There’s a reason why everyone gets excited about summertime. Whether it’s time off from work or school, or simply the warm weather, it always seems like there’s more stuff going on during the summer months. This is one of the main reasons why it’s so important to prepare your home for the hot season ahead. Traditional air conditioning and plumbing fixes can be very expensive, and if you’d like more cash around this summer, be sure to check out these easy tips to conserving energy and saving money.
Quick fixes and checks anyone can make
While many air conditioning, plumbing and other HVAC issues certainly need the help of a certified professional, there are plenty of quick do-it-yourself tests and maintenance checks you can do around your home, either by alleviating the problem or alerting you before it requires expensive service.
- Check your AC coils and air filters for excess dirt or wear
- Clean or replace your air filters every month
- Vacuum around vents, basements, crawl spaces and windows/doors
- Inspect your attic for proper insulation
- Check your drain pan for signs of excess moisture
The potential issues above do not constitute an HVAC emergency, but remember, the entire point of an HVAC system is to move air and energy around your home and almost nothing will prevent that faster than dirt and moisture. A healthy and efficient air conditioning system will be clean and dirt free.
Routine pre summer maintenance
Like any large piece of machinery, scheduled maintenance is the best way to reduce cost and the potential for expensive replacements. Routine check-ups from a professional will always be cheaper than a lump sum payment for a new system, so it’s important to call out a professional plumber or HVAC serviceman at the beginning of the spring or summer and have a yearly warm weather check-up.
Hiring a professional might also be the best way to handle small repairs that might still be too complicated for a normal homeowner to attempt to fix. This could include replacing belts, installing a new AC unit, or more complex procedures.
Energy conservation starts with management
Whether you’re looking after your electric bill or an entire nature reserve, good management is the key to conserving and responsibily taking care of any environmental situation. This starts with the installation of a good thermostat that will allow you to program your air conditioning to turn on and off depending on the day, or time of day. For instance, it might be a smart idea to adjust your temperature setting during the day if no one is home, or to turn it down automatically late at night.
Are you going out of town on summer vacation? Remember to turn your AC and water heater down or off altogether. In fact, you can save 3-5% of your power bill for every 10 degrees you adjust your water heater. But, also remember never to leave your home’s temperature too far over where you would like it once you return. While changing the thermostat setting can conserve energy while you are away, having to cool your house back down from a large difference could end up costing more in the long run.
Be aware of the humidity levels, temperature, and airflow in different parts of your house. Your system might be working great, but only in one part of your house, and that certainly doesn’t sound very efficient.
Do-it-yourself installations that conserve energy
Technological advancements and the popularity of green movements have led to the emergence of relatively cheap improvements and quick fixes you can make around your home that will drastically improve your homes efficiency in cooling itself this summer. Install double pane windows to reduce energy loss both in the winter and summer. Add a reflective coating to your roof, or new shingles that will reflect the suns rays and keep your home cooler. Consider using fluorescent or LED bulbs in your home, which stay cooler and use less energy than incandescent.
Some outdoor installments you can make would be awnings or trees to create natural shade for your home. These fixes aren’t as simple as they sound, but can be fantastic energy savers nonetheless.
Plumbing fixes aren’t just for cold months
While cracked and frozen pipes are usually caused by Old Man Winter, that doesn’t mean all plumbing problems disappear when it’s warm. Many regions see increased rain or flash floods in the summer and residents in these zones should be prepared for overflowing sewage drains or water pipes.
Summer fun means dirty clothes, and dirty clothes means stress on your washing machine. Check your washing machine hoses for bulges, leaks, cracks, and be sure to remove dryer lint regularly. Washing machine hoses should be replaced approximately every three years.
Rubber gaskets, low-flow shower-heads, and repairing leaky faucets are all great ways to conserve water during the summer months as well.
The key to summertime conservation and efficiency often has to do with simple, albeit innovative, fixes that almost anyone can do. But, if you need the help of a professional to assist you with plumbing or HVAC services, be sure to contact Newcomb and Company today. As NATE-certified professionals, Newcomb and Company can help you find innovative solutions to your heating and cooling obstacles.