When an air conditioning system comes on for the summer in New Jersey, you expect to see a rise in electrical bills. There’s no avoiding this cost increase if you want to cool down your home to comfortable levels. But if your electric bills seem as if they’re climbing higher than ever even though you don’t think there’s a comparable increase in how much you’re using the AC, you may have a larger problem. It could be with the air conditioner, the ventilation system, the thermostat, or elsewhere.
The trouble might be an easy one to remedy. In other cases, however, you’ll have to call on HVAC professionals for assistance. For service for your air conditioning in Palisades Park, NJ or elsewhere in the Tri-State Area, make sure you only turn to professionals.
Below are four common causes of a rise in cooling costs:
#1 – The air conditioner is too old
What counts as “too old”? Most air conditioners have a manufacturer’s estimated lifespan of 10 to 15 years, so we’d consider anything over 15 to be “too old.” At that point, no matter how well cared-for the system has been (i.e. regular maintenance done each spring) the components will have worn down to the point if affecting energy efficiency. The best route is to have HVAC professionals replace the system.
#2 – The air filter hasn’t been changed recently
The air filter that protects the interior of the AC from debris coming through the return ducts becomes clogged after 1 to 3 months. (The time depends on the filter strength.) If you forget to regularly change the filter for a new one, this clogging will force the blower motor to work harder and increase energy consumption. We recommend putting regular filter changes on your calendar so you don’t forget this important task.
#3 – There are air leaks in the ductwork
Ducts can develop breaks and holes that will allow air in the ventilation system to escape. This air, which has already been cooled, will simply go to waste as it leaks from the ducts. In fact, these leaks can account for a loss of up to 30% of the air in the ductwork—and that adds up to tremendous waste. Professionals will take care of duct testing and sealing to correct his problem.
#4 – The thermostat is being set incorrectly
You may have fallen into bad habits with setting the thermostat. You don’t want to push it down to its lowest setting when you’re hot, then pull it back up when you get too cold. A steady, higher temperature is the best way to conserve power. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends a daytime temperature of 78°F, with an increase of 8°–10°F during the night. We also recommend upgrading to a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat to make settings easier.
If you’re unsure about the cause of your high electrical bills during the summer, contact us and we’ll take a look at the AC, thermostat, and ductwork. You can trust us to give you the best recommendation for how to solve the problem, whether it’s a replacement system, AC repairs, or duct sealing.
Advanced Mechanical Services offers 24/7 service for air conditioning systems throughout the Tri-State area.