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How to Keep Summer Air Conditioning Costs Low

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Many people don’t realize that when their bills come in every month they could be spending less than half of what it normally costs to keep their homes at a comfortable level. This is especially true during hot summer months in warm climates where families literally pay hundreds of dollars to keep their homes cool.

There are thousands of little steps that people can take in order to reduce cooling costs, while keeping temperatures at a comfortable level. Here are just a few of those tips:

Get All of the Cool Air You Can Out of Your Air Conditioner

Most air conditioners are more than capable of reaching optimal temperatures with little work. A few suggestions that might be considered in order to maximize efficiency include using a fan with your window air conditioner to spread the cool air throughout the entire living space, ensuring that air flow is not blocked, changing air filters monthly during particular hot seasons, and using a ceiling fan whenever possible. These small changes to regular living habits are not difficult to adopt, and they make a huge difference when the utility bill arrives.

Pay Attention to the Little Things

Caulking, weatherstripping, and proper insulation are essential in order to not lose cool air to neighbors or outside. Another important thing to remember is that when holes or separated air ducts are found they should be fixed immediately. Repairing these types of damages may require professional help, but the savings will be worth it in the long run. Also, if a fireplace is in your home or apartment it is important to make sure that the damper is closed as tightly as possible. Each of these suggestions are fairly easy to adopt and they will ensure that air is always flowing properly and in the right direction.

Other Suggestions

An excellent way to reduce the amount of electricity an AC unit uses is to shade the air conditioning unit by planting trees, bushes, or shrubs around it. Not only will this save electricity, but your unit will last longer and the yard looks beautiful. Also, be aware of which rooms are shaded during specific times of the day. Rooms which are not affected by lots of sunlight may be able to have their vents closed and still be at a comfortable temperature.

Again, there are a variety of ways in which cooling costs can be kept low if you feel you may be spending too much on cooling costs.

The Age of AC

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Summer is fast approaching. Even though many people have not decided to take their air conditioners out of the closet, they still may wonder if it is time to replace the unit. With proper maintenance, the average window conditioner can last between 20-30 years. The older an air condition model the less efficient it is, as a general rule.

If your air conditioner is at the 20 year mark, or you have a central air conditioner reaching the 30 year mark, it may not yet be time to replace the unit. If the air conditioner can still cool the room in a reasonably comfortable fashion, it does not always make sense to spend extra money on the unit. Sometimes a unit can extend the life of his air conditioner by buying a recharge kit.

While buying a recharge kit can extend the life of an air conditioning unit, the home owner should make sure he either knows how to do this or hires a certified professional. Older air conditioners may still use freon as a coolant in the unit. Freon was banned in the early 90s as a significant contributor to the growing hole in the Ozone layer. As long as the gas stays in the unit, it will not cause any problems. Leaking air conditioners or improper replacement can cause the hazardous substance to enter into the atmosphere.

A homeowner should perform regular maintenance such as cleaning the filter can extend the life. Even if it does not extend the life, cleaning the filter at least once a year will make the unit more effective in controlling temperature. Clean filters also reduce the number of allergens in the air.

Even if a homeowner does not take proper care of his equipment, he can still expect an air conditioner lifespan to last at least two decades.

Save Power: AC on Low, or AC Off?

Friday, April 8th, 2011

People switch between keeping the air conditioner on all day at low temperatures and turning it on only when they are home, but running it high. But the air conditioner does more than just blow cool air on you. It also has an effect on the environment.

So which is better? Which method has a better effect on the home and environment? Books and reports have been written to answer this seemingly benign question. Scientists devote themselves to fields of research that study just this topic.

AC systems have been available to consumers for 50 years. In that half-century, people have become accustomed to the comfortable environment they provide. An addiction to cold air has been created.

ACs are important. The heat wave that hit in 2003 killed more than 30,000 people. Since then, governments have put special measures in place in an attempt to prevent such natural disasters. But in their haste to save human lives, have they endangered the environment?

Keeping the AC on when you leave the house is not like forgetting to turn off the lights. It has a much greater and more measurable impact on the planet. It requires electricity to run an air conditioner, and electricity usually comes from coal-fueled power plants. This means that if you want your home or vehicle to stay cool, it’s going to cost a lot of coal.

There is a dangerous balance to AC use: the more an AC is used, the more greenhouse gases are released. When an air conditioner is on, it releases carbon into the air, which in turn contributes to global warming. In an effort to cool ourselves, we are heating the world.

Although the best way to use an air conditioner is to not use it (use ceiling fans, bed fans, keep the windows open in the morning), there are ways to minimize its effect on the environment. Turn the AC off when you are not home and when you’re sleeping. Also, keep it off on cool summer days. Just because it’s “summer” doesn’t mean it’s hot. Make sure that the unit is the appropriate size for the living space. It also helps to clean the filter and coils.

So which method is better? It’s always better to turn off an appliance or machine when it is not being used. Even at low levels, it is still accommodating someone that isn’t there.

A/C Tune-up Special!

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

It’s spring in Austin and it’s time for our annual A/C tune-up special. So, we are currently running a $19.95 A/C Tune-up Special!

Website Redesigned!

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Our new website is up and running, enjoy!