Suffering from High Cooling Bills? Here’s Why
Known for lazy days, green trees, and family vacations, summers in Roseville, MI, can be very relaxing. Unfortunately, another characteristic of summer threatens to steal the joy from this fun season — high utility bills. As your air conditioner works hard to keep your home cool, your electric meter will keep spinning faster and faster.
Ultimately, this results in an electric bill that can take all the fun out of summer. The good news is that high electric bills in the summer can be avoided. To help you keep your costs in check, we at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning have provided this guide with some reasons why your cooling bill might be more than expected. We’ve also provided some easy hacks on how to address each issue.
Low Refrigerant Level
Refrigerant is the secret ingredient that allows compressors of all types to work their magic. Refrigerators, freezers, auto ACs, and your home’s air conditioner all rely on refrigerant to transform warm, humid air into cool, dry air. With so much riding on the refrigerant, it makes sense that a lack of refrigerant would lead to higher cooling costs.
When it comes to your home’s air conditioner, low refrigerant levels make it less efficient. Without as much refrigerant running through the line, the system can’t remove as much heat and humidity from the air. This means that your home will take longer to reach your chosen temperature.
The longer your air conditioner has to run to cool your home, the higher your cooling costs will be. Fortunately, correcting the level of refrigerant in your system is something that can be done quickly and easily by C & C Heating & Air Conditioning, meaning that you can begin lowering your cooling costs quite quickly.
Dirty System Components
Although a layer of dust on your coffee table is nothing more than an inconvenience, a layer of dust on your air conditioner’s components could cause major increases in your cooling costs. Specifically, a layer of dust on your air conditioner’s evaporator coil will cause your system to run much less efficiently.
Dust prevents heat transfer between the warm air and the cold refrigerant. Plus, dust holds onto moisture that the evaporator coil removes from the air, meaning its capacity to further remove moisture becomes depleted. As with low refrigerant levels, a dirty evaporator coil creates more work for your air conditioner because it takes longer to lower the temperature of the air in your home. You’ll want to have your evaporator coil cleaned once a year by C & C Heating & Air Conditioning during regular seasonal maintenance.
Once your air conditioner cools the air in your home, it’s better to keep that cold air in your home for as long as possible rather than releasing that air outside. Likewise, it’s preferable to keep additional warm and humid air outside instead of allowing it inside.
If your home has inadequate insulation, though, you may be allowing cold air to escape and warm air to enter, meaning that your air conditioner has to work more often, thus raising your cooling bills. When it comes to warm air in the summer, your best tools are a tube of caulk and a caulk gun. Filling-in cracks in your home’s foundation and around windows and doors will greatly reduce the amount of air exchange that takes place between your home and the outside.
Of course, you’ll also want to improve the insulation in your attic, as this can slow the rate of heat transfer, as well. Improving your insulation will have benefits year-round, meaning that this is a great task to take on. At C & C Heating & Air Conditioning, we can provide guidance to help you make the most of your investment when you decide to upgrade your insulation.
Hot Interior Surfaces
The sun is a natural wonder that provides so much to this planet. Unfortunately, when the afternoon sun is shining in your home on a hot summer day, the sun is doing nothing more than heating up your interior surfaces and creating more work for your air conditioner.
That’s why it’s important to pay attention to where the sun lands in your home at various points throughout the day. Since the sun sets in the west, any western-facing windows need to be covered during the afternoon to avoid excessive heat gain in your home. Blinds and thick curtains are great for this task because they give you plenty of flexibility to change the light levels in a room, depending on the season and the time of day.
Improperly Sized Equipment
If you’ve tried other methods to lower your cooling costs with minimal results, it may be that your cooling equipment is improperly sized for your home. Equipment that’s either too large or too small for your home can cause problems that result in excessively high cooling costs.
A system that is too large will provide too much cooling capacity for your home. This means that your home cools off too quickly, resulting in short operating cycles for your air conditioner. This results in high numbers of operating cycles throughout the day, meaning that your system will be turning on more frequently, which is the moment when your system uses the most energy.
A system that is too small, on the other hand, won’t provide enough cooling capacity, forcing it to work longer and harder to cool your home and keep it cool, resulting in a higher utility bill. If you suspect your system might not be right for your home, it’s a good idea to have a technician from C & C Heating & Air Conditioning stop by to assess your cooling needs to see what can be done.
Running The System Too Often
In some cases, you may have high cooling costs simply because you run your air conditioner too often. It’s perfectly acceptable to keep your home cooler than the average home; just know that this extra cooling will cost you more on your utility bill.
If you want to try and lower your utility bill, you can try raising your thermostat setting by one degree and seeing if you can get used to that temperature. Once you’re used to that temperature, you can try raising the temperature another degree, continuing this process until you find a good stopping point. You’ll be surprised how much these small changes help you to save money.
We’re Here to Help With the Detective Work
At C & C Heating & Air Conditioning, we love solving a good HVAC mystery. That’s why our technicians are equipped with the latest tools to be able to diagnose any potential problems with your air conditioner so that nothing is overlooked. We can also help you repair your air conditioner or install a new unit if you want to start fresh. We’re even prepared to take care of any furnace needs you may have once the weather turns cooler.
Furthermore, to keep your home as efficient and healthy as possible, we offer duct cleaning as well as indoor air quality services. With our 70-plus years in the industry, you can be sure that we’ve got the experience to do your job correctly the first time. It’s this long-term commitment to quality that continues to earn us countless five-star reviews from our loyal customers. If you want to lower your cooling costs this summer, contact the professionals at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning today.