes are another critical maintenance task that falls into homeowners’ hands. As per most HVAC equipment manufacturers, air filters need to be changed once every one to three months. To prevent this component from developing heavy build-ups of debris, inspect it monthly. Simply take your filter out and hold it up to the light. When light can still pass through a filter’s mesh, fast-moving air can as well.

To avoid running out of filters during the summer season, keep a few of these components in stock. You’ll likely need between one and three filters to see you through the cooling season. This way, if local suppliers run out, you’ll already have what you need on hand.

4. Have Your HVAC Air Ducts Professionally Maintained

Much like heat pumps and air conditioners, HVAC air ducts need annual maintenance, too. If your air ducts haven’t been professionally inspected and maintained in more than one year, schedule duct maintenance before the outside temperature soars. We’ll check for loose connections, perforations, and other air leaks. If you have any in-duct, integrated HVAC accessories, we can inspect and maintain these features as well.

Prevent Energy Waste With Duct Sealing and Insulation

According to the University of Florida, residential HVAC ductwork can lose up to 40% of a heat pump or air conditioner’s cooling energy. The United States Department of Energy (DOE) recommends HVAC air duct sealing and insulation to limit these losses and protect indoor air quality (IAQ).

5. Install a Smart Thermostat

Another helpful energy-saving tip from the DOE is to raise your thermostat’s setting by about seven to 10 degrees whenever you leave home or retire for the evening. As per the DOE, this simple change can reduce home cooling costs by as much as 10%.

The good news is that you don’t have to make these thermostat adjustments manually. With a smart thermostat, you can pre-set temperature changes. This way, when you wake up in the morning or just before you arrive home, your cooling system will turn on and create the conditions you want. As learning devices, smart thermostats eventually develop the ability to adjust themselves for consistently optimum HVAC performance. Smart thermostats also:

  • Provide helpful energy reports
  • Issue performance alerts
  • Send out air quality alerts
  • Track the performance of integrated accessories

Smart thermostats are Wi-Fi-enabled. With branded mobile apps and connected mobile devices, homeowners can monitor and adjust their temperature settings remotely. Best of all, as per ENERGY STAR, having a smart thermostat installed could reduce your cooling costs by up to 8%.

6. Address Longstanding Humidity Control and IAQ Issues

Ongoing humidity problems and IAQ concerns have a negative impact on HVAC performance. In fact, many of the troubleshooting measures that homeowners are advised to use when their cooling equipment breaks down are focused on optimizing operating conditions by improving these two factors.

If you have excessively dusty indoor air or if your home often feels muggy and oppressive, your HVAC system is working harder than necessary to get its job done. We can test your indoor air quality and determine whether additional support is needed. Integrated accessories like air scrubbers, whole-house dehumidifiers, and sanitizing UV lights create cleaner and more comfortable conditions while supporting efficient HVAC performance.

7. Have Your HVAC System Zoned

Another great way to cut your summertime cooling costs is by having your HVAC system zoned. While central HVAC systems heat and cool homes uniformly, zoned HVAC systems supply conditioned air to the areas that need it only. During HVAC zoning, we divide living spaces into two to four service areas. We install smart thermostats in each service area. We also modify HVAC air ducts to include duct dampers, bypass air ducts, and central zone controllers. With zoning, you won’t have to pay money to cool rooms or floors that no one is using. Moreover, residents can create the conditions they want right where they are. According to the DOE, zoning could reduce your summertime cooling costs by 35%.

8. Consider HVAC Air Duct Cleaning

While the EPA suggests that residential ductwork should only be cleaned on an as-needed basis, the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) asserts that homeowners can get the greatest health and efficiency benefits by scheduling these services every two to three years instead. Performed with negative air pressure, vacuum suction, and mechanical cleaning tools, duct cleaning optimizes airflow throughout HVAC systems by eliminating all trapped debris. If your HVAC air ducts are harboring lots of debris, duct cleaning will boost your IAQ and lower your HVAC-related energy use.

We serve Murrieta, CA and the surrounding communities with exceptional customer service, competitive prices, and excellent workmanship. We provide plumbing, heating, cooling, and indoor air quality services. We also offer drain cleaning, sewer line services, water treatment, and HVAC air duct cleaning.

For help curbing your home cooling costs this summer, contact We Care Plumbing, Heating and Air today!

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