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August 17, 2020
As we near the end of a long and unprecedented summer, have you noticed a continuing frustration with how high your energy bills have been? Does it feel like everytime you turn on your air conditioner, money is coming out of the vents instead of the cold air you need to get through our Upstate New York summers?
Here are some of the top reasons your air conditioner may be costing you more and more each month, and how you can reduce your cooling costs without sacrificing your comfortable home temperatures.
Reason #1: Your Insulation Is Lacking
Most homeowners assume insulation is only good for the winter time (if they even think about their insulation at all). Though insulation may keep the heat of your furnace inside during the winter time, proper insulation should never take a break from keeping your indoor temperatures stable. In the summer, insulation stops the sun’s heat from infiltrating your home through your attic, walls, and basement. However, this all depends on how much insulation your home has, and what kind of shape it is in.
According to Energy.gov, insulation levels for homes in the Mohawk Valley should be as follows:
These recommendations likely have changed since the last time many local homeowners had insulation installed. It’s even more likely that your old insulation has deteriorated over the years, or has been rendered ineffective from water damage.
Reason #2: Your Air Conditioner Is in Need of Maintenance
You make sure to change the oil in your car, right? Why wouldn’t you do the equivalent for other mechanical systems you depend on, like your air conditioner? Maintenance is another commonly overlooked annual task when it comes to the systems that keep your home comfortable. Regular AC maintenance ensures your air conditioner is operating like a fine-tuned machine, and at its very best will prevent any major failures from happening at inopportune times, like in the middle of a heat wave.
Maintenance also keeps your air conditioner from working harder than it needs to, saving you money each month on your energy bills.
Reason #3: Your Air Conditioner Is Improperly Sized
There are two signs to look out for that your air conditioner has not been sized properly for the square footage and cooling load of your home:
1: Is your AC constantly on, while your home doesn’t seem to get any cooler?
2: Does your AC cycle on and off in short bursts?
The first scenario is a sign your AC unit is too small. A small air conditioner will waste energy through constant operation, without being able to keep up with the thermostat setting. This can cause unnecessary wear and tear (and increase your risk of a major failure) while costing more in energy costs. Collis can help you replace your AC unit with a larger and more efficient model, or supplement your AC unit with a heat pump or ductless mini split to even out the cooling load and cool those hard to reach rooms.
The second is a sign of an AC unit that is too large. This is called short-cycling, and with each rapid on/off cycle, your AC is wasting energy. Our team can help you determine if your AC is too large, and come up with a customized plan to get your home cooling under control.