When temperatures start heating up, Americans stay cool by turning on their air conditioners. According to a recent national survey commissioned by Emerson Climate Technologies, 73 degrees is the thermostat setting of choice "during daytime hours on the hottest days of the year." This level of cooling comes at a cost. Keeping your thermostat slightly lower, at 72 degrees, your air conditioner can be responsible for up to 95% of your total energy bill according to the Con Edison Energy Company of New York.
When you understand the impact your air conditioner can have on your monthly utility bill it's easy to see the benefits of routine maintenance. By maintaining your AC unit, and it's related elements you can guarantee your air conditioner works efficiently through it's life.
Helpful Tips For Maintaining Your Air Conditioner
- Clean Your Air Conditioner. Any debris that impedes air flow around your air conditioner can force it to work harder. Try to thoroughly clean the area around your air conditioner at least annually.
- Clean Your Air Conditioner Filters (and Replace As Needed). You should check your air conditioner filters monthly. Clean or replace as needed. Build-up on your filters can restrict air-flow.
- Check For Leaks. Leaky or uninsulated ducts can lose as much as 30-40% of your cooling energy.
- Avoid "Over-Working" Your Air Conditioner. In certain conditions your AC unit may automatically shut-down, in worse conditions it may even fail. In cases like this it's best to give your AC unit at least five to ten minutes to cool off before you attempt to restart it.
Even if you are part of the over 30% of homeowners that have not had their central air conditioner inspected or serviced by a professional contractor in the past year you can still follow these simple tips to improve the efficiency of your air conditioner. Proper maintenance can ensure your AC unit is running efficiently and reduce your monthly energy bills. Reducing your energy consumption can graciously help more than your wallet, it helps the environment too.