You probably rely on your Northern California home’s air conditioning system to help you remain cool indoors when the weather gets warm/hot. Unfortunately, this also means that your utility bill will increase. However, there should only be an increase of $104 on an average. It is important to identify the cause of energy increase when the utility bills become higher than normal.
These are a few common problems that can cause your electric bill to spike.
1. Leaky Ductwork
Central air conditioning systems are usually installed in residences. This system sends conditioned air through hidden ducts inside the home. When the air ducts are in good condition, they circulate air efficiently and quickly through the house. Unfortunately, air ducts can develop leaks over time causing cooled air to seep out of the ducting system. Your air conditioner will need to work harder to bring down the temperature in each room. Hence, it will use more energy and drive up your monthly air conditioning bill.
2. Dirty Air Filters
Air conditioning units have air filters to ensure that outside air that comes inside the home is free from pollen, dirt, allergens, and other impurities. Eventually, the air filters will become dirty. This will make it difficult for air to pass through forcing your air conditioner to work harder at cooling your home. You should take a moment to check the air filters and see if they are clogged. Filters generally look white. You should replace them if they appear dirty (perhaps twice a year, for instance).
3. No Tune-up
Air conditioners require regular tune-ups if you want it to work properly. Your HVAC technician will inspect the unit to ensure that it works optimally during these appointments. In case there is any problem, the technician will make quick repairs so that the unit works properly. You may cause the air conditioning bills to rise if you neglect these tune-ups. Your AC has to work harder at cooling your home when the internal components suffer wear and tear. You should make an appointment immediately if you don’t remember the last time your AC received a tune-up.
4. Old System
HVAC technology improves consistently every year. Older units are not as energy efficient as newer models. An overly high electricity bill could be a sign that you need to upgrade to a more energy-efficient model. You should not hesitate in changing the system if it is more than a decade old. This is especially true if you have not kept up with regular maintenance. You may see a huge decrease in your utility bills when you upgrade the system.
5. Incorrectly Sized System
You should understand that air conditioners need to be properly sized as per your house. A system that is too large will not cool your home adequately while using up more electricity. The same holds true for small-sized systems. They will use more power to keep your home cool. You should get a technician to inspect the unit.
You may need to replace the system if the technician determines that the unit is not properly sized as per your household needs. You can continue working with the system, but that will only cause the utility bills to continue to skyrocket. It will also make your house less comfortable.