4 Reasons Your AC Is Needlessly Skyrocketing Your Utility Bills
During Arizona’s summer, your air conditioner is a huge energy hog, consuming electricity like nobody’s business.
So it’s no surprise your energy bills are so high.
However, your AC may be running WAY longer than it should because of these 4 issues:
1) The air filter is filthy
A dirty air filter forces your AC to run longer and harder, meaning higher energy bills.
Not only that, but it increases the chance of your AC breaking down. Who wants that on a sizzling summer day?
Do this: Check the filter once a month and change it if needed.
2) You’re not taking advantage of your ceiling fans
Who needs a ceiling fan when you have central cooling, right?
Ceiling fans can supplement your home’s cooling, meaning you can use your AC less and, therefore, pay less.
The New York Times reports that the average AC costs 36 cents/hour to use. Whereas a ceiling fan running at medium speed for 3 hours only costs a penny!
Do this: Turn on your ceiling fans, then turn up your thermostat 4°F warmer. You will feel just as comfortable while paying less, according to U.S Department of Energy.
Note: Keep in mind, your ceiling fan does not actually lower your home’s temperature; it only makes you FEEL cooler using the wind chill effect. So when you turn on the ceiling fan, you need to turn the temperature up so the AC will run less.
3) You’re not using your thermostat properly
Do you keep your thermostat set on one temperature all day?
While that may be easier, it’s certainly not efficient. Why would you cool your home the same way when you’re at home as when you’re away? Or when you’re asleep vs. awake?
The answer: You shouldn’t!
Do this: Set your thermostat to 75-78 degrees when you’re at home and awake.
Then, when you’re away from home for 8 hours or more, turn up your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees so your air conditioner runs less.
If that sounds like a pain, then get a programmable thermostat to do it for you automatically.
4) The outside AC unit is dirty
Long story short, when your AC’s outside unit is dirty your air conditioner struggles to cool your home and has to run longer than it should.
Do this: Check your AC’s outside unit. Is it dirty? Is it covered in dust, leaves or cobwebs? Get it cleaned!
Don’t just hose it off yourself, though. You may bend the delicate metal ‘fins’ that allow air to cool off the condenser coil. We suggest getting a condenser coil cleaning as part of a professional AC tune-up.
Here is your to-do checklist
- Check the air filter once a month; change it if it’s dirty.
- Turn on ceiling fans, then turn up the thermostat 4 degrees warmer.
- Set your thermostat at 75-78 when you’re home, then up 10 to 15 degrees when you’re away for 8+ hours.
- Get your dirty outside unit cleaned by a professional.