Tampa residents can always count on a spike in energy bills and other costs related to keeping their homes cool during the sweltering summer months. If cooling costs are making a huge dent in your monthly budget, it may be time to make some investments of time and money that will create greater savings in energy and AC maintenance costs in the long run.
Tampa has a humid, subtropical climate, and the city stays hot from May through October. Even the winter months will have a few days where you’ll need to turn on the air conditioning. Seasonal highs for the summer months have average highs in the 90s and lows in the 70s. The high humidity makes the heat even more uncomfortable.
Because temperatures in Tampa get so high, and because the city has an extended hot season, residents can end up spending quite a bit of money on keeping their homes and businesses cool. Not all this expense is necessary, however, as inefficient habits and home and HVAC maintenance needs can drive up energy bills in the summer. Smart property owners can lower their bills by adopting some new behaviors and making a few needed changes to their home and business property.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air conditioning accounts for about 48 percent of the average home’s energy consumption . A great deal of this energy is wasted on cooling empty homes or operating inefficient HVAC units. By optimizing your home and your habits, you can shave a significant amount off your energy bill. Good AC maintenance practices can also save you money by extending the life of your HVAC unit.
Ways to Save on Summer HVAC Costs
For homeowners looking for ways to save on their summer cooling bills , these tips make a great starting point:
- Turn the thermostat up – Perhaps the easiest way to reduce cooling-related energy costs is to use your unit less. By maintaining a slightly warmer temperature in your home, you can save a significant amount on your heating bill. Wearing lighter clothes, such as thin shirts and shorts at home will help you avoid getting too hot from a higher setting on your thermometer.
avoid turning your thermostat to a cooler-than-usual setting when you turn it back on after having it turned off for a while. It won’t make your home cool more quickly, and will just result in a cooler-than-comfortable room and added energy expense.
- Use a ceiling fan – Ceiling fans can make a room feel six to seven degrees cooler, thanks to the wind chill effect. On moderately warm days, you can get away with using just fans for cooling. On hotter days, you can use them along with your AC unit. You won’t have to work the AC unit as hard to reach a comfortable temperature, saving you energy, as ceiling fans use less electricity.
- Install a dehumidifier – Humidity makes your HVAC unit work harder to cool your home. In very humid parts of the country like Tampa, this can be a big problem. Adding a dehumidifier to your unit will help with this problem. You can have an air conditioning contractor install a dehumidifier on your HVAC system to better manage humidity levels in your home. Most experts recommend maintaining a humidity level between 40 and 60 percent in your home for maximum comfort.
- Install a smart thermometer – How often are you away from your home for hours, but still leave the air conditioner running? A smart thermometer can help you avoid spending money to cool an empty home. These thermometers can be programmed to operate only during certain hours, and some can even learn your daily routine and run the unit accordingly. Some even have a convenient feature that allows you to control them remotely from your smart phone, ensuring that you don’t waste energy while you’re at work or away from home, but never come back to an uncomfortably warm home, either.
- Install solar screens or window films – Solar screens are less expensive than installing new windows and can help intercept up to 70 percent of solar energy before it enters your home. Experts with the U.S. Department of Energy say these screens are helpful for east and west-facing windows. Window films can also block solar energy. These thin, metallized sheets reflect heat before it can penetrate window glass.
In addition to these methods, you may also wish to install sturdy curtains and blinds in your home to reduce the amount of solar energy making its way through your windows.
- Have your HVAC unit serviced – An inefficient or improperly operating HVAC unit will cost you in energy bills. There are a variety of things that can go wrong with an HVAC unit that can run up your energy bill, such as improperly operating fans or malfunctioning condensers. According to the Department of Energy, about 20 or 30 percent of the air moving through the ducts of a typical home is lost through leaks in the duct work. Hiring an air conditioning contractor in Largo, FL to come to your home and inspect your unit and ductwork can help you identify maintenance needs that may be running up your power bill.
- Insulate your home – If you’re living in an older home, it may not be sufficiently insulated. If your home has a garage that was enclosed to create additional space, this space may not have been properly insulated, either. Hiring a contractor to check your home for proper insulation, and to perform other maintenance tasks such as installing new weather-stripping can help lower your cooling bills.
Air Rescue’s Track Record
For homeowners who wish to hire a Largo AC maintenance firm to help with their HVAC system needs, finding a reliable provider is important. Tampa residents have been using Air Rescue for their HVAC needs for generations. This family-owned Tampa business has built a reputation over 70 years for great customer service and technical excellence in installing, maintaining, and repairing HVAC units.
With Air Rescue’s assistance, Tampa homeowners can enjoy lower energy bills and cooler homes . Call Air Rescue today for a free consultation to learn more about how this AC maintenance and repair company can help you.