When temperatures climb into the high 90s at the peak of Florida summer, utility bills often follow the upward trend. Before you stand in front of the open fridge or call the AC repair company, be sure to do some simple yet effective quality checks and easy maintenance to help keep your AC bill low this summer.
If you have been in your attic on a hot day, it may have felt just as hot as it did outside. When an attic is not properly insulated, the heat in the attic could be keeping the home a few degrees warmer. Inspect the insulation to see if it appears to be flat or only a couple inches thick. You can also check the insulation in the walls. It too can deteriorate and sag over time. If you have noticed the insulation sagging, thinning, or deteriorating in either the attic or walls, especially of an older home, it may be time to replace.
Check Weather Stripping
Many exterior door frames have black rubber weather stripping to create a tight seal when closed. This not only helps keep elements out but can help keep cold and heat from slowly leaking out from inside. Over time, weather stripping can tear or lose its grip. Be sure to check for any physical tears in the stripping or signs of leaking by standing on the exterior and placing your hand around the sealed edges of the door. If you feel cool air escaping, you may need to replace the weather stripping.
Replace Air Filters
Air filters not only purify the quality of the air in your home, they can also affect how hard the AC unit has to work to keep the temperature low. A clean air filter in your home’s air returns can help your AC unit pull air through quicker and easier to cool before redirecting into the home. It is recommended that you replace air filters every month or two. If you have pets, it can be recommended that you replace them at least once a month, depending on the filter.
Single-pane windows or older windows can often allow heat in or cooler air to escape. To test the quality of your windows, start by placing your hand on the glass from the inside of the home. If the glass is warm or hot to the touch, chances are it is allowing a lot of heat from outside into the home. Try also checking the windows from the outside by hovering your hand over where the window closes to see if you feel air blowing out. If you experience either of these when testing your windows, consider installing double-pane windows – these are great for helping to regulate indoor temperatures.
One of the easiest and quickest solutions are your blinds. Blinds not only offer privacy but can help keep heat from spreading throughout the home. Consider keeping blinds closed on windows that are exposed to direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day.
Keeping your home cool during the summer doesn’t have to skyrocket your monthly bill. Start these steps early every year to stay ahead of the heat.