Most people would agree that large parts of the United States would be completely inhabitable without air conditioning. That ;s why two thirds of us have it in our homes. At least 5% of all power that is consumed throughout the nation is on air conditioning our homes and businesses. This ends up costing homeowners about $11 million each year. A good way to save money on this is to switch to more energy efficient models and taking other measure to cool the home results in savings of between 20 to 50% on these costs associated with air conditioning. No one wants to have to call the air conditioning company in the middle of the summer because their unit died so here are some tips to keep yours running healthy and happy.
- Check and change your filters. This is the easiest thing (and cheapest) you can do to delay needing the air conditioning company. These need to be checked about once a month. If you live in certain areas where they get a real workout, it never hurts to check them more often but at least once a month you should see how they are doing. If they are clogged with dirt, dust and other debris, replace them! It is so much cheaper than calling the local air conditioning repair company or worse, having to replace the unit. Just do it!
- Before summer starts, get your system a check up. Think of this like your annual trip to the doctor. Your system needs to be inspected by a professional air conditioning service at least once a year and this should be before the system is expected to work its hardest. They will give it a tune up. This will run you between $70 and $100 but if your system is running less efficiently, that will cost you in your energy bill.
- Keep things away from your air conditioning unit. If your home is like most, your system is outside. That means all sorts of things can clog it up. Plants, branches, whatever. Check that before the summer starts and make sure the area around the air conditioning unit is clear. This is a free way to avoid calling the air conditioning company.
- When you install your unit, make sure it is in the shade. Air conditioning units operate a lot less efficiently when they are in the sun. This just makes it work a whole lot harder, which costs more money to run. This is another simple way to keep it running smoothly and help with your bills. On a similar note, make sure your thermostat is not next to heat producing appliances (like the oven but also lamps and whatever generates heat). That will just keep your air conditioner running when it does not need to be.
- Keep that weather stripping in good shape! You want to keep all that cool air your air conditioner is generating inside your house not in the lawn. It does not take much to check your windows and doors to make sure they are not letting too much of the cool air and letting in the heat. This is another simple way to save money.
- Take a look at your thermostat. Sure, we all want to be cool in the summer but if you raise the temperature on your thermostat by even a few degrees can really save you a lot. For every degree you set your unit at below the setting of 78 will raise your consumption of energy by approximately 8%. At the same time, you should think about installing a thermostat that lets you program when the unit will be running so you do not cool the home when no one is there.
- How old is your HVAC system? If you have a really old unit, you may want to look into upgrading. New models are a lot more energy efficient but also there may be tax incentives and other offers from the government to help you upgrade. If you have questions, talk to your local air conditioning company.
We all want to stay cool all summer. If you follow these simple tips, your summer will be comfortable.