According to the Alliance to Save Energy, the average household in the United States spends over $2,000 per year on energy, between electricity and gas costs. If you break that down further, over half of it comes from just heating and cooling costs. Keeping your home comfortable is no small task, especially during the hot and humid temperatures of summer, when you’ll likely be firing up your air conditioner frequently to try to stay comfortable. Because this expense is so high, most homeowners will likely go to drastic lengths, even sacrificing some of their own comfort to save money. However, there’s good news, you might not need to! Here are five easy ways to save money on your utility bills and make your air conditioner more efficient.
Change Your Air Filter
One of the simplest ways to improve your air conditioner’s efficiency is also one of the easiest and cheapest. Your heater and air conditioner have an air filter that’s used to remove dust, pollen, and other debris before it gets into your system and either causes damage or gets recirculated back into your home. Over time, this air filter becomes clogged and dirty, limiting the air flow and reducing the efficiency of your system. If your air conditioner is struggling to keep up with your demands, or is running far more often than you think it should, check your filter. You should replace it every six months to a year at the very minimum for optimal efficiency, which isn’t a big deal with you consider filters are usually found for just a few dollars at your local home improvement store.
Clean Around the Outdoor Unit
Fall and winter usually means leaves and other debris will accumulate around your outdoor air conditioning unit. As you fire up the air conditioner for summer, some of this debris will get jammed in your outdoor unit, restricting its airflow and reducing its effectiveness at cooling your home. Before firing up your unit for the first time, it’s not a bad idea to take a broom or shop vacuum to your outdoor unit and clear away anything that may have accumulated over the months of inactivity. This way your outdoor unit won’t have any risk of small rocks, leaves, sticks, or other hazards getting stuck in the cooling fins, possibly damaging them.
Get a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are a simple way of keeping your air conditioner shut off while you’re not home and turning it on again in enough time to cool your house before get back. While older smart thermostats involved programming your schedule in for each day of the week and then updating it during the seasons, today’s smart thermostats are so much more advanced. Some models even go so far as to track and learn your climate adjustment habits. Within a week, you almost never have to touch your thermostat again, and you’ll be shocked at how much you’ll see your energy bills drop.
Set the Temperature and Leave It
Some people have a mistaken belief that if they set the temperature in their house below where they want it that it will cool their house quicker. This isn’t the case: most air conditioners run at one constant power and output level constantly, and your system will not cool your home any faster than it would normally. Instead, what you wind up doing is running your system too long, making yourself cold, and raising your electric bill. A smart thermostat can help you with this issue, but it also takes a bit of self-control. Just know your system won’t work any faster the lower you set the thermostat.
Get a Maintenance Service
An annual air conditioner maintenance service can significantly improve your energy efficiency. Some cleaning steps require disassembling your air conditioner, so it’s strongly advised you allow a Virginia air conditioning services expert to make the job easy for you. During this visit, your technician will clear out your air conditioner’s drain pan, unclog the drain (if necessary) and clean both your indoor and outdoor units to make sure your coils are dust-free and running properly.To schedule a summer maintenance service, call Donmar Heating & Cooling today at (703) 457-8676!