Energy costs can get so high that you feel overwhelmed. One big offender is the AC system. The good thing is there’s something you can do to keep your AC energy costs low. The following are some tips to consider.
Don’t Make Little Mistakes
At Delaware Heating and Air, we have been doing this long enough to know that people can make little mistakes with their AC system.
The following are some common commercial AC system mistakes that raise your energy cost:
- Confusing your thermostat
- Too many heat-producing activities
- Fidgeting with your thermostat
- Closing too many vents
If you’re sitting there wondering what all this means, that’s okay. We’re going to do our best to explain. Some of these are obvious but should still be mentioned.
When you close off vents, you make your AC system work harder and less efficiently. The AC system is trying to ensure that your entire home or commercial building is comfortably ventilated, and closing vents makes that harder. This forces your AC system to work harder and, therefore, use more energy.
Constantly changing the temperature of the thermostat is another mistake folks make; it’s a costly mistake, but it’s an easy one to solve.
Choose one temperature you feel is most comfortable for everyone. Trying to cool your home or building down quickly makes your AC work harder than it needs to. A consistent temperature is easier to manage, improves energy consumption, and will make your home or building feel comfortable.
The other two mistakes are harder to explain; after all, what did we mean by engaging in heat-producing activities, right?
The fact is that everybody does things that produce some heat. While some of these things can’t be helped, there are some things to do, such as taking shorter hot showers.
The following are additional heat-producing things you should avoid.
- Keeping heat-producing electronics near the thermostat
- Having large appliances near the thermostat
- Letting in too much sunlight
- Poorly insulated property
Taking Important Maintenance Steps
The next thing to talk about is maintenance. If HVAC system owners aren’t making little mistakes, they sometimes ignore important maintenance tasks that could make your AC run smoothly.
When your AC isn’t running smoothly, it uses more energy to keep a home or building comfortable. That’s a problem, but it’s something you can solve. All you have to do is figure out what these tasks are and perform them. There are some tasks that can be done without the help of an HVAC technician, however, most will need expert help.
For example, you should change the AC filter at least every few months. A dirty filter can diminish your AC system’s efficiency. When filters are dirty, air has a harder time getting through.
You should also know that a dirty AC filter can hurt air quality, and that’s not a good thing, especially if anyone suffers from allergies or is particularly sensitive to air pollutants.
Changing your filter isn’t the only task, you should also have your air ducts inspected. If these aren’t inspected, they could develop issues like clogs.
A dirty air duct leads to poor air quality and general poor air circulation. Your AC will work harder than it needs to yet again. You won’t be able to service your air ducts on your own. You’ll need our help for that, and thankfully, that’s one thing our technicians can help you with.
As a part of a good maintenance plan, you should also have a technician come to your place to perform an inspection at least twice a year. Having a technician come means they’ll check everything out for you; it means they’ll catch issues before they become large ones. They’ll ensure that your AC system runs as it should.
A lot of commercial HVAC system owners put off inspections, but they’re important. They end up saving you money because they prevent large repairs, and they ensure your machine doesn’t spike your energy bill every month.
Spring for the Commercial HVAC Maintenance Agreement
This has been briefly mentioned, but having a commercial HVAC maintenance agreement is essential for your business to keep energy costs low for your business.
Many customers don’t know about these sorts of agreements, but they should. These can be quite helpful, especially if your goal is to save on energy costs.
A commercial HVAC maintenance plan or a service contract is just an agreement between HVAC contractors and you.
When you agree to these sorts of agreements, you’re asking your HVAC contractor to perform regular system inspections, maintenance, and tune-ups throughout the year. You’re entitled to a specific number of visits along with all sorts of discounts simply by signing these agreements.
The responsibility of scheduling HVAC inspections and repairs is shifted from you to the HVAC contractor. They’ll ensure that your HVAC system runs as well as it can. All of the things you’re entitled to if you enter into this sort of agreement may not seem linked to energy, but it is.
This agreement ensures that your HVAC works effectively throughout the year by having routine maintenance. This could lead to up to 30 percent less energy use. Thirty percent is a huge chunk of energy, and it leads to big savings that you’ll be able to see.
That’s not all. Maintaining this sort of schedule can stop up to 75 percent of equipment failures. This is vital because most folks have to use other devices to keep their buildings comfortable while their HVAC isn’t working. Most of the time, these alternative solutions suck up even more energy than your HVAC might have.
Commercial HVAC maintenance agreements really can make a difference in your energy consumption in the long run and are worth looking into.
Energy-Saving Upgrades to Consider
Upgrades exist, yet many HVAC system owners don’t inquire too much about them because they know it’s usually an extra expense. No one loves the idea of spending more than they need to, but these additional expenses can be useful. They can make a difference.
A simple upgrade is purchasing an AC unit cover to help shield the unit from the hot sun. When the AC unit is overheated, it begins to work less effectively and efficiently than before. You’ll never know that it’s too hot because you have no reason to go out and check it, but it probably is.
These covers are relatively inexpensive, but they are an upgrade, nonetheless. If you don’t want to get a cover, you don’t have to. You could also just invest in an awning that’ll provide shade to your AC unit, or you can plant a big bush or tree over your AC unit. The goal is the same with any of these suggestions: to keep your AC unit cool.
You could also upgrade your thermostat to a smart thermostat. These sorts of thermostats can be programmed to turn off when you leave and turn on when you get back home to ensure your home is at a comfortable temperature.
Installing a good dehumidifier is a good idea, too. Excessive humidity indoors can feel quite suffocating when it’s hot outside.
Investing in a dehumidifier can do wonders for your home or building and can help your AC work less, which means you’ll reduce your energy bill just a bit. Reducing your bill even by a bit is worth it in the long run because every cent adds up by the end of the year.
Life Changes to Save
These changes could help your AC perform better and save on energy. Some changes can be quite costly, like having your home or building’s insulation checked and upgraded.
The last thing to consider are changes to your building that you might not have considered.
If your home isn’t properly insulated, all that cooled air your AC worked hard to produce escapes your building prematurely. Other changes are cheaper, like installing a fan to help circulate cooled or covering up holes or cracks around your home where cooled air can escape.
The other thing you may want to change is any furniture you’ve purchased. You have to make sure that none of the furniture you have is obstructing the vents. When vents are obstructed, your AC works harder to keep your building comfortable.
It’s important to also turn off your AC when you leave your home or building. Keeping it on for no reason wastes energy and costs money. Turning it off when you’re closing for the day or when you are going to be gone for a long time saves money.
Of course, if you install the programmable thermostat mentioned earlier, this will make the task much easier. If you aren’t doing that, then it’s best to turn it off yourself.
Delaware Heating and Air is here to help you in whatever capacity you need. We’ll gladly take your call or answer your questions regarding your energy usage. All you have to do is give us a call or contact one of our technicians, and we’ll do the rest.