Getting Your Heating and Cooling Ready for Summer
Spring is finally here, as Ontario sees the last of snowfall and winter storms. Things are starting to warm up a bit, so most homeowners are breaking out their air conditioners. April and May are months where it can be hot during the day ad cool during the night, so Ontario Energy Group would like to share some energy saving tips to get the most out of both your home heating and cooling units.
Insulate Your Hot Water Pipes
Your hot water pipes tend to run through the coolest areas of your home, such as your basement. Insulating your water pipes can allow for your hot water to retain between 2*-3*C of heat, which allows you to set your water tank to a lower heating temperature. It also shortens the time it takes for your water to heat up, saving on your water usage.
Depending on the size of your home and your pipe layout, you may have to pay an expert to do some work. However you can easily insulate exposed pipes in your basement with insulating foam and electrical tape. This project can be done in just a couple hours and the total cost could be as little as $10 for materials. You can expect to save between $10-$15 in reduced energy and water use over the course of a year, and it improves the quality of your hot water almost immediately.
Clean Your Air Conditioner Regularly
Restricted airflow on your A/C unit can increase the amount of energy it uses to cool your home or prevent the flow of cool entirely. You should check your A/C when you start using it again, and every month thereafter. Things to inspect are frost buildup, air leaks, dirty coils, and dirty air filters.
Frost buildups and filter problems are the most common problems you’ll encounter, and should be cleaned if there’s any residue there. Expect to clean your filter roughly every three months to maintain good air flow and improve the quality of cooling. For coil problems or significant air leaks, it’s best to consult a professional for repairs.
Install a Smart Thermostat
You may need professional servicing to install one of these, but the hassle is far outweighed by the value of installing a programmable smart thermostat. These devices can automatically regulate trends in your household cooling and adjust the A/C unit to dispense less or more cool air as needed. These thermostats are highly energy efficient, and compliment any EnergyStar certified A/C unit quite well. You may be able to reduce your home cooling costs by up to 15% over the Summer.
If You Need Repairs, Do It Soon
Calling a repairman in the Summer is like shopping on Christmas Eve: you can do it, but so will everyone else. Service calls reach their apex in the heat of Summer as A/C units and other utilities need immediate attention. For people who don’t regularly check their A/C units, problems will start to develop in early June to mid July as these units suffer wear and tear amid intensive daily use.
Don’t get stuck in the heat on this one. You should install and inspect your air conditioner before the end of April if possible, and definitely before the middle of May. That way, you can take advantage of servicing that’s not overloaded with a glut of Ontario homeowners scrambling to get their A/C fixed.
Get Annual Servicing
Even with all the steps you can take to care for your air conditioner, fixing a problem is a lot more expensive than preventing it. That’s why Ontario Energy Group recommends you schedule annual servicing to detect and prevent potential issues with your A/C unit. This might include drain cleaning, lubricating parts, electrical testing, and adjusting the refrigerant.
That last tip is by far the most important one. Repair bills can add up, and inefficiencies in your home cooling will show on your energy bill if you don’t take the right steps to prevent them. As we transition into the heat of Summer, make sure your air conditioner is installed, up to code, and cleaned as early as possible so you can enjoy it all season long.