Air conditioning is the perfect antidote to the punishing heat of summer. Yet an air conditioner that isn't kept in shape can easily cost you a small fortune. Luckily, there are a number of things that almost anyone can do to increase the efficiency of their AC. If you would like to learn more about keeping your cooling costs down, read on. This article will present three tips for getting the most from your air conditioner.
Find and Fix Air Leaks
Air leaks are responsible for energy losses up to 30% in central air conditioning systems. Window air conditioner, being notoriously difficult to seal, are no less susceptible to energy loss. While many people simply chalk this up to the price of comfort, fixing such air leaks is not as difficult as you may think.
The first step is to identify where any such leaks are located. While there are numerous ways to accomplish this, the simplest involves little more than a stick of incense. For a window air conditioner, light the incense and slowly move it around the perimeter of the unit. You will see the smoke coming off the incense become increasingly agitated as you approach a leak. Once identified, simply plug the leak with foam and tape it in place as necessary.
Incense works just as well for identifying leaks in central air conditioning systems. Here, however, you'll want to use the stick to "inspect" all accessible duct connections, as these are where air leaks almost always occur. Once you've found a leak, use foil duct tape to seal the gap.
Utilize Your Timer
Many people choose to leave their air conditioner running all day long, even while they're away at work. While this does mean that the house will be nice and cool when you return home, it also means that your energy bill will be through the roof. Instead, consider learning how to set the timer on your thermostat. This will allow you to save money by keeping the house at higher temps while it is empty. Even if you've got a window air conditioner that doesn't have a built-in timer, you can install a separate appliance timer to accomplish the same thing.
Ducts that run through hot portions of the house--crawl spaces and attics, for example-- can lower the efficiency of your air conditioner. Consider having such ducts insulated to keep the air passing through the as cold as possible. If it is not physically possible to install batt or rigid foam insulation, you can always opt to use spray foam insulation. Ultimately this will save you money both when cooling your home in the summer and when heating it in the winter.
To learn more, contact an air conditioning repair company like Allied Air Conditioning & Heating Corp.