If you really want your utility bills to get smaller, you should consider improving the efficiency of your HVAC system. Even homeowners in mild climates will notice that a large percentage of their utility bills come from the cost of the electricity to run their large HVAC appliances. The heat pump, which houses the compressor, fan, and condenser coils is probably the biggest energy consumer, so making sure that this component is efficient is definitely going to save you money in the end.
Heat Pumps, Air Conditioners, and Condenser Units
Residential heat pumps are located on the outside of the house, and they are often just called air conditioners or condenser units. These three terms are interchangeable, but they all basically do the same thing. Many people don't call it a heat pump because it is responsible for the creation and circulation of cold air. In reality, it is also responsible for pulling heat out of your house, so "heat pump" is an appropriate term. It doesn't really matter what you call it, but it does matter that you keep the heat pump as clean as possible. This requires some constant cleaning and maintenance every few years.
A heat pump, is usually on the ground right next to the building, where it is set on concrete. First of all, make sure that this concrete pad is solid. Many people have plants, dirt, and landscaping right next to the pump, so it gets dirty quite easily. Pollen, dirt, dust, and all sorts of debris are going to get sucked into the heat pump where they can settle in the vital components and cause blockages. This can happen even when your heat pump is not even turned on.
In fact, if you don't cover your heat pump during the winter, it can be very dirty and it will need to be serviced before you begin to use it over the summer. The heat pump is defined by the condenser coils on the outside, which can get the dirtiest. The compressor is on the inside of the cabinet, and it is also a vulnerable part. It is one of the most often replaced components in the entire HVAC system. But, cleaning your exterior coils can also help with the health of the compressor.
Everything on your heat pump is interconnected. You want to make sure you do you part to cover the cabinet during the winter and clean the coils at least once every two years. Contact a company, like Bourke's Service Co, for more help.