As a homeowner, you want to keep your utility costs as low as possible. When it comes to these costs, air conditioning plays a very significant role. While some people think of steps like ensuring their lights are turned off and not letting water run for long periods of time, the truth is those aspects of utility consumption only account for a small fraction of the total cost. If you want to noticeably bring down your charges, you need to focus on the large impact that your air conditioner can have.
One of the most common reasons that homeowners end up paying more than they should for utilities each month is because they make one or more mistakes with their AC unit. The good news is once you’re aware of those mistakes; it’s actually quite easy to avoid them. To keep your utility costs under control, here are the mistakes you need to avoid:
Letting It Run When You’re Away
During the peak months of summer, you never want the inside of your home to be scorching hot. Not only will it be quite uncomfortable when you walk inside, but very high indoor temperatures have the potential to damage sensitive electronics.
That being said, when you’re away at work, there’s no reason to keep your home as cool as you do when you’re there. It’s fine to let the temperature in your home raise by five or even ten degrees during the time you’re gone. Then when you get home, it won’t take long for your air conditioning to cool your house back down to where you want it.
You can even use a timer if you want your home to be cooled down when you arrive. And while this may not seem like that big of a change, since it can mean up to eight hours a day that your AC doesn’t have to run, the cumulative impact over the course of a month can be quite significant!
Trying to Hide the Exterior Unit
It would be difficult to find someone who thinks that standard AC units are attractive. Because of their box shape and generally dull colors, these units aren’t going to win any design awards. But even though they’re not the greatest looking doesn’t mean that you should try to hide them.
When a homeowner does attempt to hide their exterior unit, they generally do so with things like shrubs or bushes. While it’s not difficult to see why they think that decision is a good one, the truth is it simply increases the likelihood of that homeowner having an ongoing problem with their AC unit getting clogged or not running at peak efficiency.
Since those problems can increase utility costs, as well as require paying a technician to get out all of the junk that’s clogged up the unit, you can save yourself headaches and money by putting your unit in an area where it’s not obstructed.
Not Upgrading to a More Efficient Unit
Even if your unit still runs, if it’s over five years old, it may make sense to upgrade to a new air conditioning unit. An experienced service company can sit down with you and crunch the numbers to see just how much you can save by upgrading to a new unit.
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