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As you have probably noticed, it’s been extremely hot around Olathe and the greater Kansas City area this summer. This means that plenty of people are looking for ways to beat the summer heat and save money on their utility bills at the same time. As your friendly neighborhood heating and cooling professionals, we’ve decided to put together a few tips on how you can help boost your HVAC system’s efficiency this summer. 

We know that not everyone is handy around the house, so we’ve ranked the following tasks from easiest to most difficult for the average homeowner to perform. A few of these items will require the assistance of an HVAC service company, but others can be done in no time with what you already have around the house!

The EASIEST Ways to Boost Your HVAC System’s Efficiency:

1. Schedule Regular Professional Maintenance: Scheduling tune-ups twice each year with an Olathe heating and cooling professional can help to catch and address minor issues before they become major problems and ensure that your system is running optimally. This is probably the easiest way to boost your system’s efficiency since it requires nothing more than a telephone call to Davenport Service Company at (913) 441-2222!

2. Use Ceiling Fans Strategically: Ceiling fans cool people, not rooms, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be useful during the summer heat. If you run the ceiling fan when you’re in a room, it will help make the room feel cooler, allowing you to set your thermostat higher and save money on your utility bills as your air conditioner runs less. Just remember to shut off the fans when you leave the room. They aren’t helping anything while you’re not there.

3. Keep Vents Unblocked: Your HVAC system needs to circulate air throughout the house in order to work properly. If your vents are blocked by rugs, furniture, toys, and so on, the system doesn’t know that those vents are closed, and it will continue trying to cool that space, even though air can’t reach it. This can overwork your HVAC system’s compressor and lead to higher utility bills as it struggles to keep up.

4. Clear the Area Around Outdoor Units: Outdoor air conditioners and heat pumps need to be able to pull in outside air to function, which means that they need to be unobscured. You should trim back any bushes, shrubs, or other foliage near your outdoor units, and make sure that there’s nothing crowding them. It’s also a good idea to keep them clean. Grass trimmings, leaves, and other debris can clog them up if you’re not careful.

5. Optimize Your Thermostat Settings: Turning the thermostat up and down throughout the day is not the best way to run your HVAC system. Ideally, you should set your home to a specific temperature while you’re there and then leave the thermostat alone. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends 78 degrees Fahrenheit (26°C) as a good spot to both stay cool and keep your utility bills low. Keeping your thermostat set to the same temperature also reduces the likelihood that you’ll overwork your HVAC system.

6. Change Filters Regularly: Changing your air filters regularly is one of the best things that you can do for your home HVAC system. Most filters should be changed every month or two, depending on the filters you use and the needs of your system. While most filters are pretty simple to replace, there can be more to it than just tossing the old one and putting in a new one. Fortunately, we’ve written an article to help you out, so click here to learn all about changing your A/C filter.

Some MORE DIFFICULT Ways to Boost Your HVAC System’s Efficiency: 

7. Install a Programmable or Smart Thermostat: This requires a little more legwork up front than just changing your thermostat’s settings and leaving them alone, but once you’ve got a smart thermostat in place, much of your work is done. A programmable thermostat can adjust temperatures so that they’re optimized for when you’re home, when you’re away, or when you’re asleep, while a smart thermostat can actually learn your schedule and preferences in order to optimize the efficiency of your HVAC system without sacrificing comfort.

8. Ensure Proper Home Insulation: We tend to think of insulation more in the winter than in the summer, but it’s important all year round. It’s what keeps the inside temperature from seeping out into the outside air and vice versa. That’s why it’s important to have proper insulation throughout your walls, attic, and even your floors. Insulation isn’t just what’s in the walls, either. Cracks and openings around doors or windows can let a lot of cool air out during the summer, which leads to higher utility bills. Seal them up with caulk or weather stripping.

9. Seal and Insulate Ducts: While you’re at it, you can also check to ensure that the ductwork in your home is up to snuff. Many homes have ducts that run through areas that are not air-conditioned, such as attics and basements. These ducts are especially at risk of losing cool air through gaps and seams. Checking your ductwork and sealing any leaks can reduce your utility bills more dramatically than you might expect.

10. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Equipment: Advances in energy efficiency have leapt ahead in many areas in recent years, and air conditioners are no exception. If your HVAC system is more than 10 or 15 years old, it may be time to think about a replacement anyway. When you do so, consider more energy-efficient models that can reduce energy consumption by as much as 20%—or even more!

REMEMBER! While some homeowners with prior experience might find certain tasks such as installing a thermostat or sealing ducts easy, most folks would find them challenging. It’s always recommended that you consult with or hire a heating and cooling professional or HVAC service company, especially for tasks you feel uncomfortable with or that might impact the performance of your HVAC system.

By using some or all of these tips—along with regular care and attention to your HVAC system—Olathe homeowners can not only stay cool during the hot summer months but also keep utility costs low. If you have questions or need the help of an Olathe heating and cooling professional, just call Davenport Service Company at 913-441-2222 today!

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