This article was crafted with the help of John Hillis and Richard Eppers of Casteel Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical.

With spring well on its way to chasing away the chill of winter, it’s time to crank up the A/C once again­­­. But while that nice, cool air might bring you relief from the heat, a few common air conditioning problems could cause your bills to skyrocket even as your indoor temperature drops. We spoke with John Hillis and Richard Eppers of Casteel Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical in Atlanta to find out which HVAC issues could send your air conditioning bill through the roof.

Your Equipment Needs to Be Cleaned

hand cleaning dirty air filter with yellow ragA system that takes longer than usual to start working or has trouble maintaining the right temperature might need a new air filter or just a good cleaning. “People forget to change their air filter, which causes the unit to run harder for longer because it’s not able to cool,” says Richard. “A dirty air filter or outdoor unit won’t work properly. The outdoor unit sits on the side of your house—you cut the grass, and you get grass clippings in there.” Changing your air filters and washing your outdoor unit regularly can go a long way toward cutting your HVAC costs.

Your System Needs an Update

According to John, modern HVAC equipment can be “up to forty percent more efficient” than older models, so upgrading to a newer, higher-efficiency system can help you bring your bills back down to normal. Richard adds that installing smart technology, such as learning thermostats and zoned heating, is a great way to modernize your heating and air system and avoid wasting energy. 

Your Home Needs Better Insulation

contractor installing new insulation in atticRichard and John warn that an improperly insulated home can be not just uncomfortable but costly as well—insufficient insulation can cause your HVAC unit to run overtime in order to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, resulting in higher air conditioning bills. If your home stubbornly refuses to stay cool in the summer, and you’ve already ruled out any problems with the air conditioning, it’s likely that your insulation needs an update. Richard explains that over time, “Insulation levels start to go down a little bit. You may have sixteen inches of insulation, but as things settle, ten years from now, maybe it’s only ten inches of insulation because it starts to compact down.” John and Richard add that homeowners are most likely to notice poor insulation in the upper levels of a home, which can become unpleasantly warm very quickly without enough insulation.

Taking steps to keep your heating and air system and insulation properly maintained and up to date can really make a difference in your energy bills. However, while DIY maintenance can provide a quick fix, the best way to make sure that your air conditioning runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible is to schedule regular HVAC system maintenance appointments with air conditioning and heating professionals like John and Richard. An experienced HVAC professional will have the experience and know-how to perform the tests, upgrades, and maintenance you’ll need to keep your bills low and your home comfortable.

This spotlight article was crafted with the help of Casteel Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical, an Atlanta Best Pick in Air Conditioning & Heating, Electricians, and Plumbers. While we strive to provide relevant information to all homeowners, some of the material we publish may not pertain to every area. Please contact your local Best Pick companies for any further area-specific advice.

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