Quick tips on staying cool this Summer

Quick tips on staying cool this Summer

May 4, 2021

It’s almost Summertime, and Texas is about to turn up the HEAT. Just within the last few years, the United States in total has experienced some of the hottest summers to ever be recorded. Aside from the ecological impact that summer brings, these smoldering days are often a disaster for our wallets. Many of our  East Texas homeowners will notice an increase in their electricity bills between the months of June through September due to our extensive climate. 

Not to worry, we aren’t going to let you melt away in the Summer heat, just to save a few dollars. With these helpful tips from JD’s AC, you can keep the temperature and your budget within your ideal comfort zone

1.Check your air conditioning unit 

Just like you, your air conditioner needs to have routine maintenance performed to ensure the functionality and efficiency for the lifetime of your system. If neglected, your system can experience poor performance, unnecessary energy usage, or complete system failure. Certified HVAC technicians can inspect your coils, fins, evaporator cooler, heat pump, and any other parts of your air conditioning unit. Making sure that all components are in good working order, and ready to keep you cool all summer long. 

2. Replace your AC filters

 Keep your air filter clean, and clear of debris is one of the easiest and most effective things many homeowners can do to ensure the efficiency of your HVAC system. Clogged, dirty, unclean filters will block natural airflow, thus reducing your air conditioner’s ability to remove and absorb the heat passing through. You should replace your air conditioner’s filter every month to two months depending on your lifestyle, pets, and several other factors. For most, your filter can be found in your walls, ceilings, furnaces, or inside the air conditioner itself. In single room air conditioners, the filter will be mounted in the grill that faces into the room. In central air conditioning systems, you can find your filters along the length of your return duct

3. Switch to LED light bulbs

Still using outdated, incandescent light bulbs? Then it’s time you switch to the next best thing, LED lights. LED lights are the most energy-efficient options on the market, using 75% less energy, last 25 times longer, and run much cooler than competing lightbulbs. While costing a little more upfront, soon they pay for themselves with energy savings.    

Did you know? Incandescent light bulbs are extremely inefficient, only absorbing 10 – 15% of the electricity that gets turned into light, and the rest? Becomes wasted heat that contributes to your high energy bill

4. Invest in a smart thermostat 

Smart thermostats are Wifi enabled devices that automatically adjust to the temperature settings in your home, to provide homeowners with peak efficiency. With smart thermostats, your temperature habits and preferences are learned and established in a schedule that will automate adjust to an energy-saving temperature when you are asleep or away from home. Ideally, you will want to set your internal temperature at 78°F and avoid lowering your thermostat while the air conditioner is running. This will not cause your home to cool any faster and actually may result in higher energy usage.  

Pro Tip! Avoid placing lamps, TVs, or other heat-expending equipment away from your home’s thermostat. These appliances can cause your thermostat to improperly register heat that these create, causing your AC system to run longer, and harder than what is necessary. 

5. Utilize fans in your home 

Running fans is more cost-effective than running your air conditioner. As a matter of fact, running your fan for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for an entire month, would only cost around $5 extra on your electricity bill. While they do not produce cold air, they will help to circulate air within that room. This airflow will create a ‘wind-chill effect, that helps with comfortability while making no changes to the internal temperature of your home. 

But they do work well together! By using a ceiling fan, you can set your thermostat 4°F higher with no reduction in comfort. Remember: To turn off your fans when you are no longer in the room, or not home. With nobody to feel the effects of the ceiling gan, you aren’t doing much outside of using unnecessary energy.   

6. Keep the blinds closed

Keeping your blinds closed or drapes pulled through the daytime will help reduce the greenhouse effect of the sun. In many homes, the southern, and western facing walls absorb the brunt of the sun’s heat. While north-facing windows will produce little glare, and a fair amount of natural light, without the summer heat beaming inside. Leave these windows open if natural light is desired, vs your southern or western facing windows. 

 

7. Look into an energy-efficient dehumidifier 

In hot, humid climates such as those here in East Texas, a dehumidifier is a perfect partner for your air conditioning system and a great way to reduce the overall humidity levels in your home (and your energy bill expenses too). This is because when the air in your home is too humid, the air conditioning unit will work twice as hard to not only cool the air but to remove the moisture as well. By installing a dehumidifier you can expect to reap the benefits of: 

  • A lower energy bill 
  • Less humidity inside your home 
  • A more comfortable experience

8. Avoid kitchen cooking as much as possible

Yes, you read that correctly! Cooking with a conventional oven will add unwanted heat to your home, thus causing your AC system to work twice as hard. Instead, you can utilize alternative kitchen appliances such as; microwaves, slow cookers, or even outdoor appliances such as grills, or smokers. What better time, than summertime for a backyard BBQ? Cook delicious lunches and dinners, while keeping the summer heat outside.   

9. Wash your clothes in cold water 

Did you know that your washing machine, dryers, and dishwasher all generate large amounts of heat. To reduce the amount of heat being used, JD’S AC recommends running these appliances with cold water, running full loads of dishes and clothing when in use. 

Pro Tip! According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heating can account for 14-25% of your total energy usage. By turning your water heater down to a warm setting of 120°F can save you money every month!  

10. If you aren’t using it, lose it! 

Time to unplug, and save! While electronics are great and have made our lives easier in so many ways, they too generate not only heat but electricity as well. Even when turned off, the phantom energy is still being pulled, and small amounts of heat are being generated through the wiring. When you add it up, reducing this usage can make a few degree difference in the overall temperature of your home. 

11. Make sure that your home is properly sealed.

Insulation is a key factor for your home, that doesn’t just apply to you during the winter months. Preventing air leaks within your home is one of the best ways not only to keep the warm summer air out but also to keep the cool air from your HVAC system inside. By adding caulking, and weather stripping you can save an average of up to 30% on your heating and cooling costs. Insulating your home doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg either! But it sure can save you a fair amount of cash.

Pro tip! Check your attic and basement for air leaks, as these are areas prone to large gapping in the insulation, or missing weather stipping all together. 

Are you ready to start saving on your energy bill all while keeping it cool?

No matter the season, summer or winter, many of these tips will help you save money all year long. And by creating smart energy habits, you will reduce overall energy efficiency while keeping cash in your pocket year-round

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How can I landscape around my Air Conditioner?

How can I landscape around my Air Conditioner?

May 4, 2021

Here in the heart of East Texas, the Summer heat is rarely a friend. And while HVAC units don’t do a lot for the aesthetics of our landscaping, they are 100% necessary for our comfort. Okay, we’ll just say it: they’re ugly! But who says you can’t have a functional AC unit and a beautiful yard? 

Here are 3 things to keep in mind at all times when landscaping around your HVAC unit: 

  • Provide sufficient airflow

It’s important that you provide sufficient airflow around your system. There should be an average of 2-3 feet of clearance around your outdoor HVAC unit. If there are any plants, or objects closer than this; airflow will be obstructed. This could potentially result in: 

    1. Reduction in energy efficiency 
    2. A shorter lifespan of your air conditioning system 
    3. Frequent repairs

And one thing that all 3 of these points have in common? They will all cost you MORE money! You should be excited for all the summer activities you’ve waited a year to enjoy. Plus, we will be thanking you too when our certified technician comes out to inspect and perform routine maintenance on your HVAC system (Look at all that space!). 

  • Protect your unit from debris

Protecting your unit from debris is vital. While we highly encourage and recommend for you to landscape around your unit, you will want to keep in mind to stay a fair distance away. Throughout the year, every dirt, lead, and twig that gets inside will slowly run your unit down. 

  • Provide plenty of shade

Just like us, our air conditioning unit would rather be in the shade too. While shading your condenser is relatively ineffective. By providing shade for your surrounding yard as a whole, you are able to create what is referred to as a ‘Micro-Climate”. So thanks to 1 or 2 trees, you could get savings year round! 

  • Need a break? How about a windbreak! 

A windbreak is one of the best ways that you can 

  1. Landscape your yard and 
  2. Provide protection and good airflow for your HVAC unit. 

When you begin to landscape around your AC unit, we recommend that you use evergreen plants to do so. These are great for many homeowners because they don’t require much maintenance, and will never lose their leaves. Types of evergreen trees include; 

  • Boxwood 
  • Cypress 
  • Cedar 
  • Spruce 

Remember! Keep at least 2-3 feet away from your unit at all times and ensure that your unit is accessible at all times at least on one side. This will allow our technicians to work on, and perform general HVAC maintenance

     5)  Not up for the upkeep? Landscape with Trellis, screen or lattice instead! 

You don’t have to go all plant based when laying out your landscaping plan.  

  • Trellis: A trellis is a beautiful way to hide your condenser. You can dress them with vines, or other forms of greenery. 
  • Screens: If you do choose to screen in your air conditioning unit, you will want to make sure that your unit remains easily accessible through either a door or an open side.
  • Lattice Box: This is one of the best options for many homeowners. Lattice offers a good neutral combination of trellis and screen, with a visual appeal and no plants to maintain.   

Keeping both your yard and your air conditioner in tip-top shape!

While our crew here at JD’s AC can’t help you cut the grass, trim your trees, or plant flowers in your garden bed; we can keep your air conditioning unit running efficiently. Before you begin your landscaping for the year, give us a call for annual maintenance and inspection! Our certified HVAC technicians will catch any issue before it becomes a larger problem.

Don’t wait for the stringent Longview, TX summer to hit its stride; make your next appointment today! JD’s AC proudly serves residential and commercial properties within Longview TX, Marshall TX, Gilmer TX, Gladewater TX, Tyler TX, Hallsville TX, Diana TX, Ore City TX, and surrounding areas within East Texas.

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