Keeping Your AC System Cleaner

Are You Making Your AC Cost You Money?

by Yolanda White

As the summer heat continues to produce record highs, your air conditioning is working as hard as it can to keep your home cool. While this is what it is designed to do, unfortunately there are a few things that you may be doing that could be making its job harder. Not only are some of these things costing you money, but they could also be shortening the life of your unit.

Failing To Install A Programmable Thermostat

Did you know that by simply raising the temperature in your home by 7-10 degrees during the time that you are at work in the summer, as well as lower it during the winter, could save you up to 10% off of your annual cooling cost? While you are able to do this with a manual thermostat, it is much easier to do with a programmable one.

Although most new homes being constructed now come with programmable thermostats, if you live in an older home, there is a good chance that you do not have one unless you have installed it. But failing to install one means that you have to remember to adjust your your thermostat before you leave your home. If you fail to remember to do so, you run the risk of your system running when no one is there, which in turn will cause your system to work harder than it needs to and make it less efficient. 

Failing To Run Your Ceiling Fans

Prior to modern homes having AC installations most homes had some type of fan system. Although these fans do not lower the temperature in their respective rooms, they help to accelerate the evaporation of your body's natural perspiration on your skin. Because of this, many times you will feel cooler sitting under a moving fan than you will under the vent of your air conditioning unit. This is because of the wind chill effect

Running your AC when fans would do the job can be a very expensive proposal. You could possibly be costing yourself as much as 35 times more money than you need to. This is because if you have a central A/C it uses approximately 3 kilowatts of energy which costs about 36 cent per hour, in contrast a ceiling fan only uses 30 watts and will only cost you approximately 1 cent per hour. 

Failing To Close Your Blinds Or Curtains

If you are one of those people who love to see sunbeams of light dance across your floor, you may open your curtains and/or blinds as soon as your feet hit the floor. While this may increase the amount of natural sunlight that pours into your home, it will also increase the amount of sun's heat that is being introduced to your room that your AC unit will then have to counteract. 

If you want to open your curtains and blinds, consider opening the ones on the opposite side of the house away from the sun. This will give you light with a minimum amount of heat. Just remember to come back later and close them as the sun moves to that side of your property.

Look around your home for other ways that you may be taxing your air conditioning system. Some of these may include:

  • Not cleaning your filters
  • Not changing your filters
  • Cooling empty rooms
  • Not annually servicing your system and more

All of these can contribute to a shortened lifespan of your AC system, which in turn will not only lead to you having to call an air conditioning specialist for AC repair, but will cause you to have to have an AC installation sooner than you had planned. Don't put yourself in this position, make sure you do the things you need to do in order to keep your system in working order. A professional from companies like A-1 American Services can give you more information.