CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — As the blazing summer stretches on, air conditioners are running nonstop and energy bills are soaring. Fortunately, the heating and cooling experts at S&S Mechanical Contractors have offered the community some effective money-saving tricks.
Trevor Eaton, comfort consultant at S&S Mechanical Contractors, told St. George News there are several simple adjustments homeowners can make to lower their power costs while staying comfortable and cool.
Get ‘smart’ about climate control
Many people adjust their thermostat throughout the day in an attempt to balance comfort with energy efficiency, but a simple upgrade can eliminate the guesswork.
Compatible with most home air conditioners, smart thermostats are designed to make life easier through automation. As one example, the learning thermostat from Nest tracks and remembers its owner’s behavior patterns and preferences, using this data to create a schedule.
“If you come home every day at say, 5 p.m., it will start to set the house to your comfort level,” Eaton said.
Conversely, smart thermostats can help save money by raising the temperature when no one is home and can also be programmed remotely via a smartphone app.
Small adjustment can mean big savings
Keeping a thermostat set to a few degrees higher in the summer can make a significant difference when it comes to energy costs.
“The warmer you keep the house, the less it has to work to keep at that temperature,” Eaton said.
The experts at S&S recommend a thermostat setting of 78 degrees – or even higher for some desert dwellers.
Recognizing that many customers prefer their homes cooler than that, Eaton recommends increasing air flow with ceiling or box fans rather than introducing more cold air.
The secret weapon for form and function
Along these lines, ceiling fans are installed in most homes but are often underused. However, they can be the key to cutting energy costs during the warmer months.
Although ceiling fans don’t actually contribute to lowering the temperature of a room, Eaton said the additional air movement they provide can be enough to make the occupants feel comfortable even with the thermostat set a bit higher.
Ceiling fans can also improve air conditioner performance by helping move air trapped in corners of the house back to the return.
Although ceiling fans don’t use much power, Eaton recommends running them only when someone is home.
Don’t freeze up
Subtle temperature variations throughout a house are to be expected. But when one room feels especially warm, homeowners will sometimes close registers in some parts of the house to try and push more cold air to that hot spot.
The problem with this practice is that closing too many registers restricts air flow through the entire air conditioning system and may cause the coil to freeze. Eaton cautions against doing so without making sure that the duct port is adequately balanced and said that S&S technicians frequently encounter this problem when servicing customers’ homes during the summer.
“People will call and say their air conditioner isn’t working,” he said. “We show up, and they’ve got too many vents closed in one area of the house and all of them open on the other side.”
Ultimately, energy efficiency begins with a well-maintained heating and cooling system, Eaton said. Regular service can help extend the life of an air conditioner through all the sweltering Southern Utah summers to come.
To learn more about the products and services offered by S&S Mechanical Contractors, call or text 435-994-TIPS (8477). Browse their website or call 435-628-4334 to schedule a visit from one of their “Trust Certified” technicians today.
Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.
• S P O N S O R E D C O N T E N T •
- S&S Mechanical Contractors | Address: 4008 S. 1630 East Suite 3, St. George | Hours: Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (24/7 service) | Telephone: 435-628-4334 | Website.
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