Energy Efficiency And Your Air Conditioner: What You Need To Know

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Summer is known for many wonderful things, from having picnics in the park to enjoying an ice cream cone while dipping your toes in the pool. What's not so wonderful about the summer months is that cooling your home can cause your electric bill to spike right when you want to spend money on a nice vacation or summer camp for the kids. One reason your electric bill is so high in the summer is that keeping your house cool is an energy-intensive activity. Whether you have an old window unit or central air conditioning, the system uses a lot of energy to cool things down and keep the temperature of your home constant. If you are tired of sky-high electric bills during the summer months, here are four things you can do to make sure your cooling system is as efficient as possible.

1. Clean the filter regularly. 

The filter in your air conditioner does an important job: removing particulates from the air. Some particles, such as dirt, impede the performance of an air conditioner by blocking air flow, which causes the system to work harder to reduce the temperature in your home. Cleaning the air filter removes these particles, improving air flow and making it easier for the unit to maintain your desired temperature without working so hard.

2. Replace your existing system with a mini-split air conditioner. 

Central air conditioning is effective, but it also uses a lot of energy because the system has to cool your entire house. If you spend most of your time in the living room and bedroom, it doesn't make sense to use so much energy to cool down the basement rec room, the laundry room, and the kitchen. Mini-split air conditioners allow you to independently control the temperature of each room in your home. If you plan to spend several hours in your home office, you can use a mini-split air conditioner to set a lower temperature for the office and a higher temperature for other rooms in your home. The system will not have to work as hard to maintain the temperature in other rooms, reducing energy usage and helping you out on your electric bill.

3. Make sure your air conditioner is installed properly. 

For many people, cutting costs is an important part of budgeting. To save money, some of those people install their own air conditioners. If you installed your own window AC unit, you may have saved money on air conditioner installation, but you may be losing even more money if the unit is not installed correctly. Installing your own central air system can cause even more problems, as leaky ducts lead to poor system function. If you installed your own window unit or central AC, contact one of the air conditioning installation services in your area. Have a technician come to your house and check to make sure the system is installed properly. Otherwise, you may be wasting energy and putting unneeded stress on the AC system.

4. Have a qualified professional check the sensors and electrical controls of your air conditioner. 

Faulty electric controls and sensors impair the efficiency of an air conditioner and may even increase the risk of electrical fires. The electrical controls are strained every time the unit turns on or off, so anyone who has had the same air conditioner for several years should have the controls checked for corrosion and other problems. If you have a window unit, the sensor inside is responsible for sensing the temperature in the room and telling the air conditioner when to kick on. When the sensor is out of place, it cannot determine the room's temperature, which may cause the air conditioner to turn on when it is not needed or stay on longer than necessary. Having a technician replace the sensor can eliminate these problems, reducing energy usage.

Switching from an air conditioner to a ceiling fan or box fan would certainly save money, but for many people, the energy savings would be outweighed by extreme discomfort during the summer months. If you want to reduce your energy usage without getting rid of your air conditioner, be sure to maintain the system regularly. For anything more complicated than cleaning the filter, have a qualified technician make the repair. Contact a company that offers air conditioning maintenance services to learn more.