Friday, May 23, 2008

Time to Have Your Air Conditioner Serviced for Best Energy Efficiency

Summer's coming. It unofficially starts tomorrow, and over the next few weeks the weather will be warming up and air conditioners will start their summer jobs. If you haven't done so yet, you should have your air conditioner serviced by a professional so that it runs the most efficiently this summer. 

I used to think that it probably cost more to have it serviced than the amount of money I saved by having it run efficiently. But now I realize that the cost of not having it serviced is more than just monetary. 

If you don't have it serviced annually, it's estimated that your air conditioner unit will lose 5% of its efficiency each year. 

Other tips for keeping your unit running more efficiently:
  • Change your filters regularly. When you have it serviced, the filters should be changed. But checking the filters monthly after that to make sure they are clean will ensure that the unit runs more efficiently.
  • Get a programable thermostat and learn how to use it. A programable thermostat can regulate the turning off and turning on of your unit when it needs it. It won't run longer than it needs to.
  • If your home is particularly humid, get a separate dehumidifier. Air conditioners work overtime to get the humidity out of the air. Get an Energy Star certified dehumidifier, and your air will be more comfortable while your air conditioner works less.
  • Close your blinds and drapes. Open blinds and drapes let the sunlight in and heats the inside of the home causing your air conditioner to work harder. Keeping them closed during the day will keep your home cooler.
  • Watch out for heat producing appliances. Washers, dryers, ovens, dishwasher, even showers can raise the temperature in your home and often add humidity. Run appliances early in the morning or late at night when the outside temperature is cooler. Use toaster ovens, slow cookers, or cook outside instead of heating up your oven. Take a cool bath or shower.
An added benefit to running your air conditioner efficiently is that it will save you money.
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