Air conditioning bills tend to skyrocket in July and August as homeowners run their systems constantly in an effort to beat the heat. With proper maintenance–ideally before the summer starts–and judicious use, most air conditioners are up to the challenge, and can provide reliable cooling without risk of a breakdown during the summer months. Homeowners looking to upgrade their systems can cut into costs as well, by replacing older thermostats, installing electronic filters and similar steps designed to ease the load on the AC system. But while those require the services of a trained professional, prudent homeowners can also take a number of simple steps themselves to cut down on those high AC bills and reduce the overall strain on the system. A brief list of possible options can be found below.
- Change the filters. Air conditioners come with a filter to strain out dust and dirt as the air passes through the system. These filters can become clogged over time, which will reduce the flow of air through the system: lowering the AC’s efficiency. Homeowners can change the filters themselves quite easily, and replacements are available at most hardware stores and home improvement centers.
- Seal cracks around doors and windows. Homes can lose a lot of cool air through the cracks under doors and around window frames. Weather stripping can be cheaply purchased and put in place to seal these cracks: improving the AC’s efficiency immeasurably and helping to lower the monthly costs of running it.
- Set the thermostat higher. One needn’t set the thermostat as cool as possible to enjoy the comforts of air conditioning. Setting the temperature a little higher than normal–78°F instead of 75°F–can cut precious dollars out of those monthly bills.
- Run the AC judiciously. Some people erroneously believe that running an air conditioner all day saves money since it won’t have to work so hard to cool the home down in the evening. Nothing could be further from the truth, and running the AC to an unoccupied house can be a huge waste of money. Instead, set the thermostat to 85°F during the day, then program the AC to lower the temperature 20 minutes before the first family member arrives home. The house will be cool and the costs will be lowered.
- Dress for the season. Lightweight summer clothes can be worn indoors as well as outdoors to make the atmosphere more pleasant.
- Hydrate. Similarly, it helps to stay hydrated during the day when at home, especially with lighter drinks such as water, fruit juices, and iced tea.
- Open the house at night. It costs much less to run a fan and circulate the air than it does to run a full-bore air conditioner. Once the sun goes down, open up the windows and turn the air conditioner off, using fans to blow the air through the home.
For more serious improvements to air conditioning efficiency such as maintenance or upgrades here in Westchester County, NY, call the friendly pros at Yost & Campbell Heating, Cooling & Generators today!