Most people cannot imagine what it would be like to live without air conditioning. Much of the United States would be a miserable mess without it. One problem is that the wonder machines can also be energy vampires, sucking all they can. It has been estimated that 5% of the nation’s energy usage goes towards cooling homes and businesses with air conditioners. The good news is that there are steps that can be taken to reduce the amount of energy that they use while preventing the need to call the local air conditioning repair company because the unit has broken down.
7 Tips to Lower Energy Costs While Keeping Cool
- Bring in a professional. Before the hot season starts, someone from the local air conditioning repair company should be brought in to inspect, clean and tune up the air conditioning unit. It is important to bring in an air conditioning company who has the proper insurance and who has been licensed and bonded.
- Take a look at the filters. This is one of the best things you can do to keep your air conditioning unit running at its peak efficiency level. When the filter is clogged with dust, dirt and debris it has to work a lot harder and that takes a toll. It also takes a lot more energy. Think of the filters as the lungs of the air conditioning unit. When they are clogged, it is harder for the unit to breathe. This can also spell disaster for your air conditioner. As it works harder, all of the components are pushed to their limit and they can give out causing all sorts of problems and the potential for the system to just die completely and then you will need to bring the local air conditioning repair company out to fix the unit. It is much cheaper and easier to change the filter than have the system replaced.
- Make sure your unit is in the shade. Air conditioning units that are placed in a sunny spot have to work harder than those that are in a cooler shadier space. The harder your unit works, the more energy it takes and the more money you will spend keeping your home cool and comfortable. This is an easy fix. Just put the thing in the shade.
- Keep your thermostat cool. On a similar note, the thermostat should be kept cool as well. If it is hot, it will keep your air conditioner working when it might not need to. So, do not put lamps or any other heat sources next to the thermostat. This may seem like a no brainer but people often do not realize how hot their lamps can get.
- Keep an eye on your thermostat. What do you have it set at.? Did you know that every degree below 78 raises your energy usage by about 8%? Keep it at 78 to keep your bills in check.
- Install a programmable thermostat. There are all sorts of cool high tech thermostats you can get. There are programmable ones that even allow you to program different settings for different parts of your house. You may have one temperature setting for the bedrooms at night so that you are cooling the areas where people are but not the areas where they are not. Internet connectivity means you can have access to your system and make changes to the settings when you are away from home on vacation.
- Are you ready for an upgrade? If your home was built in the 1980s, the chances are that your air conditioning system is over 20 years old. Not only is it more likely to break down meaning you will need a visit from the local air conditioning repair company but your bills are going to be a lot higher. If you switch to a new Energy Star rated unit, you can save between 20 and 50% on your bills. As as added bonus, you might be eligible for a tax credit that will offset the costs of the installation. It is certainly worth looking into.
Air conditioning may use a lot of energy but life today would be miserable without it.