19 tips to save money on air conditioning

12:26 PM, Jul 10, 2012   |    comments
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Gary Roberts with Reliable Heating and Air shares 19 tips to keep your air conditioning unit running and save you money on cooling.

WOODSTOCK, Ga. -- Gary Roberts with Reliable Heating and Air shares his 19 tips for having your air conditioner working in top shape this summer.

1. Have your air conditioning and HVAC system serviced each year to make sure it is running at its highest efficiency level.

2. Make sure you clean the outdoor condenser coils.  If they can't release heat efficiently, then your home won't cool.  Also remove debris or shrubs that touch the condenser unit.

3. At least once a month, clean or replace your HVAC filter by rinsing it with cold water.  Be sure to replace the filter about every three months to ensure that your AC is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

4. Make sure the attic ventilation is functioning properly to help keep the equipment in the attic as cool as possible.

5. Adding more insulation in the attic will provide a better thermal barrier between the hot air in the attic and the inside of your home.

6. Turn off non-essential appliances and as many lights as possible.

7. Postpone using the major household appliances like clothes dryers, dishwashers and stoves or ovens until after 7 p.m.  These appliances create heat in homes, thereby making air conditioners work harder.

8. Avoid using exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms, as they only remove the conditioned air from your home.

9. Close the curtains and shades during the day when the sun is at its brightest. This will dramatically reduce the energy spent on cooling your home.

10. Use energy-efficient light bulbs instead of traditional incandescent ones.  They produce less heat and will lower your overall energy costs as well as keep your home cooler. 

11. Many homes have leaks and poor connections throughout the ductwork, so check it out. Use a metal tape or mastic sealant to insulate any ducts you have access to. This will prevent the hot air from coming in and your cool air escaping.

12. How old is your AC unit?  If it is over 10 years old, you may want to start looking for an energy-efficient newer model  The overall cost of running it will be a lot less and you will also be saving energy.

13. Set your air conditioner at 78 degrees and leave it there.

14.  If you have window air conditioning units, close off rooms not in use.

15. You don't want to close too many but if you're not in a certain room very much, go ahead and close the vent.

16. Make sure if your home has a return filter inside the home that you change it regularly as well.

17. Invest in some room-darkening shades or curtains.

18. Incandescent bulbs are shown to convert 97.5 percent of their energy into heat, so it's a good idea to use them as little as possible.

19.  If you don't have one, it might be worth investing in a powered attic ventilation system. Passive systems don't work as well as powered, and your attic can reach temperatures of 150 degrees. Temperatures like this are hard on the electronics, and you have to cool down the unit before you can cool your home.

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