Top Tips for Maintaining your Air Conditioning and Saving Money

Texas can get very hot. So air conditioning is no luxury here, it’s indispensable. But the cost of running your A/C can get to be a real burden. Over the summer months many people are spending hundreds of dollars per month on electricity, most of that is going into just keeping cool.

Here are a few tips that most homeowners can implement fairly easily to keep their air conditioning unit at peak efficiency and minimize their electricity costs in the Summer.

Maintain your air conditioner at least once each year.
It is important that your air conditioner is in good condition for it to operate cost effectively. Perform regular maintenance and treat it well and it should keep you cool for a long time.

Make certain that the professional that maintains your air conditioner cleans the evaporator and condenser coils, adjusts the refrigerant level and cleans the blower components. This will help your system run efficiently.

Change or clean filters regularly.
If you have reusable filters clean them monthly. If not, replace your filters in accordance with the manufacturers instructions, or monthly. Dirty filters on the air returns will make your unit work harder. It’s like trying to breathe through a cocktail straw. The same happens if you block the air returns with something like a bag or a piece of furniture.

Get a programmable thermostat.
This will allow you to set different temperatures for different times of day so that you’re not cooling it when you’re out or while you’re sleeping. The thermostat should have the ability to set four different periods of the day and a different program for weekends. This alone can save about $150 per year for the typical home.

Seal your ducts
Most homes have leaky ducts. That means they’re either sucking in warm air or leaking out cooled air in your attic or crawlspace. That reduces the efficiency of the air conditioner and it can introduce dirt, pollen and other unhealthy particles into your home. Hire a professional or just buy a gallon of duct mastic and apply it to every seam and joint in your duct system including the air handler and especially where the ducts meet the air vents.

Replace your air conditioner with an Energy Star qualified unit.
If your unit is getting old and you want to look at a replacement, be sure you get one that is Energy Star qualified. That means it will operate about 14% more efficiently than other models.

Follow these simple tips and you’ll be saving money every year.

How you can save money on your air conditioning

Maintain your air conditioner properly and it will go on serving you for years. The most important actions are:
1. Clean or replace filters monthly.
2. Get an annual service that will clean the coils, blower components and check the refrigerant levels.
3. Use a programmable thermostat
4. Seal your ducts

Beyond those actions you can do a lot to reduce the heat coming into your home in the first place. That way your air conditioner has less work to do and you’ll save money while staying cool.

First of all look for ways to stop the heat from entering your home through the windows. Much of the heat that gets into your house is usually through the windows. Double pane and low-E windows can help, but if your windows to the East, South and West are getting direct sun they’ll seriously heat up your house.
1. Shade them from the outside if possible, using trees and landscaping, or otherwise awnings above the windows.
2. Shade from the inside with drapes, blinds or curtains. The honeycomb pull shades are very good at insulating the windows in both Summer and Winter.
3. If you can’t shade the window, solar screens can go some way to reducing the heat. There are several manufacturers that offer screens that reduce the solar radiation before it hits the window.
If your windows are old and need replacing make sure to get Low-E glass.

Check the insulation in your attic. A lot of heat will come into your home from above. If you have blown in fiberglass insulation make sure it is covering the whole of the attic floor area and is not compressed anywhere. It only works properly if it’s fluffy. If you don’t have insulation in the attic, then getting it should be a priority.

Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents (CFLs). Not only are CFLs going to save you money on the electricity it takes to light your home, but they run cool so will save you even more on air conditioning.

Seal around doors and windows. Check your doors and windows for leaks. If you can feel air flow or see light through a crack then it needs either caulk or an appropriate weather strip.

When it comes time to replace your roofing, chose a light color. Black or dark tiles absorb much more heat from the sun. A light colored roof can reduce your cooling bills significantly.

Super Cheap Electricity is a reseller of Texas electricity and generally concerned when it comes to excess electricity usage by providing access to cheap electricity in Texas. The Texas energy company maintains a save electricity blog which provides tips and suggestions about how to save money on your electricity bill.

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