Any air conditioning system in the Ashburn area is going to get quite the workout each summer. Fortunately, modern cooling systems are very durable and can take the heat!
But, how much do you typically expect to pay for your air conditioner use each year? The costs of staying comfortable indoors can be steep—but you could also be paying more than necessary for your energy bills. There are a number of ways that an AC system can lose energy efficiency over the years and start raising your utility bills as a result.
There are also many ways to boost a cooling system’s efficiency and cut down on your costs. We’ve shared 5 tips below on how to do just that!
1. Raise the Thermostat Setting
Don’t worry, we’d never ask you to turn on the heat in the summertime. But you might be keeping your thermostat set lower than actually necessary. A lower thermostat setting won’t provide your home with cooling any faster, it simply causes your air conditioner’s compressor to run longer.
Our recommendation—actually the recommendation from energy.gov—is to set your thermostat at 78°F during the day, and then raising it even a bit more at night when you’re sleeping or when the home is unoccupied.
2. Clean Up around Outdoor Condenser Unit
The condenser cabinet of your air conditioner is where the system exhausts the heat that it removes from inside your home. This part of your AC can’t effectively do its job if the cabinet grill is dirty, or if lawn clippings, leaves, branches, etc. are obstructing it.
You’ll want to clear out the area around your condenser unit by about a foot on all sides. It’s also wise to clean off dirt and grime with a low-pressured hose (a high-pressure nozzle can damage the grill and coils).
3. Open Your Room Vents and Clean Off Registers
Do a walkthrough of your home before turning on your AC for the first time this summer, and make sure all the vents are fully open, and that none are blocked by furniture, rugs, or curtains. Use a vacuum hose to clean off dirt and lint from the register so the ventilation system can work properly.
4. Change Your Air Filter!
Too many homeowners forget about this small but important maintenance task that they can do all on their own. The air filter within the HVAC cabinet is in place to protect the air conditioner and blower fan from dust and other debris that gets drawn in through the return air ducts. The filter gets congested after 1-3 months, and if it isn’t removed, the blockage of airflow will force the AC system to work harder. Put in a fresh filter and remember to change it regularly!
5. Schedule AC Maintenance
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to schedule your next air conditioning maintenance appointment. Maintenance allows our technicians to comprehensively inspect, clean, and adjust your system to make sure it’s working as efficiently and effectively as possible.
It’s also at this time that we’ll alert you to repair needs, so you can get them managed right away without allowing them to grow into much bigger problems.