Trying to reduce AC costs

In Lakeland, Florida, the summer seasons are especially long, hot and sticky. The heat and humidity are brutal. Daytime temperatures regularly soar into the nineties, and we rely on the air conditioner for a minimum of eight straight months. My electric bills are a big part of the household budget. I continually search for new opportunities to trim costs. I spent a small fortune on an industry-leading, Energy Star rated air conditioner with a 26 SEER. The system features variable-speed operation, which allows it to adapt output to the exact needs of the living environment. Rather than run at maximum speed until achieving the thermostat setting and then shutting off completely, the cooling system adjusts in tiny one percent increments anywhere between forty and one hundred percent capacity. The longer run times and lower speeds reduces energy consumption and costs. Plus, the system has more time to filter out air contaminants and manage excess humidity. To ensure the cooling system continues to operate at peak reliability and energy efficiency, I am conscientious about replacing air filters every month. I have signed up for a maintenance plant that includes a comprehensive diagnostic testing, cleaning and adjustment from a licensed HVAC specialist. I also schedule ductwork testing every other year. To lessen demands on the air conditioner, I keep the blinds closed during the day. I rarely use the oven and keep the lights off. Just recently, I installed ceiling fans in most of the rooms. They are attractive and also help to improve comfort. The cans encourage the heat up and out, creating a cooling effect.


Lakeland Florida Air conditioning repair

Not happy about the winters

It has taken me quite a while to adjust to living in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The weather is difficult, but the landscape is stunning. Whenever I have free time, I head to Falls Park to get some fresh air. I love to shop at the farmer’s market, cycle the trails, take a walk, spot wildlife and get lunch at the Falls Overlook Cafe. The Park offers more than 128 acres to explore just north of downtown. It’s loathed right along the Big Sioux River and features a truly impressive waterfall with a drop of one hundred feet. There is a five-story observation tower that offers a spectacular view. I spend a lot of time enjoying outdoor activities whenever the weather permits. Late spring, summer and early fall are ideal. In the middle of July, the heat and humidity can be a challenge, but I don’t mind getting hot and sweaty. When the winter weather sets in, I’m often trapped indoors for months at a time. I simply can’t get accustomed to temperatures below zero. It snows for months at a time, adding up to an accumulation of nearly four feet. I am unhappy about needing to bundle up in boots, sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves and a wool coat. I don’t like shoveling snow multiple times per day. Any time I want to go somewhere, it’s necessary to devote at least twenty minutes to brushing snow off the car, scraping ice off the windshield and running the defrost. My heating bills are huge. Even though I wear layers of clothes and thick socks and slippers, I continually raise the thermostat setting. I just can’t keep warm. I am so worried that my furnace might quit and leave me without heat during the middle of a blizzard. I have enrolled in a maintenance plan with a local Sioux Falls HVAC dealer that includes 24/7 emergency repairs with no overtime fees.


Sioux Falls South Dakota Heating technician

Importance of HVAC maintenance

My house in Fort Worth, Texas, is outfitted with centralized air conditioning and a furnace.

  • The air conditioner runs for the majority of the year.

We often experience temperatures in the mid to high nineties and excess humidity is a constant concern. The air conditioner carries a heavy workload. While the winters aren’t quite as long, we do experience conditions below freezing and traces of snow. In order to keep monthly utility bills as low as possible, I invested into top-of-the-line heating and cooling equipment. The furnace achieves a 98% AFUE rating and the air conditioner offers a 26 SEER. Both units feature adaptable-speed technology that allows automatic variation of speed to match the needs of the home. The systems are able to adjust in one percent increments anywhere between forty and one hundred percent capacity. By running for longer cycles at lower speeds, the operation uses less energy and makes less noise. I would like the air conditioner and furnace to last as long as possible. I am diligent about replacing air filters every four to six weeks. I have enrolled into a maintenance plan with a local Fort Worth HVAC contractor. They send a NATE-certified and licensed technician to the house in the spring to service the cooling unit and in the fall to tune-up the heating unit. The technician provides a thorough testing, cleaning and adjustment. He checks everything from the accuracy of the thermostat to the efficiency of the ductwork. If he finds any minor issues, he takes care of these repairs. I can be sure that the furnace and air conditioner are operating at their best when the season starts. Plus, this proactive maintenance is necessary to validate the manufacturer’s warranty coverage.

Fort Worth Texas Cooling equipment

Overlooking the ductwork is a mistake

My house in Birmingham, Alabama, is outfitted with a central heating and cooling system.

I have an air conditioner to handle the summer months and a furnace to cover the winter season.

The two units share ductwork that is concealed inside walls, ceilings and the attic. For the majority of the year, either the air conditioner or furnace is running. Because of constant use, the ductwork is extremely important. It is also easy to forget about and neglect. I am very conscientious about hiring a local Birmingham HVAC contractor to provide service for the AC in the spring and furnace in the fall. I am diligent about regular filter changes. Ignoring the ductwork led to some problems with indoor air quality and energy waste. I noticed that every time the furnace started up, there was a great deal of dust swirling around in the air. My kids often complained of sore throats, congestion and difficulty sleeping. It was necessary to dust and vacuum far more frequently. Plus, our monthly utility bills suddenly were much higher than normal. When I Googled my complaints with the system and read the possible causes, I realized the ductwork was most likely to blame. An inspection and testing performed by a licensed HVAC contractor revealed leaks at the seams. Approximately 20% of our conditioned air was lost by way of these gaps. Contaminants were getting pulled into the system and spread throughout the house. Because the ductwork isn’t readily accessible, I had no idea how this problem could be fixed. Fortunately the HVAC company specializes in a process called Aeroseal that targets flaws in the ductwork from the inside. They pumped highly pressurized air laced with adhesive particles into the system to create an airtight seal.

Cooling workman in Birmingham Alabama

High humidity in Tampa requires a dehumidifier

Moving to Tampa, Florida, was a big change.

I grew up in the northeastern part of the country, where the weather is chilly and damp for the majority of the year.

I was accustomed to eight straight months of running the furnace and dealing with sub zero temperatures and an abundance of snow. Snow shovels, ice scrapers, rock salt and heavy boots were necessities. There were issues with insufficient humidity, such as frizzy hair, chapped lips and static shock. The temperature in Tampa seldom drops below the mid fifties, even in the middle of the winter. There seems to be two distinct seasons. For almost half the year, the conditions are pleasantly warm. For the other half, the heat and humidity are brutal. Temperatures climb into the upper nineties and the excessive moisture becomes stifling. There are concerns with mold and mildew growth, wood furnishings warping and aggravated symptoms of allergies and asthma. The high humidity levels make the air feel warmer and lead to lower thermostat settings. This puts added strain on the air conditioner and results in higher energy bills. After consulting with an HVAC contractor located in Tampa, I decided to install a whole-home dehumidifier. The device is incorporated right into the central cooling system and works to extract moisture from the air as it passes through. The home feels far more comfortable at a higher thermostat setting, and I’m saving money every month. Lessening the demands on the air conditioner should reduce the chance of repairs and contribute to a longer service life. With the humidity under control, I feel more productive during the day and sleep better at night.

Tampa Florida a/c tune up