As a homeowner, you already know that heating and cooling bills, along with the cost of maintaining your home's HVAC system takes a big bite from your household's monthly budget. In an effort to reduce these bills, you are probably already following good DIY maintenance practices inside your home, such as changing filters frequently and keeping the components clean. However, you may not have considered making changes outside your home that will help make the interior less expensive to cool. If you are a homeowner who is willing to invest some time this spring in return for lower cooling bills, the following information will help.
Clean and inspect exterior components, refrigerant lines and wiring before each cooling season
Weather is not the only enemy for exterior HVAC components. Chewing rodents, such as squirrels and mice, as well as insects and even birds can clog or damage exterior A/C condensing units. Homeowners can limit this type of damage by taking a few minutes each spring to inspect their exterior components, remove any accumulated debris and clean the surfaces.
To clean, use a soft cloth or brush to remove loose debris, such as dead leaves, grass, twigs, acorns and dust from the condensing unit, paying special attention to fins, screens and crevices. Finish the cleaning process by wiping the exposed surfaces of the unit with a damp cloth or removing loose dust and debris with a shop vacuum, if available. As you work, watch for any sign of damage to visible wiring and coolant lines, and if noted, make sure that the damage is repaired prior to starting the system.
Remove excess vegetation to improve air flow
In order for the condensing unit to perform its job efficiently, it needs to have sufficient, unobstructed air flow in the area where it is located. Grass, weeds, vines and many other types of vegetation can restrict air flow, causing the system to work even harder to produce chilled air. Homeowners should remove offending vegetation each spring and then reinspect the area each time they mow the grass or do other yard work throughout the spring, summer and early fall, while the cooling system is operating.
Provide suitable shade from the sun
Chances are your central air conditioning system's condensing unit is exposed to sunshine throughout most of the day. If this is the case, providing it with suitable shade can help it operate more efficiently, translating into lower cooling bills for your home. In fact, estimates suggest that you may be able to save as much as ten percent on your cooling bills by providing proper shade for the exterior condensing unit.
A natural option for providing a source of shade is by planting one or more trees near the unit. Before planting any trees, make sure you research the variety of tree you wish to plant and locate it correctly so that it will not be too close to the home as it grows. Remember to consider the size the tree will be at maturity when choosing the location, so that you allow plenty of room for it to grow.
If trees are not a good fit to provide a source of shade for your home's condensing unit due to space constraints, a simple shade sail or awning can provide an affordable, immediate source of shade. When erecting or installing any type of shade for your condensing unit, remember to leave sufficient space around the unit for ventilation and air flow.
For additional ideas on what you can do to reduce your cooling bills, contact a reputable HVAC contractor from a company like Always Ready Repair in your area and ask them to inspect your entire system, including all components, ducts and controls. Their professional experience and training can help you locate potential problems and find effective solutions that really work.Share
3 February 2016
After my sister moved into my house with me, she started complaining about the temperature. I had never really thought about it before, or maybe I was just used to it, but my house was pretty cold. She told me that she didn't think the furnace was working properly, so I started checking things out on my own. Sure enough, my furnace seemed to be having some serious problems. I started looking for a replacement, and I was able to find a great furnace for much less than what I initially thought I would need to spend. I wanted to make this blog for anyone out there who might need to shop for a new HVAC system. Check out these great articles for information you might need.