Air Conditioner: Follow these tips to keep your A/C unit running efficiently all summer, and save money on high energy bills.
The hottest days of summer make your air conditioning unit work the hardest. Here are ways to lower utility bills, save energy, increase comfort and maximize efficiency when your A/C needs the most help to keep you cool.
1. Call an HVAC professional
Each central air conditioning unit should be inspected, cleaned and tuned by a licensed, bonded and insured professional before the hot season begins. A professional tune-up typically costs between $70 and $100.
2. Check your filters
Check the air filter once per month and replace it as needed. This is especially important during the summer when dust and allergens circulate. If the filter becomes clogged, your system will have to work harder to supply the same amount of cool air.
Replacing filters is one of the easiest and most effective methods of conserving energy and saving money on your HVAC usage. And much like changing the oil in your car, it’s a critical step in maintaining your system’s long-term health.
3. Keep your A/C in the shade
Air conditioners with proper shading can run more efficiently. Air in a shaded space is cooler than the surrounding air, meaning the A/C will have an easier time cooling the air.
4. Don’t let your thermostat take the heat
Don’t place lamps, TV sets, or other heat-producing appliances near your thermostat. The thermostat senses the heat causing the air conditioner to run longer than necessary. When installing a new thermostat, don’t place it in a location where the sun might shine on it directly.
5. Do touch that dial to save some money
Remember that each degree you dial below 78 increases your energy consumption by about 8 percent. If your monthly electric bill is about $100, you’ll save $8 a month with EACH degree you can stand above 78.
6. Consider a programmed response
If it’s hard to remember to tweak your thermostat before you leave for work, consider investing in a programmable or smart thermostat or a timer for your window unit.
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