Running a central air conditioner during the hot, humid summer months can take a big chunk our of the average household's energy bill. If you're noticing that energy use rises even more than normal while running your air conditioner, there are several steps you can take to lower your home cooling cost.
1. Fix Air Leaks - A minor air leak in one window may seem like no big deal, but many leaks around doors and windows can add up, causing your air conditioner to work harder. Use weather stripping or caulk around doors and windows to seal air leaks around the entire house.
2. Program Your Thermostat - Your thermostat is the brains of you cooling system. Be sure to program the temperature around your household schedule by turning the temperature up when your away from home. Learning, or Smart thermostats can help you save energy automatically by learning your household routine and automatically adjusting the temperature accordingly.
3. Perform Regular Maintenance - A sudden increase in your utility bill could be a sign that your air conditioner is in need of service. If you have skipped annual maintenance and your energy bill has suddenly increased, have an AC technician inspect the unit to make sure there are no problems.
4. Replace Old Equipment - If your air conditioner is more than 10-12 years old, it's time start planning for a replacement. While a new air conditioner is a major investment, the good news is a newer unit is likely to cost significantly less to operate every month.
5. Replace Dirty Air Filters - One of the most common reasons an air conditioner will begin to run less efficiently is a dirty air filter. Replacing the filter monthly is one of the most important maintenance tasks you can perform.