Hot and humid summer days leave many Missourians cranking up the air conditioning. While you’re trying to keep your home or business cool, however, your electric bill can skyrocket. Your Missouri Electric Cooperatives’ “Take Control & Save” energy efficiency program can help you find ways to save money this summer without turning off the air.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that your air conditioning expenses are about half of your monthly electric bill in the summer months, but basic air conditioning unit cleaning and maintenance can help you reduce your summer electric usage.
Keep Your Air Conditioning Unit Clean
According to “Take Control & Save,” dirt and neglect can cause your air conditioning unit to run inefficiently. An inefficient air conditioning unit is an expensive air conditioning unit, so a little bit of cleaning can save your family money at the end of the billing cycle.
“Take Control & Save” recommends turning off your air conditioning unit, clearing it of leaves and debris, and trimming back foliage by at least two feet. If you can, it’s also a good idea to clean the air conditioning unit’s blades, evaporator coil, and condenser coil, and to tidy up your home’s vacuum registers (source).
Maintain Your Air Conditioning Unit for Maximum Efficiency
Proper air conditioning maintenance doesn’t just include cleaning — you should also make sure that your unit’s filters are replaced regularly during the summer months. According to “Take Control & Save:”
“Clogged, dirty filters block normal airflow and significantly reduce a system’s efficiency,” the site says. “Replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent (source).”
Your Pre-Season Air Conditioner Checklist
Another important step in maintenance of your home air conditioning unit is an annual professional tune-up. A well-trained air conditioning technician can find and fix problems that will improve your air conditioning unit’s efficiency and your family’s comfort.
“Take Control & Save” recommends that you hire a professional technician to run an annual pre-season check-up on your home’s air conditioning unit. You can find a nine-point checklist on the “Take Control & Save” website of things the technician should be looking at when he or she visits.
Beating summer heat doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. A little bit of cleaning, some basic maintenance, and an annual professional tune-up can keep your air conditioner running efficiently, and it can keep your home or business cool in the process.