Reduce Your Utility Bills by Keeping Your AC Running Efficiently
In an effort to promote energy conservation and as a reflection of rising electricity costs nationwide, Southern California Edison summer rates opens in a new window are coming in June for everyone here in the San Gabriel Valley. In this plan, you pay not only for the amount of electricity you consume, but also for the times at which you use it as well. In other words, all of us here in the Pasadena, La Crescenta, and Alhambra areas need to get smart as to the “whens” and “hows” of saving money when it comes to the home power bill.
The most expensive time for using residential electricity, according to the company? Weekdays 2-8PM. The cheapest will be nighttime, 10PM to 8AM, while the middle priced tier will be 8AM-2PM, and 8PM to 10PM.
It’s all a little confusing, but there are some easy ways to address these rising rates without too much hassle.
Smart Appliance Use
Avoid running appliances like the dishwasher or washer/dryer at peak tier rate times.
This means skipping the dishes until 8PM, or avoiding doing laundry until 10PM, if you can wait that long. There’s no getting around it: heavy appliance use during the expensive 2-8PM tier will result in a bigger electricity bill.
Consider an HVAC Inspection
Given the price increase on energy, summer is not the time for an HVAC system on the fritz. If you’ve put it off, consider scheduling routine yearly maintenance opens in a new window on your air condition and heating system now. Your HVAC professional can check ducts for leaks, confirm the condenser and other essential equipment is running correctly, recalibrate the thermostat if necessary and change out air filters for peak performance. Remember, a poorly functioning HVAC system doesn’t just affect your indoor comfort. It also uses far more energy than necessary, in turn costing you more money.
Do a Home Check
In addition to scheduling a visit with a professional technician, you can also perform a basic inspection yourself. Are any air vents blocked by furniture, or other household items? Are there drafty areas caused by windows or doors that don’t shut correctly? Is your outside condenser free and clear of all foliage and environmental debris? All these situations can have a negative impact on your HVAC functioning, resulting in less energy efficiency and more dollars spent. Another tip: when it gets really hot outside, shut all curtains and blinds indoors. You’ll keep the cooler air from your HVAC inside, and the temperature down throughout the day.
Mindful (Thermostat) Models
If you’re not home all day, think about installing a Smart Thermostat opens in a new window instead of an older, conventional model. This way you don’t risk leaving the AC on when you’re not around to enjoy it (and it’s more expensive). Furthermore, you can preprogram these models to lower and raise the temperature in your home strategically, in keeping with the tiers dictated by SCE.
Finally, talk to a heating and air conditioning professional about ways to upgrade or even replace your system if it’s really outdated. Remember, it’s actually not being thrifty to hold onto an old HVAC system. You’ll spend far more in utility costs than you will with newer, more energy efficient equipment over the long term. It pays to save energy!
Need a consult on your home HVAC system? Call AirTro today. We’re the heating and air conditioning company Los Angeles trusts, since 1969! (626) 357-3535.