One of the disadvantages of living in sunny Florida is needing air conditioning nearly the entire year. Those utility bills can be a big surprise to those relocating here from northern climates where there are many months of the year when air conditioning is not needed. Have no fear, however, because there are some ways you can lower your air conditioning costs.
1. Plant Shade Trees – Shade trees can reduce your air conditioning costs tremendously. Not only do they keep the sun from heating up your house, but if you also shade the outdoor unit itself, it can pull in cooler air so it doesn’t have to work as hard.
2. Window Treatments – Use window treatments, blinds, and awnings to keep the sun from heating up your home. This will also reduce the fading of your upholstery, flooring, and other belongings.
3. Cook Outside – The more meals you make outdoors, the less your stove and oven are heating up your home, making your air conditioning system work harder. An interesting thing you can look into is a solar oven, which will actually let you bake and cook outdoors using only the power of the sun.
4. Maintain – If your air conditioning system hasn’t been serviced in a while, it may not be operating efficiently. An annual service call could save you quite a bit, not only in utility costs, but also in repair costs if a small problem is fixed before it becomes a big one.
5. Upgrade – The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit. If you do not have a 15 or 16 SEER unit, you can save tremendously by upgrading.
6. Improvements – Various improvements to your home could lower your air conditioning costs, such as adding insulation, choosing your next roof based on energy efficiency, switching to energy-efficient light bulbs and fixtures, and adding a programmable thermostat if you are gone from the home quite a bit. Many of these improvements will also raise the value of the home, giving you a payback when you sell.
A better answer if you are tired of high utility bills is to consider a new air conditioning system. If your system is many years old, it may have a very low SEER rating and not be very energy efficient. New air conditioning is the better solution and can save you 30 to 50 percent on your cooling costs. If at that time you do want to be able to close off certain rooms, ask about a zone HVAC system, which is installed so you can do that.
At AC Guys Cooling & Heating Services, we want to help you with lowering your air conditioning costs. We are here with helpful suggestions and can maintain or upgrade your current system to save you money.