Through routine maintenance, you can keep your air conditioning repairs down to a minimum. This is particularly important for saving you money, especially during the intense heat of summer. Below we provide some tips for how to save money on AC repairs, as well as for cutting your energy costs.
How to Save Money on AC Repairs
The best way to save money on AC repairs is to perform routine maintenance on your air conditioning system. This easy maintenance keeps you from having to call your repair technician as often as when you neglect these working parts.
Keep Air Filters Clean
As your air conditioning unit works to keep your home cool, it passes air through its filtration system. By replacing disposable filters or cleaning washable ones, you enable efficient AC operation. Maintain these filters every 60 to 90 days or when they get dirty according to your local environment.
Clear Away Debris from the Outdoor Unit
Your outside AC unit plays a major role in the overall system’s efficiency. To keep it running its best, keep two feet of space clear around it. This enables easier air circulation and greater efficiency. Ensure you clear away debris and foliage, including weeds, branches, leaves and plants.
Gently Rinse the Outside Unit
While clearing away debris and plants from the outdoor AC unit, take a few extra moments to rinse it, too. Do not use a pressure washer under any circumstances. Simply use a garden hose to wash away lint, dirt, mold and mildew. Also, remember to rinse the concrete slab at the base of your air conditioning unit. While doing so, ensure water drains as it should from the base.
Check Drain Lines
Drain lines keep water from accumulating within and around the AC unit. Check these lines when you change filters and perform other maintenance, to ensure they do not have clogs or obstructions from debris, algae, rodents or mold.
Check the Thermostat
Does the thermostat seem to work as it should? At the first sign of your thermostat not properly regulating temperature, call a repair technician to check the unit. If you do not already have a programmable thermostat, have one installed to enhance efficiency and save money.
Keeping Your Energy Bills Low
Besides properly maintaining your AC unit to prevent the need for air conditioning repair, good practices also save you money on utility bills. Besides following the tips above, consider these other ways to reduce energy costs.
Use a Ceiling Fan
Combining a ceiling fan with your home air conditioning does not increase your energy costs, as you may think. Instead, the fan works with your AC unit to keep it from wasting energy. A ceiling fan makes you feel much cooler. Simply operate it in a counter-clockwise direction to push cool air downward. In winter, switch the rotation to a clockwise direction to pull cool air upward. That helps save money on your heating costs, too.
Close the Blinds or Curtains
The summer sun generates intense heat. Your thermostat can pick up on this heat and operate inefficiently. Keep blinds and curtains near the thermostat closed during peak sunshine hours. This keeps the thermostat reading the room temperature, instead of the temperature of the sun-generated heat.
Turn Up the Temperature
Try to adapt to a warmer inside temperature as summer progresses. A good suggestion is cooling your home to 78 degrees, instead of 72 or lower. This six-degree difference can make a huge impact on your energy costs, by as much as 20 percent. Using a programmable thermostat manages your costs even better. When not at home, you can program the unit to cool to only 80 degrees, not wasting energy by cooling empty rooms.
Avoid Operation of Heating Appliances during the Day
During the day, the summer heat is most intense. For this reason, you should avoid adding to that heat by running multiple appliances that raise your home’s interior temperature. Try to operate your dishwasher, oven and clothes dryer at night when outdoor temperatures drop. As alternatives, you can use the microwave or outdoor grill during the day and wash dishes by hand.