How do you know it’s summertime in Texas? You’re sporting a driver’s tan, your Blue Bell melts the second you take it outside, and your electric bills are through the roof. To help you with that last one, the Arlington HVAC professionals at Comfort Technologies have put together this list of tips for maximizing the performance of your A/C and minimizing your system’s impact on your electric bills.

Close vents in rooms that are empty or unoccupied. Don’t use electricity to cool rooms that don’t need cooling. By closing air vents in unoccupied rooms, cool air will be diverted to the rest of your house.

Turn off lights while you’re away. Lights put off heat and use electricity. Turning them off doubles the savings!

Adjust your thermostat settings. If no one is at home during the day, set your thermostat to 75-78 degrees. This is an effective way of reducing unit run time which in turn reduces use of electricity, especially during the hottest part of the day (1:00-3:00 p.m.). Adjusting or programming your thermostat to a higher daytime temperature in the summertime also helps extend the life of your HVAC unit overall. Why? Your A/C compressor is like a human heart: it only gets so many pumps or beats before it fails or requires repair.

Strategically position your thermostat. The thermostat is responsible for letting your system know when it needs to run based on the temperature surrounding it. If it’s positioned in a dark, cool room or under an A/C vent, the system probably won’t run enough to cool your entire home. By contrast, if your thermostat is in direct sunlight or a room with electronics and lights that run constantly, your system may keep running to maintain the desired temperature in that one room. Either way, your HVAC system has been set up to fail. Relocating the thermostat is the only fix, and it’s relatively easy when handled by a pro. We can help.

Make sure no warm air from outside is leaking inside. “It’s common to see the upstairs thermostat next to the attic access,” said Jacob Wheeler, Vice President for Comfort Technologies. If the attic access is not properly sealed, warm air can cause the thermostat to read at a higher temperature, causing the HVAC unit to run unnecessarily.

Ten is the magic number. Once your system has its 10th birthday, all original manufacturer warranties are gone. There’s a reason for that! The age of your residential HVAC system impacts its efficiency, so keep that in mind when making decisions about run time and set point for the temperature on your thermostat. If you don’t know the age of your system, look up the serial number located on either the outdoor or indoor unit. Then either call the manufacturer or look online for nomenclature to decode the serial number and look up the corresponding manufacture date.

Peace of mind

Manufacturers of HVAC systems recommend performing regular system maintenance twice each year: winter and summer. Comfort Technologies offers an Annual Comfort Agreement which includes two thorough system inspections and maintenance visits per year. For more information about Comfort Technologies’ Annual Comfort Agreement, click here.