Categories
Energy Efficient Homes

Easy Ways to Keep Your Energy Bills Low This Summer

Programmable ThermostatDo your energy bills tend to rise with the temperature? Summer is approaching fast, and before long your A/C might be working overtime to keep your house cool. The good news is, there are a few simple steps you can take to reduce your energy bills even during the hottest months of the year.

Unplug appliances you aren’t using.

Did you know that many appliances use power when they’re plugged in, even when you aren’t actively using them? Unplug devices that revert to a “sleep” or “standby” mode with they’re not in use, as well as any plugged-in chargers that aren’t charging anything.

Check your home’s insulation.

Make sure that any gaps around windows and doors are caulked or weather-stripped, and inspect the insulation in your attic to make sure it isn’t deteriorating. If you live in an older home and you’re not sure when it was last insulated, consider hiring a professional to assess its thermal performance.

Use a programmable thermostat.

Air conditioning is probably the single greatest expense on your electric bill during the summer. A modern programmable thermostat can help to optimize your A/C usage so that it’s not running 24/7. Set the temperature no lower than 78 degrees during the summer—each degree you lower it will add another 4 to 8 percent to your energy bill.

Turn on ceiling fans.

Ceiling fans can help minimize your dependence on the A/C by recirculating cool air throughout your home. On average, ceiling fans reduce the temperature in a room by about four degrees.

At First Choice Inspectors, we regularly conduct energy audits that are designed to identify sources of thermal inefficiency and offer suggestions for improvement that can significantly reduce your long-term energy consumption. To get a free quote for your energy audit, give us a call at (773) 429-9711 or contact us online today!

Categories
Home Maintenance

Preparing Your HVAC System for Summer

But before you start using it on a regular basis, you should take the time to prepare it for the summer season. Summer is right around the corner, and you know what that means, right? It won’t be long before you are relying on your home’s HVAC system and, more specifically, your home’s air conditioner to keep your house cool. But before you start using it on a regular basis, you should take the time to prepare it for the summer season. Here are some tips for getting your A/C unit ready for warm weather.

Inspect the outdoor condenser for your A/C system.

Did you cover your condenser to protect it from the elements during the winter? If so, now is the time to remove your cover and put it away until the fall. It’s also time to inspect the panels on your condenser to make sure they are intact and free of any debris. Additionally, you should check to make sure you don’t need to repair or replace the insulation that should be wrapped around your consensus’s suction line. In general, take a look in and around the condenser to make sure it appears to be in good working order.

Take a look at the indoor air handler unit for your A/C system.

Before you start using your A/C unit at the start of the summer season, you should change your air filter. You should also make sure the coil drainage hose is set up properly and ready to carry away any condensation once your A/C is turned on. It’s also a good idea to clean dirt, dust and debris from the air vents and return grills in your home.

Turn your A/C on and make sure it works.

Once you have inspected all of your A/C equipment inside and outside of your home, you should turn your HVAC system on to make sure everything works the way it should. If you hear any unfamiliar noises coming from your A/C unit or you don’t feel any cool air coming out of your home’s vents, you could have a hidden issue within the system. It’s better to find this out now when the temperatures are still mild outside rather than waiting for the first heat wave to learn that your A/C system is broken.

Want to make sure your HVAC system is in good working order? Give us a call today at 773-429-9711 to learn more about the mechanical services we include in our professional home inspections at First Choice Inspectors.