If you think your electric bill is too high — and who doesn’t? — you can take steps to increase the efficiency of your air conditioning system and therefore reduce your electric bill. In Northern Utah, record setting heat is nothing new anymore, so increasing the efficiency of your HVAC system now makes real sense.
Use the following tips to save money and get better cooling too:
Replace Older Units. If your unit is more than 10 years old, it’s probably past its lifespan. In any case, new units are dramatically more efficient than they once were. Today’s Energy Star-rated systems can use half as much electricity as a unit installed in the 1990s. You’ll quickly recoup the cost of your new system in energy savings, perhaps within a year.
Keep Your Ducts Clean. Dirty duct work is inefficient, but even worse are the gaps and seam separations that are common as ducting ages. Use special tape — standard “duct” tape isn’t good enough — to repair damage and shore up failing seams. Air that escapes your ducts in the wrong place may not be contributing to the comfort of your home.
Use a Programmable Thermostat. These thermostats allow you to control your unit more precisely — and newer ones even learn your behaviors and back off on cooling when they sense no one is home. They also allow you to reduce cooling power in areas of the house that aren’t in use.
Replace Air Filters Monthly. HVAC systems that bog down cost more to run, but changing or cleaning filters as recommended allows air to flow better through them, increasing performance and saving you money. Keeping filters in order is one of the simplest and least expensive things you can do to save money on AC costs.
Keep AC Compressor Out of Sun. You can shade your outdoor unit with an awning, by planting a tree or by locating it in a shaded area to begin with. This can make as much as 10 percent difference on your utility bill. Clean the debris from around the outdoor unit for additional savings.
Reducing your AC costs essentially comes down to paying attention to usage and keeping things clean and in order. If you need a new system or a new thermostat, turn to a professional air conditioning installer. And if you need cleaning services or other solutions, turn to a pro also. They know what’s worked for others and how you can save every month.