If you live in a hot climate, you most likely run your air conditioner often in the summer in order to keep your home cool and comfortable. But running your air conditioner constantly can lead to high electric bills during the hottest months of the year. Use the following tips to help reduce the cost of cooling your home:
Schedule an Air Conditioner Tune-up
During the spring months, it is a good idea to have your air conditioner tuned up by a professional HVAC technician. During a tune-up, coolant levels will be checked, parts will be lubricated if needed, and the compressor, motor, and belts will be inspected and any needed repairs will be made. A tune-up will ensure that your air conditioner is in optimal condition so it can run as efficiently as possible, thus saving you money.
Purchase a Programmable Thermostat
No one wants to come home to a hot house during the summer, but running your air conditioner and cooling your house when no one is home is a waste of energy and money. Installing a programmable thermostat is a great way to manage how often your A/C runs, so you don't waste money. A programmable thermostat allows you to set different temperatures for different times of the day; during the day you can set the temperature for a higher temperature, and program the air conditioner to start running shortly before you get home so the house is comfortable when you arrive.
Plant Shade Trees
Large trees are a great addition to any yard-- they look good and they can provide shade for your home. It is a good idea to plant shade trees along the western side of your house, since they will help block the hot summer sun and keep your home cooler, thus reducing the need to run the air conditioner as long. Also consider planting a shade tree or large shrub in the vicinity of your air conditioning unit to help keep it cool so it doesn't have to work as hard to chill air.
Replace Your Air Filters
Clogged, dirty air filters make it much harder for an air conditioning unit to force cold air into the home, so if you have a dirty air filter your A/C will run longer than it needs to. As summer approaches, take out the old filter and replace it with a new one. Check your filter every few weeks to make sure that it is not dirty.