Any air conditioning system in the San Ramon area will get a tough workout during the summer. Fortunately, modern central air conditioning systems are durable and can take the heat while dishing out the cold.
But how much do you expect to pay for your AC to tackle the summer weather this year? The costs of keeping cool can be steep—although you may be paying more than you have to. There are many ways an air conditioning system can lose its energy efficiency and start raising utility bills. But there are also many ways to boost an air conditioner’s energy efficiency and cut down on costs. Below are a few tips for improving the energy efficiency of your AC this summer season.
Raise the thermostat by a few degrees
Don’t worry: we aren’t asking you to turn on the heat during hot weather. But you may be keeping the thermostat set lower than necessary. A lower thermostat setting doesn’t provide you with cooling any faster; it just keeps the compressor running longer. We recommend setting the temperature at 78°F during the day, and then raising it a further 8°F at night.
Clean and clear away the outdoor condenser cabinet area
The condenser cabinet is where the AC exhausts the heat it removes from indoors. It can’t do this effectively if the cabinet grill is dirty or trees and brush are obstructing it. You want to clear out the area by about a foot on all sides. Clean off the dirt and grime with a hose. (Don’t use a high-pressure nozzle and spray water directly into the grill, since you might damage the coils.)
Open the room vents and clean off the registers
Make a tour of the rooms to see if all the vents are fully open and none are blocked by furniture, rugs, curtains, or anything else. Use a vacuum hose to clean off dirt and lint from the register so the ventilation system can “breathe” easier.
Keep up with changing the air filter
The air filter in the HVAC cabinet is there to protect the air conditioner and blower fan from dust and other debris drawn in through the return air ducts. The filter will become congested after 1–3 months, and if it’s not removed, the blockage of airflow will force the air conditioner to work harder. Put in a fresh filter and remember to change it regularly throughout the season.
Schedule professional air conditioning maintenance
This is the essential step for great energy efficiency. Professional technicians will come to your house and give the AC a thorough inspection and tune-up. The technicians will catch any repair problems early, and the cleaning and adjustments will ensure the system works at its highest possible efficiency through the summer.
We don’t want you to forget the last step—it’s vital to have maintenance each year in spring—and we’ve made it easier for you with our Maintenance Membership Agreements. You’ll receive both cooling and heating maintenance during the year.