So often we don’t think about our air conditioning equipment until it stops working, but by then, the service call and repairs can really be costly. The wiser plan is to take the necessary steps to assure your air conditioning system is working efficiently, thereby extending its life and avoiding costly repairs. Cooling costs make up the largest part of most household’s utility costs, so attention to reducing air conditioning costs is imperative.
Your air conditioner working at its best efficiency not only saves you repair woes, but will also save you money each and every month. Just a few steps during the year are all that is needed.
First, take steps to allow your air conditioning system to work more easily. These steps include:
- Change the filter regularly – at least once a month during the summer, but more often if you have pets or other dusty conditions.
- Make sure your home is as insulated as possible. Replace any seals that are worn out and are letting cool air escape.
- Reduce heat sources as much as possible during summer months. Opt to cook out on the grill instead of run the oven. Use light bulbs that do not put off heat. Shut off lights that are not needed as they produce heat.
- Plant trees and shrubbery around your home, keeping in mind that the more you can curtail that hot sun, the less your air conditioning has to work to keep your home cool in the summer.
- Use ceiling fans – there is debate on whether these just make you feel cooler or actually do cool a room, but if using them means you feel cool enough to set the thermostat a degree or two higher, that will save your air conditioner from working as hard.
Second, maintain your air conditioning equipment to keep it running efficiently:
- An annual service visit from an air conditioning expert will refresh your system and alert you to any issues it may be experiencing. They will check the unit, the thermostat, and your duct work to be sure everything works optimally. They may also be helpful in advising you when to consider a newer system that is rated higher for efficiency.
- Have an air conditioning company install a programmable thermostat so you can set it to higher temperatures when you don’t need it as cool, like when you are at work.
The ideal time to have your air conditioner serviced is before the summer season begins. This way, any issues can be addressed before you find yourself sweltering in the heat and hoping they can squeeze you in as soon as possible. Air conditioning companies are really kept hopping during the summer, so it can take longer to get to you and also to get parts. A service call is generally higher during peak times as well. Repairs are always more costly than preventative maintenance, so having your unit serviced at least annually will save you money down the road.