Tips to Extend the Life of Your A/C System

Fact: your air conditioning system will eventually die. Pieces or parts that make up the machinery will fail, and your indoor temps will skyrocket. The system will need to be fixed or replaced. It’s simply unavoidable.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t put it off as long as possible! Here are some tips to extend the lifespan of your A/C system and keep your cool.

Don’t Use It When You Don’t Need It

This may sound obvious, but it’s incredibly easy to let chilled air become your default— whether you truly need it or not! How can you break the habit?

  • Turn the A/C off at night when it gets cooler. Open up windows and use fans to pull in the cool night air.
  • Also consider turning it off when you’re away from home (at work, running errands, on a weekend trip, etc.). If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set the A/C to turn back on an hour before your planned return.
  • Shut blinds and curtains during the hottest parts of the day to keep the internal temperature cooler. Thermal curtains can make a big difference!
  • Sometimes, what we think of as “heat” can simply be a lack of air moving across the skin. Use fans to keep air circulating in the house.

Use It Efficiently When You DO Need It

You should never be sweaty and uncomfortable just because you’re trying to “save” your A/C system. Be sure to use A/C when the rising temps require—that’s why you have it! Just keep these things in mind:

  • Set the temperature as high as you comfortably can (for most people, between 75-78 degrees works). If you are over-chilling the air and then using a blanket to stay comfortable, you could likely stand to turn up the temp!
  • Use the energy efficient mode if your thermostat has one. It will cycle on and off as needed, reducing energy use and stress on the system when it isn’t needed to maintain the temp.

Don’t Forget to Tune It Up!

Even the newest A/C systems with the most sparing usage need some maintenance from time to time. Our recommendations:

  • Have your A/C system tuned up annually. This includes cleaning the evaporator and condenser coils, topping off the refrigerant as necessary, and cleaning the blower components.
  • Regularly clean filters and replace them when necessary. This will increase efficiency and reduce strain on the system, not to mention extending the time between professional tune-ups.

Beat the heat and stay cool this summer!

Easy (and Cheap!) Ways to Cut Cooling Costs this Summer

Let’s face it, energy bills are just about the last thing anyone wants to spend money on. Especially in the summer, when using your paycheck to splurge on a vacation, a fun family activity or 500 ice cream cones sounds much more enticing. Luckily, there are ways to cut cooling costs dramatically. And, we aren’t suggesting you spend a ton to save a little, either. It’s surprisingly possible to save a lot without investing a lot. Try these simple tricks and adjustments as the temps heat up. We guarantee you’ll be shocked at how much those bills end up dropping!

Ways to Reduce Your Cooling Bill

Identify and seal up leaks and drafts

Instead of letting money literally seep through the cracks and leaks in your house, seal up your home at the beginning of the season. Check around windows and under doors. If you can see daylight, air is escaping or letting itself into your home, forcing your air conditioner to work harder. Seal with caulk and buy draft guards (under $10!) to put under the doors.

Block the sun

Natural light and sunshine are great, but they can also be your worst enemy when it comes to cooling your house. When the sun is shining directly in, things can heat up – quickly. If you’re already planning to spend money on landscaping this year, consider planting leafy trees or shrubs around your home’s exterior to block the sun from shining in. If landscaping isn’t in the cards this season, simply close your curtains during those particularly hot and sunny parts of the day.

Don’t use the oven or stove top

Whenever possible, skip using the stove top or the oven in order to reduce indoor heat. Now is a great time to use a crock pot or fire up the grill that’s been collecting dust all winter!

Maintain your unit

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Your HVAC equipment is much like a car. With little to no maintenance, it won’t run as efficiently. Keep your filter clean and replace when necessary. If you haven’t already, now is the time to schedule your maintenance check. The more efficiently your AC unit runs, the lower your bills will be. It’s as simple as that!

Decide how cool is cool enough

Find your comfort level, and then try setting your thermostat a couple degrees higher. Turning up the temperature just a bit for only a few hours a day can do wonders for your energy bill.

Use your AC – but only when you need it

There’s no use in sweating all season just so you don’t have to turn on your AC. The unit is there to be used, so find that happy place we mentioned above and use the AC to maintain that temp while you’re at home. However, if you’re headed on a vacation, work during the day or are just going out to run errands for an extended period of time, consider turning the AC off. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it to turn on an hour or so before you come home so you return to a comfortable and cooled home.

What cost saving tips will you use this summer? What will you do with all of the money you save? Tell us in the comments section below!