Energy auditors from the Florida Public Service Commission have come up
with 15 commonly-seen contributors to inefficient home cooling and high
utility bills during Florida’s sultry summer months. Investigate
these costly culprits from one of the most trusted Orlando air conditioning
companies and you could save big money on your electric and gas bills!
1. A dirty, clogged air filter: We are all admonished to regularly change
the A/C filter but how often do we really do it? Restricted air flow increases
strain on your air conditioning unit while decreasing the comfort level
in your home. For optimum air comfort and quality, check and/or change
your air filter every month during the summer and during any period of
heavy use. This also prolongs the life of your air conditioning system.
2. A poorly-insulated ceiling: The air you are paying to have chilled and
circulated throughout the house can escape through a poorly-insulated
ceiling when it mingles with super-heated air from the attic. This can
have an effect on your home staying cool.
3. A thermostat set too low: Did you know that home cooling costs in Florida
can increase by nearly 12% for every degree below 78 that a thermostat
is set? Sure, you can crank it down to 70, but this will almost double
your energy costs and a labored A/C system, running almost non-stop to
combat the intense Florida sun. Researchers recommend moderate cooling,
including turning it up a few notches when nobody’s home.
4. A thermostat set to “FAN”: Setting your system so that the
fan is constantly blowing means that some of the time it is blowing warm,
moist, and un-conditioned air. Moisture from leaky ducts will increase
the humidity in your house and make the A/C unit have to work harder when
it kicks in again. Setting your thermostat to “AUTO” is a
5. Warm air entering from outside: When humid summer air oozes into your
home through poorly-sealed windows and doors, dampers, outlets and other
crevices, your A/C system must labor to dry out the moisture, reducing
its effectiveness and increasing its running time. Florida studies show
that nearly half (38%) of the unit’s operating time is spent de-humidifying
the sweltering outdoor air.
6. Mismatched components in the A/C unit: If you have an old system that
has been pieced together via repairs over the years, you may have some
mismatched elements which contribute to inefficient operation. To ensure
optimal performance, contact an experienced and reputable HVAC service
company such as Del-Air. We will make certain your condenser and evaporator
sections correctly match the manufacturer’s specifications and that
your entire A/C system is running smoothly and efficiently.
7. Accumulated dust and debris on the evaporator coils: Evaporator coils
need to be clean and debris-free in order to work properly. Contact Del-Air
to schedule a complete system inspection today! One of our knowledgeable
service technicians will make sure your a/c system is not suffering from
decreased airflow and lower energy efficiency, which can degrade nearly
5% annually with dirty evaporator coils.
8. Does your pool pump have a timer? If not, chances are your pool pump
is running all the time. When operating all year round, cost estimates for this
approach is around $800 – for the running pump alone! Investing
in a pool pump timer is a wise decision, which can lead to tremendous
savings, typically paying for itself in just a few months.
9. An incorrectly-calibrated thermostat: If your thermostat is set to 78
but the system is working to maintain a temperature of 74, would you know
it? The thermometer on the faceplate of your thermostat could be displaying
an inaccurate reading if not correctly calibrated. This is more common
than you might think – some thermostats have been known to display
readings more than 10 degrees in error. Because even a slight inaccuracy
can lead to inflated utility bills, we encourage you to contact Del-Air
to schedule a service call – we’ll make sure your thermostat
is correctly calibrated!
10. A blocked return air grill: Your return air grill is usually placed
in your floor, and energy inspectors frequently find them partially or
completely covered by rugs and/or furniture. When the indoor HVAC coil
receives an inadequate flow of return air, its running temperature can
become so low that ice forms on it, freezing operation and potentially
shortening the life of your a/c system.
11. An A/C duct ventilating into your garage: Many modern homes have optional
air conditioning ducts that ventilate into the garage. Check to see if
yours does, and whether you are unwittingly pouring cooled air where you
don’t need or want it.
12. Your doors are not insulated with weather stripping: A typical ½”
gap around your entire door adds up to the equivalent of a grapefruit-sized
hole. If you imagine how much warm, humid air would pour into such a hole
from outside, you can easily see the value of properly weather stripping
the top, bottom and sides of your home’s doors to keep cool air
in and hot, moist air out.
13. An old refrigerator or freezer in the garage: When replacing an appliance,
many homeowners are tempted to keep the old one in the garage for extra
storage capacity. The problem is, the garage is usually the same temperature
as the outdoors and your old, inefficient unit must work extra hard to
maintain temperature during hot summer months. This can easily add an
additional $50 or more to your utility bills.
14. Leaky windows and doors due to old, cracked caulking: Similar to the
value of weather stripping your doors, ensuring that the myriad crevices
around caulked areas of windows, doors, pipes, siding, etc. are not pouring
in the humid outdoor air is a worthwhile endeavor. Your typical all-purpose
silicone caulking is inexpensive and easy to apply. Sealing up all the
minuscule cracks in your home will make your comfort zone much more affordable!
15. A flattened or kinked flex duct in your attic: If certain rooms in
your home, particularly larger areas such as the family room or kitchen,
are receiving decreased air supply, your a/c system must work much harder
to cool them to the temperature set on your thermostat. Del-Air has found
that the culprit is sometimes a flattened flex duct in the attic, restricting
air flow to a certain room. Most people rarely go to their attics and
wouldn’t suspect such a simple cause to the problem. Del-Air has
the friendly and experienced team of HVAC service personnel to help you
stay cool and comfortable during Florida’s hot summers!
If you live in Florida, there are two things you can count on: hot, muggy
weather and the proven reliability of Del-Air. We’re one of Orlando’s top air conditioning companies and
we’ve been helping Floridians remain cool and comfortable since
1983. Del-Air has earned a reputation for fast, friendly service delivered by our expert team of service professionals.