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Are Your Pets Causing Your Utility Bill to Skyrocket?

The Unexpected Costs of Pet Ownership

San Diego is pet friendly! We love that about our city! Surely, your pets are a part of the family. Fido & fluffy are a comfort for you, fun for your children and visitors to your home, and they’re the perfect welcoming committee at the end of a long day. However, your pets probably also have their own column in your budget every month. As their caregivers, we must feed and provide medical care for our animals and we’d be lying if we said we don’t spoil them with treats & toys! It’s all expected as part of caring for a pet. However, there may be a cost you didn’t expect to accrue.

costs of owning a pet

If you’re staring at your most recent utility bill from San Diego Gas & Electric is through the roof, it may not be your spouse who mistakenly leaves the hall light on all. the. time. or your kids who never stop charging their devices. It could be your HVAC system!

Is my PET really affecting my utility bill?

There are a lot of reasons your HVAC system could be hiking your utility bill. You may need to upgrade to a newer, more energy efficient furnace or the SEER rating for your air conditioning system might be less than ideal. However, it could also be the way you operate your machine OR how hard it’s working to push air through debris.

If you are a pet owner and you find that your utility bill is too high, try these fixes for your HVAC system:

  1. Set your HVAC system on a timer while everyone is gone.
    Do your pets stay home while everyone else is at work or school? If so, you may make efforts to accommodate them while you’re out – you leave on a television so they’re not as lonely, leave them a new treat, and keep your thermostat kicked to ‘comfortable’ all day long. They’re SO lucky to have you.However, if your HVAC system is laboring to heat or cool your home all day long while Rover slips in and out of the doggie door casually all day, you might be wasting home comfort resources. Instead, we recommend setting your thermostat on a timer so that periodicially throughout the day, your home is warmed or cooled to your usual standards but it isn’t kicking on all day, unnecessarily. Bonus: Your home will be sunny and 70 when you get home from a hard day!
  2. Brush your pets more often.
    The other BIG effect your pet has on your utility bill comes straight from the fur – you know, the stuff you pull off of your favorite pair of pants and sweep off the floor every. single. day? By brushing your dog or cat and disposing of the hair, you can stop all that extra fluff from circling the air and ending up coating your vents and gumming up your air filters. Not only does this require extra wear & tear on your system, it also requires more energy for your system to push air through all the fuzz, thus raising your bill!
  3. Change your air filters more often.
    In reference to the previous issue, homes with pets require more frequent replacement of filters to better combat the hair issue. Even with regular brushing, our furry friends still shed like crazy!
  4. Clean & monitor your outdoor heating and cooling unit.
    It’s less common, but more rough & rambunctious pets like to climb on and play with outdoor AC units and other backyard paraphernalia. To avoid damage, teach your pets to avoid the area, provide a barrier to the unit such as a low fence or trellis, and monitor the unit often to check for debris. This is a good practice for homeowners anyway as loathsome pests can infiltrate & damage your system.
  5. Have your HVAC system inspected.
    There are elements of your HVAC system that simply must be inspected and maintained by a professional. This is especially the case for homeowners with ductwork, but it’s true for even the simplest packaged unit. Your Airmaxx technician can inspect the entirety of your system and determine if there are any other energy efficiency solutions not being implemented yet.

For more tips on saving money, or to schedule your HVAC system inspection, contact Airmaxx n San Diego or El Cajon today!

Why HVAC Maintenance Is Important

Would you buy a car but never take it in for an oil change, get a tune-up or have the brakes repaired? Of course you wouldn’t, so why would you neglect to maintain your HVAC system? Yet, many homeowners have new central air conditioning systems and furnaces installed and completely neglect HVAC maintenance.

Annual maintenance is an important task as proper HVAC maintenance has a number of benefits that will keep your system operating properly and extend its life. Regular inspection and cleaning of your HVAC system’s moving parts will allow it to last well over 10 years. With the expense that homeowners invest when installing new systems, it only makes sense to keep them operating as long as possible.

Beyond the life of the system, proper HVAC maintenance has several different economic benefits that make spending a minimal amount of money on a maintenance contract worthwhile. HVAC units that run efficiently save homeowners money. Dirt and debris that collect on working parts decrease efficiency by about 20 percent. Debris can also shorten the life of individual parts, resulting in more frequent repairs. Regular cleaning will keep moving parts clean, meaning you’ll spend less money on electricity to run your unit.

Today’s HVAC units also have many more working parts than those built 10 to 20 years ago. They also have safeties that cause the units to shut down if a dangerous situation could occur. Regular inspections will help avoid these problems which can results in emergency calls and costly repairs. Regular HVAC maintenance will save you money in the long run.

Many HVAC systems come with long warranties that cover replacement parts if something breaks down or wears out. Regular HVAC maintenance in the spring and fall will discover potential problems and remedy them, often at no additional cost.

Properly maintained systems also improve indoor air quality. By changing filters and cleaning coils and other components that collect dirt, fewer allergens and other harmful particles will circulate through your home.

Most HVAC companies offer annual contracts that make maintenance easy while also also offering possibly offering discounts on repairs and priority service in emergencies. Take advantage of these agreements to keep your system in top condition.