3 Ways to Lower Your Electric Bills This Summer

When the temperatures soar, your air conditioner has to work overtime to keep your home cool and comfortable. This, of course, drives up your electric bill. If you are tired of forking out a fortune when it comes time to pay your bill, check out these three ways to lower your electric bills this summer.

Ways to Lower Electric Bills During the Summer

lower electric bill
Electric Monoliths flickr photo by 3SugarCubes shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

Seal Up Leaky Ductwork

Having leaky ducts sealed is one of the easiest ways to boost your air conditioner’s efficiency and lower your bills. Leaks allow cooled air to escape into uncooled areas, like attics and basements. This forces the system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the rest of your home.

Even small holes and gaps between ductwork sections can drastically reduce your AC’s efficiency. Having your ducts sealed could make a big difference on your bill.

Invest in Insulation and Insulated Windows

When cool air escapes through windows, walls and your ceiling, your AC unit is forced to work more than necessary. Upgrading to insulated windows and updating the insulation throughout your home helps keep the cool air inside where it belongs. As a bonus, improving your home’s insulation will also save you during the winter months.

Manage  Your Thermostat

Set your temperature as high as you can comfortably tolerate. The closer the indoor temperature is to the outside temperature, the lower your electric bill will be. Set the temperature higher when you are away, and turn it back down while you are at home. Programmable thermostats make this task easy.

At Larry & Sons, we are here to help with all your cooling needs. If your air conditioner seems to be consuming more power than usual, contact us today to schedule a service call. We will inspect your system and make recommendations to help you lower your electric bill. Call 301-733-5428.

Which Air Conditioning System Is Best for You?

Having to choose a new air conditioning system for your home can be a stressful and confusing time. With all the various types of units on the market, the possibilities may seem overwhelming. Depending on your situation, you might even be under a time constraint and have to choose a new system soon.

different air conditioning systems

 

4 types of air conditioners available to you:

Central Air Conditioning:

This is the most common type of cooling system as it is the most preferable for larger homes. Central air conditioners circulate cool air through supply and return ducts. Supply ducts and registers, which are in the wall or floors, carry cooled air into the home. Then, once the air becomes warm it circulates back into the supply ducts and registers where it will then be transported back to the air conditioner.

Installing a central air conditioning system requires a lot of planning and preparation as sizing is crucial to the functionality of the system. If you install a system that is of the wrong size, even if it’s energy efficient, you’ll find that your utility costs are more than they should be.

Ductless, Mini-Split Air Conditioner:

Ductless, mini-split systems are most common in parts of the home that have been retro-fitted. Like central air conditioning systems, these systems have an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor handling unit.

If you’re looking to cool individual rooms your house, this system might be just for you. Many ductless, mini-split systems can have as many as four indoor handling units, which are all connected to the outdoor unit.

Each zone has its own thermostat, allowing you to adjust the temperature for each room accordingly. This is especially advantageous if you’re wanting to cool only a particular part of the house that is being used.

Window Air Conditioner:

Think of a window air conditioner as a compact unit that cools only one particular room. Also known as a “unitary unit,” this system is installed in the window of a room.

Window units cool a room be emitting the warm air out the back of it and blowing cool air into it. These types of units are best for those who live in small spaces. It would not be ideal for a larger home as you will discover that it doesn’t cool efficiently in that kind of environment.

Portable Air Conditioner:

Portable air conditioners are considered as the next generator of window units. This type of air conditioning unit takes in air from the room and cools it, then directs it back into the room. The unit then vents any warm air outside by means of an exhaust hose that is installed in a window.

Like window air conditioning units, portable air conditioners are designed to cool only one room. They’re easy to install, versatile, and an affordable option. You’ll find that the portability of your air conditioner makes staying cooling on a hot summer day that much easier.

 

For a more in-depth look into the different types of air conditioning systems, check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s infographic.

HVAC air conditioning systems

 

Watch this video for a recap of the different air conditioning systems available to you:


Count on Larry & Sons as your  number one source for all things HVAC and Plumbing related. We can educate you on all the different types of systems and help you choose the one that is best for you and your budget. We will then provide you with upfront pricing and ensure proper sizing and code compliance so that you know exactly what we are doing and for how much, before the work even begins.

For more information, visit us online or give us a call at 301-733-5428.

You can also keep in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+!

Top 10 Green Tips to Save Money and the Planet

Happy Earth Day!

Although every day should be Earth Day, we are celebrating today by recognizing areas in the home for energy-efficient improvements. Since everybody is leading full, busy lives, we wanted to provide practical, actionable advice for creating an energy-efficient home. Don’t delay, go green today!

Top 10 Green Tips for the Home

Top 10 Green Tips to Save Money and the Planet

  1. Schedule your annual HVAC tune-up to ensure you are using the minimum amount of energy to effectively heat and cool your home.
  2. Check your air filters every month. Write the date on the filter itself so you know when you last replaced it. We also recommend setting monthly reminders so you never forget. Replacing dirty air filters will significantly reduce the workload on your HVAC system and improve the quality of your indoor air. It’s a win-win!
  3. Use a programmable thermostat for maximum savings. We recommend setting the thermostat to 78°F while at home and 80°F or higher when away from home. According to energy.gov, raising the thermostat setting in the summer or lowering it in the winter by just 1°F for a period of 8 hours will save you 1% on your energy bill. Those savings add up!
  4. Check your home for air leaks and replace any old weatherstripping and caulking. Don’t forget to seal your air ducts, which lose, on average, about 20% of your home’s conditioned air. You can hold a piece of toilet paper or incense stick around areas where you suspect a leak. Watch this video to learn how to find air leaks and insulate your home:
  5. Close drapes and curtains while the sun is out and open some windows at night to take advantage of the cool outside air. Just remember to close them again in the morning! Also, consider purchasing solar screens and insulating drapes for more protection against solar heat gain.
  6. Turn down your water heater temperature from the standard 140°F to a more energy-efficient, but still hot enough 120°F. Not only will you save money and energy on water heating costs, but you will also reduce the risk of burns and scalding, especially important in homes with young children. Consider also purchasing water heater insulation blankets for your water heat tank.
  7. Cook hot meals at night when the temperatures are lower. Instead of using your oven, consider alternative cooking methods that produce less heat and use less energy like microwaves, toaster ovens, and slow cookers. This is the time to learn about some cooler, plant-based meals that you can enjoy in warmer weather.
  8. Make sure your fireplace flue damper is fully closed and sealed unless you have a fire burning. Check the seals around the damper and make any necessary repairs as soon as possible. You don’t want your precious conditioned air escaping out the chimney.
  9. Plant trees and shrubs around the perimeter of your home and in front of sun-facing windows to provide energy-saving shade from the sun.
  10. Check your water meter for water leaks. The average U.S. home has water leaks that amount to more than 10,000 gallons of wasted water every year. Let’s do our part by fixing those leaks as soon as possible. If you are having trouble detecting or repairing your plumbing leaks, give Larry & Sons a call. We’d be glad to help! Click here to learn how to find and read your water meter for leaks. Click here to learn how to fix a leaking or running toilet.

For more Green Tips you can start implementing today to save money and the planet, read our previous posts:

If you needed any more convincing for taking action this Earth Day, watch Morgan Freeman narrate “What’s Possible,” for the UN Climate Summit:


For over 55 years, Larry & Sons has been serving your home heating and cooling needs in the great Hagerstown, Maryland area. Contact us for an expert able perform nearly any home service you need. We offer installation, repair, and maintenance of heating, air conditioning, geothermal, solar and indoor air quality systems. We service all makes and models, even if we didn’t install your system to begin with.

We are also full–service plumbers, offering water heater repair and installation, sewer and drain services and water treatment systems.

For more information on how to lower your heating bill, give us a call at 301-733-5428. We’d be glad to answer all of your questions.

To further save and reduce your impact on the environment, we highly recommend signing up for a maintenance plan that ensures 2 annual heating and air conditioning tune-ups, 15 % off all repairs, and much more! Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more useful information and how-to’s.

Happy Earth Day! It’s Our Turn to Lead!

12 Months Same As Cash & up to $1,350 Rebate Certificate Offer!

 

Here at Larry & Sons Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning in Hagerstown Maryland we want to help you get the most for your money while providing highly efficient heating and air conditioning systems to replace some of the older, inefficient models. As part of this effort we are offering not one but TWO great deals when you upgrade your systems.

First, take advantage of our great 0% financing for 12 months* and second, get some great rebates that can total up to $1,350 which includes the $500 Federal Tax Credit. Please don’t hesitate, this offer is only available until August 31st, 2013.

Call us today to set up an appointment for your FREE home energy survey and one of our Indoor Environmental Specialists will come to your home and determine which system fits in your living situation.

We look forward to providing our great customers from the Maryland area with some great savings and best of all a new and more efficient Heating and Air Conditioning system that will save you money for years to come.

 

*Not valid with other offers or discounts. Some restrictions apply. See Dealer for specific details that apply. Amount of rebate varies depending on equipment purchased. Ask for complete details. Offer expires 8-31-2013. Federal Tax credit of up to $500 expires 12-31-2013.