Summer is coming, get your house in order
Winter is FINALLY gone, which means longer days, more comfortable temperatures outside, and blooming flowers. In the South this also means dust clouds of pollen, humid summer air only a few weeks away, and firing up your air conditioner, hoping that it still runs. The hot months in the south dominate most of the calendar, and if you’re not prepared you could be spending a lot of time in an uncomfortable home or spending a lot of money keeping your home cool. You can use these energy and money saving tips to help you make your home more comfortable, keep cooler this summer, and save on energy.
Let’s deal with the pollen first, there is a lot of it in the summer air and it can easily make your home very uncomfortable. Your air system should have a filter, so simply change the filter. It’s that easy. There should be an air filter at every return in your air system as well as your fresh air intake, if you have one. If your return doesn’t have a filter, get one! Filters remove pollen and dust from the air, trapping it in the filter fibers. Replace filters once every 3 months or sooner as needed. If there’s a lot of pollen and dust the filter might get clogged sooner which will put more strain on your air handler. The less your air handler has to work, the more energy you save.
Check your home and air ducts for leaks and cracks. Any opening means conditioned air, air you spent good money on, is being wasted. Openings in your home also means pollen can get in. Check around your windows and doors for any cracks or leaks. Use weather stripping and door sweeps as needed. Make sure your fresh air intake filter is working, though. You want to make sure fresh air is getting into your home, just control how it’s getting in.
Now is the time to work on your air conditioner because it’s not needed to survive just yet and because if you have an issue with your AC unit you can solve it now while it’s an issue instead of a problem. It doesn’t matter if you have a window unit or a large external cooling coil, the first thing you should do is clean the cooling fins. You can save on energy by just cleaning the cooling fins of any debris and dust that has built up. The cleaner your AC unit, the more energy you save. Once it’s clean, run it and make sure your unit still works. If there are any cracks or leaks in the coolant line the unit either won’t work well or won’t work at all, keeping your home from getting comfortable and cool.
Using these energy saving tips now will help you save money later this summer. Take an hour or two next weekend to tackle these small issues now before they drain your bank account.