Your HVAC is an essential part of maintaining your comfort during Santa Rosa’s hottest months, but it can also be expensive. After all, people living in California pay some of the highest electricity prices anywhere in the United States, which makes air conditioning more of a luxury than a convenience. However, you can offset the costs of your electricity bill by getting smart about the way you approach HVAC service. Unbeknownst to many homeowners, there are several ways in which you can easily lower the costs of maintaining and repairing your air conditioner. Finally, saving money is literally cool.
- Increase Energy Efficiency to Reduce Wear and Tear
Using your HVAC efficiently isn’t just a smart way to reduce your monthly utility bills. Efficient air conditioners also last longer, which means that they require fewer (and less expensive) repairs. To understand this, it helps to look at some of the common problems that cause systems to be less energy efficient. Dirty filters are a perfect example, since they can cut off the air circulation in your unit. As a result, your system has to draw more power to maintain a noticeable cooling effect, which means that parts like your condenser coil can become overused and shorten their lifespan. Making your system efficient will save you a bundle in replacement parts and labor costs over the years, so make sure your filters are being cleaned and replaced on a regular basis. It’s also a good idea to check your outdoor unit every couple of weeks in warm weather and make sure debris aren’t in a position to enter it, since these can cause similar clogs.
- Replace Old Parts Proactively
You don’t want to replace the components of your system more often than you have to, but there are cases in which a replacement part can save you more money than it costs. This is especially true of older systems, the parts of which may not be efficient by current standards. By simply replacing an old heat pump or radiator, you can make your whole system run more smoothly, which will result in fewer calls to your local HVAC technician.
- Find the Optimum Temperature Range for Your System—and Stick to it!
Many homeowners don’t realize that their HVAC systems have an optimum temperature range—a spectrum of temperatures at which they use energy most efficiently. Once you figure out what your HVACs optimum temperature range is, it’s best to set your thermostat there for as much of your usage as possible. As with many of the strategies on this list, helping to maximize your air conditioner’s efficiency will save you a lot in service costs. To learn what your HVAC’s optimum temperature range is, consult your owner’s manual or ask a service technician for an estimate.
- Take Care of Simple Things by Yourself
Your service technician shouldn’t be the only person who ever works on your HVAC. In fact, the more you can take care of on your own, the less you’ll need to pay a professional for—to a certain extent, anyway. You don’t want to tackle anything that requires advanced skills or intimate knowledge of HVAC systems, but there are plenty of small things you can do to reduce the amount of labour your technician will perform on their next service call. In addition to keeping debris away from your outdoor unit and changing your filters, try pouring a cup of bleach mixed with water down your condensate drain once each year to keep it free from blockage, and check the vents in your home regularly to make sure they’re open. Closed vents can cause too much pressure to build up in your unit, resulting in leaks.
- Go Comparison Shopping for Cost-effective AC Service
Not every aspect of saving money on HVAC service has to do with the way you treat your system. Sometimes it comes down to hiring a contractor who offers quality ac service in Santa Rosa at affordable prices. To narrow down your list of prospects to the most reliable options, make sure the contractors you consider are all licensed and have experience working on your brand of system. Then call each one and ask for their rates—or for a quote if you’re calling about a specific operation.
- Remember: Regular Service is Cheaper than Emergency Service
Once you’ve chosen a contractor, it’s a good idea to have them visit you at least once a year to perform routine maintenance. You’ll have to budget a bit of money for their work, but it will nip most major problems in the bud before they have a chance to become more expensive fixes. Waiting until a problem becomes an emergency can be extremely expensive, so it’s best not to. Scheduling an inspection each spring can prevent a lot of those costs from cropping up when you aren’t expecting them.
Air conditioning is an investment, but you don’t have to spend all your money on service. Follow the steps above, and you’ll quickly see that maintaining your HVAC is within your reach. Contact us for more information.