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As summer temperatures rise, so do utility bills as most of us choose to run our air conditioners more often. We have five pieces of advice to keep your air conditioning costs lower than they otherwise would be. Whether it’s basic maintenance or strategic positioning of cooling fans, following this advice can save you hundreds of dollars per year and still keep your home cool.

1. Clean Your Air Conditioner Outdoor Unit

Throughout the year, the condenser unit of your air conditioner collects dust and debris that prevent it from drawing air effectively. When the unit is covered in dirt, leaves, and twigs, it struggles with sending warm air away from the unit to cool your house. You should hose off your unit and spray the exterior of the condenser with water. This removes dead leaves, dust, and other debris from the cooling fins.

2. Change Your Air Filter

You should change your air filter about once a month, more if you are in a dusty environment. A clogged air filter means your air conditioner unit has to work harder and less efficiently to keep your home cool. Moreover, a dirty air filter can cause allergies and breathing problems.

3. Turn Your Thermostat Up, Not Off

It may seem like common sense to turn your air conditioner off to use no energy, but it takes more energy to get it started and bring temperatures back down. However, if you just turn up the thermostat a few degrees higher, you can keep your home cool with less effort. Dropping a room’s temperature by a few degrees is easier on the AC than dropping it by 10.

4. Use Fans Where Possible

If you’re just going to be in one or two rooms of the house, you don’t need to cool the entire house. Just put a couple of box fans in the room, keep your thermostat up, and enjoy the cool air. To amplify the effect, position another box fan in the path of the first. You can create a comfortable path of cool air and maximize the effect of your air conditioner without having to turn it down too low. If you have ceiling fans, make sure they are circulating counterclockwise during the summer.

5. Keep Your Home Cool With A New AC

If your HVAC is over 10-15 years old, your air conditioner might be due for replacement. It’s beneficial to invest in an energy-efficient AC unit. In some circumstances, you could receive tax breaks or rebates from your power company for upgrading to an energy-efficient unit. Look for the ENERGY STAR certified models when upgrading your air conditioner.

Aztec Home Inspections provides home inspection services in Harrisonburg, VA and the surrounding areas. Contact us if you have a property in the Harrisonburg, Virginia area that needs an inspection or testing service.