After the record breaking heat these last 10 days, I am afraid to see my electric bill. I feel like my air conditioner ran 24 hours a day. There is nothing we can do about the unpredictable St. Louis summers but we can make sure that our unit is running at its highest efficiency. I have outlined a few things you can do that won’t break the bank.
1. Change your filter. A dirty furnace filter not only reduces efficiency greatly, but can damage the inside of the furnace.
-Write the date on the side of the filter. That way you know when you last replaced it.
-Put reminders in your phone or on your calendar. A 1” filter needs to be replaced every 1-3 months depending on your household and quality of the filter. If you hold your filter up to the light you will be able to see whether or not the filter needs to be replaced.
2. Keep the outdoor condenser coil clean. As the air is sucked into the outside unit all debris can be sucked in as well. Homeowners with a lot of cottonwood trees should be aware of this.
-You can hose off the outside unit. Do not use a spray nozzle or your fingers to create extra pressure.
-When cutting the lawn make sure that you are blowing clippings away from the air conditioner.
-Keep area around air conditioners and heat pumps clear. There should be at least 4’ above and 1’ foot around unit of clear space.
3. Install a programmable thermostat. If you are using a non-programmable you should consider replacing it soon. Programmable thermostats can greatly reduce energy costs.
-When setting your program keep your temperature variance between 1-3 degrees. Anything more than this will cause longer run times. Believe it or not, 1-3 degrees does makes a huge difference. Each degree lower in the winter months and higher in the summer months can save on average $15-$40 a month depending on the home and outdoor temperatures.
I hope you have found these tips helpful. Stay cool!