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Concerned about cooling costs? Try these 5 Tips

June 27, 2016

Heating Season Tips

How do you keep cooling bills down as things heat up for the next few months?

Here's some advice from a heating and cooling expert and the Department of Energy:

  • Change your filters. A common reason for increased electric bills and inefficient use of AC units is that the filter is completely clogged up, resulting from not being changed in months. And what it does is it trips the system off.

If you have trouble remembering to do so, try this: Buy a multi-pack of filters, write the month each should be installed and stack them next to your HVAC system.

  • Get professional help. You might change the air filter yourself, but there are other parts - like the condenser coil - you're unlikely to fiddle with. Improper maintenance could weaken your unit's performance by 20 to 30 percent, Holtkamp estimates.

"It not only cuts down on the efficiency, so your electricity bills are going to be a lot higher, but it also cuts down on the life of the unit itself."

Some HVAC manufacturers require regular maintenance to uphold the warranty.

  • Use your thermostat properly. Set your thermostat at the highest comfortable temperature to minimize your cooling costs.

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends a setting of 78 degrees in the summer. By turning up your thermostat when you're away from home, extra savings are possible. A programmable thermostat will allow you to automatically turn up the temperature after you leave home and restore a comfortable climate before your scheduled return.

  • Get an energy audit. An energy audit from your HVAC company will pinpoint what needs to be insulated, as well as other problem areas. Many times energy is leaving through doors, windows or even recessed lighting, Holtkamp says.
  • Mind your windows. Shades, blinds, insulated drapes or shutters are ways to control the inside temperature as well as window tinting. Rooms with windows looking east or west will be the most affected.

Article provided courtesy of Tucson.com