Anyone who lives in a region with high summer temperatures knows how crucial it is to have air conditioning. When the thermometer reads in the triple digits and your house turns into an oven, a cool blast of AC can make the difference between a good night’s sleep or sweating buckets on top of the covers. In extreme cases it could even mean the difference between life and death. But there’s no denying that air conditioning comes at no small expense. When you crank the thermostat, you do so knowing that you’re likely going to pay an arm and a leg for it later. However, if you’re not keen to sign over your first-born child in exchange for comfortable living spaces, you’ll be happy to hear that there are all kinds of operation and maintenance tips that can help you to conserve energy and control associated costs. Here are a few ways to save money on your AC usage without sacrificing a cool interior climate.
The first step is to make sure you schedule annual visits from your HVAC technician. When your system is cleaned, inspected, repaired, and properly maintained all around you have a much better shot at achieving the greatest possible energy efficiency from your AC unit and all of the components attached to it. That said, it helps to have the right components in place. This, of course, begins with your AC unit itself. And if you’re relying on a unit that is twenty plus years old at this point, you’re dealing with two potential problems. First, it is probably starting to break down more frequently, leading to both inconvenience and rapidly rising maintenance costs. Second, it’s probably costing you significantly more to cool your home than it should.
With a modern, energy-efficient AC unit you stand to cut maintenance costs and your monthly energy bill simultaneously. And there are several options to consider. Instead of the basic, single-stage unit that only runs at one speed, you might consider a double-stage AC unit that offers a low speed and greater efficiency for small demand (1-2 degrees of cooling), as well as a higher speed when you need your home to be several degrees cooler, stat. There are also variable-speed units that could offer the greatest efficiency and performance. In short, a newer unit could provide not only the consistent cooling you crave, but also greater energy and financial savings.
But you’re not done yet. If you want to optimize efficiency for your home cooling, you need to make sure you have the right components working with your AC unit. This could mean adding a programmable thermostat or installing a zoning system to optimize usage throughout your living spaces, as well as throughout the average day. And choosing the right dehumidifier for your system could also play a role in how well your system works and the overall costs associated with your AC operation.
Lowering your cooling costs begins with having the right components in place and ends with a proper schedule for maintenance. In between you’ll be responsible for running your system in a manner that is consistent with the greatest overall efficiency and reporting any problems you experience post haste so that your HVAC technician can address them before they cause any real damage.