Tuesday, 7 August, 2007 11:25 PM
How to stay cool and still save
$100 this summer
Industry experts say
preventative maintenance on your air conditioning unit can save
you an average of $100 a year in energy costs, yet more than 40
percent of Angie’s List members nationwide still don’t
take the time to get check-ups for their a/c.
A recent nationwide poll of Angie’s List members found:
- 73 percent have central
air conditioning systems for their homes
- 43 percent skip having
their air conditioning unit serviced annually
- 1 in 5 neglect to
check or replace their air conditioning filter regularly.
Without regular maintenance
an air conditioner loses about 5% of its original efficiency for
each year of operation. So the older the unit, the more you stand
to lose to the utility company.
“A well maintained cooling system will run better and help
you save money on your monthly utility bills,” said Angie
Hicks, founder of Angie’s List. “Pinpointing potential
problems before they arise can also protect your family from costly
repairs down the road and the summer’s dangerous heat.”
5 ways to keep cool and keep a few dollars in your pocket:
Keep the filter clean: Clean and replace the air
conditioner filter frequently. This is especially important during
the summer when dust and allergens circulate. If the filter becomes
clogged, your system will have to work harder to supply the same
amount of cool air – costing you more money.
Check for leaks:
Take a closer look at all hoses for any signs of leakage. Efficient
operation = fewer dollars in energy costs.
Go with the flow:
Keep plants, shrubs, and other landscaping about two to four feet
away from your outdoor unit to ensure adequate airflow.
Seek the shade:
Air conditioners with proper shading can be more efficient. Air
in a shaded space is cooler than the surrounding air meaning the
AC will have an easier time cooling the air before pumping it into
Call a pro:
Each central air conditioning unit should be inspected, cleaned
and tuned by a professional once every two years. A professional
tune-up usually costs between $50 and $125.
Source: Angie's List