The Department of Energy reports that air conditioning and heating are now the biggest energy consumers in American homes, together accounting for 54 percent of annual household energy expenses as of November 2012. The amount spent to cool and heat our homes is more than twice what it cost 25 decades back, with the biggest increases occurring in the past decade. Central air conditioning systems contain the outside compressor/condenser unit, an indoor air handler and the ductwork that conveys conditioned atmosphere throughout the living spaces. These components offer lots of opportunities for improving energy conservation. The cumulative impact of earning small improvements can add up to big savings on utility bills.

Change The Filter

If you’ve ever had an HVAC technician at your home to service your air conditioner, you might have discovered that the very first thing that he checked was the machine airflow. That is because appropriate airflow is crucial to the efficient operation of a number of system components. When airflow falls below specs, cooling prices soar as the machine is overly stressed. The most common cause of insufficient airflow is a dirty or clogged air conditioner filter. Installed from the indoor air handler, this filter ought to be changed on a monthly basis during the cooling system. It’s a fast and easy DIY task. If you do not know how to do it, ask your HVAC contractor to show you.

Install Programmable Thermostat

Unless you have the time on your hands to stand alone at your thermostat 24/7 making tiny adjustments, you can’t do a much better job of efficiently adjusting the temperature in your home compared to a programmable thermostat. These units cut cooling costs by automatically adjusting temperature levels to the requirements and time schedule of the family, without any input from residents. Programmable thermostats come with energy-saving apps for overnight when citizens are sleeping, or even long spans during the day when no one is home. You can add your own personalized programs to match the unique schedule and comfort needs of your family. Instead of cranking the thermostat up or down precipitously as humans tend to do, programmable thermostats make temperature corrections very gradually. This is the most energy-efficient method of controlling your interior atmosphere. Installation of a programmable thermostat can pay for itself with just 1 year’s savings on power bills.

Seal The Ducts

Back from the day of cheap energy, ductwork used to be the neglected member of the central ac system. Contractors often seen ducts as a justification for cost-cutting and ductwork wasn’t designed or built to last the life span of the home. Now, much of it’s starting to deteriorate and leak. The owners of those homes today may end up paying for mistakes of yesteryear in greater air conditioning and heating bills. At least 20 percent of the cool air produced by a central air conditioner in the average home is wasted due to leaks in duct seams and joints. In some residences, that figure can be as large as 75 percent. An HVAC contractor can pressure-test your ducts to determine the area of leakage and also pinpoint the location of leaks. Utilizing industry standard methods, he can seal the ducts and stop air loss. You’ll notice the difference on your power bills from one.

Clean The Coils

The evaporator coil in the air handler comprises frigid refrigerant which extracts heat from family air as it circulates through the system. The small, wet passages inside an evaporator coil can become gradually contaminated with soil or mould, obstructing air circulation and causing the air conditioner to run longer to meet settings. Maintaining the evaporator coil clean with regular maintenance by an HVAC professional keeps air conditioning bills low and raises home comfort. The outdoor condenser coil might become dirty, also, from exposure to the elements. Leaves, grass clippings and other debris can clog the coil. The HVAC technician will remove the grille and clean out the condenser to ensure optimum efficacy.

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