Summertime in Greenville is often hot and humid. Area homeowners rely on their air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits to remain cool and comfortable. While it’s normal for your monthly utility bills to increase slightly during the hottest part of the year, you shouldn’t notice any drastic increases. These tips can help you cut cooling costs without forfeiting comfort.

AC Replacement

The Department of Energy (DOE) updated its HVAC energy efficiency standards in 2023 to reflect industry innovations. Systems made today are at least 8% more efficient than those made just a decade ago. If you have an older system, this could be the time to upgrade. You may also be able to take advantage of rebates and tax rebates to help recoup that initial investment.

Zoned HVAC

Whether replacing an older system or upgrading your current system, zoning is a worthwhile consideration. For central systems, it’s often achieved with a variable-speed fan and automatic duct dampers. With these upgrades, you can maintain ideal temperatures in the zones you’re using and energy-efficient temps in those you’re not.

Cooling Tune-up

If you’ve had your current system for at least a year, schedule HVAC maintenance in spring. We recommend booking your appointment before you ever need to turn on your AC. There are many great reasons to do this, including your HVAC warranty and avoiding repairs. Another is reduced energy consumption. The DOE suggests savings of about 15% for the average household. This is largely because your technician will clean your evaporator coil. It’s the number one culprit for wasted energy consumption with air conditioners and heat pumps.

Smart Thermostat

The DOE advises a summer temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. The DOE considers it the most efficient setting. It may be too toasty for some, but the closer you can get while remaining comfortable, the more you’ll save. The DOE also recommends a programmable thermostat. If you don’t have one yet, it’s time to upgrade, as it can reduce your cooling costs by up to 10%. A smart thermostat can automatically save you money while you’re sleeping and away from home.

HVAC Filter

A clogged HVAC filter restricts airflow and causes energy consumption to rise. If you have a central system, check your HVAC filter at least once a month. Swap it out as needed. A clogged filter will have caked-up dust on it or make a whistling sound. If you have a ductless system, each indoor unit has its own filter. Check them at least every two weeks, and wash them as needed.

Duct Inspection

A duct inspection may be part of a home energy audit. Otherwise, the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends scheduling a video camera inspection once a year. You can generally schedule this inspection alongside your spring HVAC tune-up. There are two key concerns with ducts: excessive dust accumulation and worn seals. Dust accumulation can lead to blockages that disrupt the airflow balance of the system.

Duct Repair

Worn seals can lead to loss of as much as 40% of the air in the ducts. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends the aerosol method for resealing. Bad seals are the most common cause of air leakage, but it can also be due to failed mounting hardware, which you should replace. If you have insulated ducts, you should also replace insulation that has worn out over time or become wet.

Crawl Space Encapsulation

Many homes in our service area have crawl spaces, which can undermine your air conditioning. Experts recommend crawl space encapsulation. It helps to avoid humidity in the crawl space and the home. The AC won’t have to work as hard and will be cheaper to operate. If crawl space humidity is particularly high, you can also add a dehumidifier. It will make it much easier to achieve the EPA-recommended 30% to 50% relative humidity in your home.

Would You Like Help Saving Money This Summer?

Tuck & Howell, Inc. has specialized in cooling for Greenville homeowners since 1969. We install, maintain and repair central air conditioning systems and ductless mini-splits. Our team also specializes in air-source and geothermal heat pumps, electric and gas furnaces, air purifiers, dehumidifiers and humidifiers. We fabricate sheet metal and install, repair and upgrade ductwork. Our company encapsulates crawl spaces. We also have licensed plumbers who clean drains, fix leaks, hook up appliances, upgrade fixtures, install water heaters and much more. Contact us today with any questions about these services or to schedule an appointment.

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