If you live in New York, you are no stranger to its brutal heat wave in the summer. We loathe the painful cold winter months, and wish heavily for warmer days. We often forget how hot our summers can get until we step outside into nature's oven in the middle of August.
Homeowners will be spending an average of almost 20% of their annual energy bill on cooling this year. Though this may be 20% well spent for comfort, it can increase if you are not sensitive to your air conditioner's regular, and required maintenance. If you want your air conditioner to run accordingly during its peak usage, and without any unexpected repair costs, you will want to keep these 5 tips in mind for optimal results.
1. Clean and replace (when needed) the air condition's filter.
Sounds simple enough, and if you read other blogs on tips and maintenance you will see this as a top priority. Guess what? No one ever does it, or if they do, the percentage is below average. The filter collects dust and allergens as they circulate throughout the home. When your filters are neglected they become clogged, forcing your air conditioner to work double the amount of time to give you the same results you. Golden rule is to have your filters changed every 2 to 3 months.
2. Annual checkup.
If you are lucky enough to have central air, just the same way you have your heating unit inspected annually (so we hope), the same applies to your air conditioning system. Annual maintenance checks for leaks, worn out coils, filters, freon levels, and any inconsistencies with performance goes a long way. Addressing any potential issues can minimize your unit's failure.
3. Thermostat adjustment.
Consider a programmable thermostat to adjust your settings for set times throughout the day. When used efficiently, this is a huge money saver.
4. Sealing cooling ducts.
Air travels from room to room through your ducts. Proper sealing will improve your unit's performance by as much as 20%. Duct sealant, like mastic or foil tape to seal your seams and duct's connectors will prevent any loss of air.
5. Think Energy Star.
Nothing beats the savings of an Energy Star central air system or individual unit. These units deliver less energy consumption and are a much better value.
Always keep your unit protected in a heavy plastic sheeting when it is time to store it, and before doing any kind of work to the air conditioner, be sure the unit is unplugged. Room air conditioners have one or two capacitors, which can be found behind the control panel and by the fan. Capacitors store electricity, and you can receive a severe shock even when the air conditioner is off.