The hot summer months are nearly upon us, so it’s important to remember that our air conditioning/heating unit is our home’s largest user of electricity. Fortunately, it’s possible to save up to 30% or even more on your heating and cooling bills if we follow some important tips from KUA.

Set the thermostat on “auto” at 80 degrees or higher during the summer months. For increased energy savings, set the thermostat at 82 / 84 degrees in the summer while away from home.

Install a programmable Wi-Fi compatible thermostat, which will not forget to adjust temperatures for energy efficiency when needed.
This is easy to install and allows you to program your unit to turn on/off at certain times, allowing you to save precious conditioned air and money when not needed.

A simple and very inexpensive maintenance job in air conditioning and heating systems is to replace or clean dirty air filters once a month. Filters that dirty make units operate longer, increasing costs. Clean filters also keep dirt and dust out of fans and motors, prolonging their useful life. If your filters are extremely dirty, examine the coils of the unit to see if they also need cleaning.

Shade and trim shrubs away from outdoor compressor units.
Anything restricting free airflow around or over the top of the unit will cause it to operate longer.

Remember to inspect ductwork and repair leaks large and small.
Major breaks in ductwork are quite common, both in air supply and return systems. These, along with numerous small leaks due to poor seals between ductwork sections are often responsible for system inefficiencies. Carefully inspect your air duct system, including ducts in crawl spaces and attics. Major breaks should be repaired and joints sealed. (In order to qualify for a KUA rebate, a free on-site Energy Audit is required.)

Have system serviced by a qualified air conditioning contractor before the cooling and heating seasons.
This should include but is not limited to, the cleaning of evaporator and condenser coils, making all necessary adjustments, checking thermostat calibration, testing the refrigerant levels and sealing any leaks, and inspecting/sealing all duct work.

Add or upgrade building insulation.
Adding insulation can increase your building’s resistance to heat loss and gain. Insulation works year-round to reduce your heating and cooling costs. Different insulation materials have different properties and the “R” values. The higher the “R” value, the higher the material’s resistance to heat transfer. (In order to qualify for a KUA rebate, a free on-site Energy Audit is required.)

Check weather-stripping and caulking around windows and doors.
Homes that are reasonably airtight cost less to cool and heat. Plastic shields are available for jalousies and poorly fitting windows and doors.

KUA recommends a 16 SEER heat-pump system, or better, for replacement. (In order to qualify for a KUA rebate, a free on-site Energy Audit is required.)

Protect windows from the heat gain in summer and heat loss.
In the winter by installing awnings, draperies, window film, or shades and planting deciduous trees. The Department of Energy recommends a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) in Florida climate with an SHGC <0.25.

Want to learn more about how you can increase your energy savings at your home or business? Check out KUA’s online energy audit here.