Summer is finally here! Portland is one of the best places to spend the hottest season of the year — with cool bike paths and the ocean just a few hours drive away, the potential for outdoor adventures is endless! But on really hot days, you may find yourself seeking refuge in your home. The only problem? Cranking the air up can really start to cost you.
But are your bills spiking just with heavy use, or is there another reason for the increase in expenses?
Common Causes of High Energy Bills
There’s more than one reason that your energy bill may be jumping in price this summer.
Inefficient Cooling Habits
One of the easiest ways for homeowners to counteract high utility costs is to practice efficient cooling! Here are some simple ways to reduce the temperature in your home without the use of your AC:
- Close west-facing blinds during the day. This will cut back on the sunlight that warms your home during the hottest part of the day.
- Use ceiling fans. Did you know switching your ceiling fan so that it rotates counterclockwise in the summer can make a room feel up to eight degrees cooler?
Sometimes though. No matter how efficiently you’re cooling your home, a problem in your HVAC system can cause a spike in cooling costs.
Using a Dirty Air Filter
Part of the annual maintenance you can perform on your system yourself is to change the air filter. Air filters catch airborne contaminants and particles such as dust, insect droppings, skin particles, pet hair, pollen, and more! Over time, the filter clogs up and becomes filled with debris — making it impossible for air to push through easily. If you don’t change the filter when this happens, your HVAC system will work extra hard to force air through the clogged filter — causing a spike in your bills. If you do change the filter, you keep your indoor air clean and avoid unnecessary expenses.
Most manufacturers recommend changing out the filter every 30-90 days, but if you or a loved one struggle with allergies or respiratory issues, you may need to change the filter more regularly.
Forgetting to Schedule AC Maintenance
Annual maintenance is an important step in keeping your system running efficiently. Scheduling spring maintenance allows a tech to check out your HVAC unit and spot potential problems or future issues. Something small may not seem like an issue right away, but it’s likely to cost you down the road.
Ignoring Necessary Repairs
Whether they’re repairs recommended by a professional HVAC technician or changes you’ve noticed yourself — maybe a strange noise or odd odor — ignoring problems in your HVAC system only makes things worse.
If the steering wheel on your car was feeling shaky or the brakes weren’t responding as well as they used to, you wouldn’t ignore it (or, we hope you wouldn’t). In the same way that you may seek the source of the problem in your car, so too you should try and seek solutions for any problems within your air conditioner.
“What’s the big deal,” you may be wondering? Not only will ignoring issues with your AC only cause them to worsen over time, but you’ll be paying out of pocket every month you don’t get your system fixed! When functioning through a problem, your HVAC unit will be working twice as hard to cool your home to the desired temperature.
HVAC system service can be costly, but it’s nothing compared to the out-of-pocket expenses you could be facing by ignoring or forgetting to maintain your system. Contact Morrison Heating & Cooling for your cooling concerns! Our team can assist you with any repairs, maintenance, and replacement needs you may have.
Contact our team online or by phone at (503) 683-7077 today!