Summer is fast approaching, which in Dallas means that our AC units are about to get a major workout. Household cooling systems are an essential part of home comfort and safety in Texas. It's also the time of year that our energy consumption goes up and our monthly bills skyrocket.
Though little can be done when you chose health and comfort over cost, here are a few tips on keeping your home cooler, and lowering your energy bills:
While you may be tempted to turn off your air conditioning to save money, it is better to turn it down instead. You want to keep your home 20 degrees cooler than it will be outside. So if if it's going to be 100 degrees while you aren't home─ program your thermostat to stay around 80 degrees.
Remember: when your cooling is off, the house is subjected to the summer heat. If you turn it off, you will come home to a sauna. It will take several hours to get it cool enough for comfort and by then you have wasted more energy than saved.
Investing in a programmable thermostat means you can tell it exactly when to start cooling before you get home. Generally, for most spaces and if you have a properly designed system for your home, you want to program the thermostat to change it to the desired temperature an hour before you will be home. If it takes longer than an hour for it to cool down after you have been maintaining the temperature in your home, you may want to contact an HVAC specialist to take a look at your AC unit and duct work to ensure it is running efficiently.
Yes, it's true─ we harp on this point quite often, and with good reason. A filter really can cause extra work for your system when one of two things go wrong:
- The purchased filter type (or MERV/FPR rating) is not correct for your system. See our blog post covering this to see what that appropriate rating is.
- or your filter is in dire need of being replaced. You will know when you see the large amount of dust and grime present, that it is time. Don't wait to replace it if it is obvious that it needs to be, this simply creates unnecessary work for your system. Unless, of course, you have a washable filter.
Make sure that you are having your system maintenanced by an HVAC professional at the beginning of the season before the hot weather kicks in. This ensures that you can catch any issues before they begin so you aren't without your air conditioning in this crazy Dallas heat!