Given our summer heat, an overworked air conditioner is hardly a rare thing in our region. Besides wearing out your equipment, sky-high cooling bills can put quite a dent in your budget. These tips can help you reduce the amount of energy your cooling system uses without sacrificing any indoor comfort.
- Check the air filter for the air handler monthly and change it when it’s dirty. Dirt covering the air filter increases the amount of time the air conditioner has to run, driving up your energy bills. When it gets inside the air handler, it can cover the evaporator coil, insulating the coil and making it harder for the refrigerant inside it to remove the heat from the air blowing over it.
- Have your system professionally serviced annually. The technician adjusts, cleans and lubricates the parts, while checking the refrigerant and airflow. He or she will also look over the ductwork and seal any leaks, which will reduce the amount of time the whole system runs, saving energy. A clean and adjusted air conditioner uses less energy than a neglected system.
- Shade your windows. Shade screens stop the heat before it enters your home, which is one of the most effective ways to avoid an overworked air conditioner. Some can block as much as 90 percent of the UV rays entering east-, south- and west-facing windows. You can get the kits to make your own at home improvement centers or they can be custom-made for your windows.
- Use fans for supplemental cooling. Moving air always feels cooler and turning them off when you’re not using a space keeps their energy consumption to a minimum.
- Seal the air leaks throughout your home, particularly if it’s older. Newer homes are built to tighter standards. A professional energy audit is a cost-effective way to locate where the air leaks are and where insulation may be inadequate.
If you suspect yours is an overworked air conditioner that could use a tune-up, contact Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning. We’ve provided outstanding HVAC services for the Fresno and San Joaquin Valley for more than 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air conditioners and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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