Need Filters?

If you'd like to change the filters on your system yourself. (It's easy... I can show you how to do it in a few minutes) I usually recommend buying inexpensive filters in bulk (they're cheaper that way) and changing them often. The expensive pleated filters work well but can block air circulation and stress your heating and cooling system if you let them go too long.

 

Cutting Your Utility Bills

My customers are always asking me how they can save money on their utility bills, so I thought that I'd pass along a few tips to help you get the most from your utility dollars...

Check Your Systems Every Year

I know that this probably sounds like a shamless pitch to sell clean & checks, but the fact is that... things change. The burners in your furnace collect ash from combustion and restrict the flow of gas, changing the basic fuel to air balance. Your air conditioning system can leak tiny amounts of refrigerant. Bearings wear, increasing friction. Letting all of these tiny changes collect can reduce the efficiency of your system by as much as 30% and eventually cost you big money, much more than the cost of a clean and check. Take good care of your system and it will take good care of you.

Program Your Thermostat

Take a few minutes to program your thermostat to save energy when you're out of the house. If you're at work all day, it's usually quite a bit cheaper to let the house heat up during the day and cool it down just before you come home than it is to keep it cool all day. In the summer, each degree below 78° will cost 3%-4% more energy to maintain. The proper use of programmed settiings can save you about $180 a year. If you'd like to know more, check out this short video from the EPA on Programming Your Thermostat

Change Your Filters

Filters remove dirt, dust, pollen, and all kinds of other irritants from the air circulating through your house, but if they're not changed or cleaned regularly they quickly become plugged with dirt and keep the air that you've just paid to heat or cool from reaching the rest of the house. This can have a big effect on your utility bills. The extra fine pleated (and expensive) filters do a very good job of cleaning the passing air but have to be changed much more often. If dust is a big concern at your house (asthma sufferers know what I mean) you might want to consider an electronic whole house air cleaner. They do a great job of pulling dust out of the air using an electrical charge and require less frequent cleaning.

Let Your Condenser Breathe

Face it... condensers (the big giant hard pieces of your air conditioner that live in the yard) aren't pretty, but all the heat that your system takes out of your house in the summer has to be dissapated by the condenser, so don't let shrubs, flowers, bushes and assorted yard flotsam get too close to it. It'll work better if the area directly around it is clear.

Control the Sun

The sun can play a big role in helping you lower your utility bills. On hot summer days, close the curtains on the sunny side of the house. In the winter, open them and let the sun help the furnace.