Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April is the month to make sure that your air conditioners are in top shape.

Soon enough, we’ll stop complaining about the cold and start complaining about the heat.
  • Replace your old central air conditioner with a new Energy Star-qualified model to reduce your cooling costs by 20 percent.
  • Keep your room air conditioner out of the sun. Room air conditioners work best when kept cool. Installing one in a north-facing wall is usually ideal.
  • Set your thermostat to 78° F if you have central air conditioning. You can also save an additional 6 percent to 7 percent off your cooling costs for each degree above 78° F you set it.
  • Use a ceiling fan or portable fan along with air conditioning. Fans can make you feel 3° F to 4° F cooler so you can set your AC a few degrees higher because the moving air increases evaporation from your skin and cools you off. Plus, a fan only costs a half-cent per hour to operate, so you can save on your energy bill.
  • Turn off the AC or set the thermostat up a few degrees when you leave home.
  • Be sure your air conditioner is not blocked so that it operates at peak efficiency. Check that furniture isn’t blocking the return air grill inside your house.
  • Keep doors and windows closed when using AC.
  • Turn off kitchen or bathroom exhaust fans when using AC.
  • Examine air filters once a month and clean or replace them when necessary. A dusty filter reduces air flow, so keeping them clean can cut your energy consumption 5 percent to 15 percent.

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