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How Can I Cut Down on My Air Conditioning Costs This Season?

money-in-piggy-bankElectric bills go up during the summer, just as sure as water is wet and east is east and west is west. But do they need to go up so much? Probably not. Air conditioning systems cost extra money to run on top of other home electrical needs, but you may be surprised at the many ways you can reduce how often you need your AC running. You don’t have to sweat it out for a few hours each day to lower those summer electrical bills—there are some basic tips as well as professional air conditioning services that will get those costs under control. Here’s our advice as a Ridgewood, NJ, HVAC contractor with many years of experience.

Make sure the AC is professionally maintained

We strongly recommend our customers arrange for an annual air conditioning maintenance inspection and tune-up during the summer. If you haven’t this done yet, it’s still not too late to schedule it during the early summer. Although often called preventive maintenance because it helps prevent large repair issues, maintenance also benefits the energy efficiency of an air conditioning system. If you keep up with maintenance each year, you’ll stop a steady rise in the cost to run the system.

Raise the thermostat, don’t lower it

No, we’re not asking you to stop using the AC entirely. We’re recommending that you set the thermostat at a warmer setting than what you usually have it at. Instead of pushing the setting down as low as possible whenever you feel hot, try raising the setting to an energy-saving 78°F during the day when people are home (then raise it 8°F further at night or when the house will be empty). If 78°F still feels like it’s too hot, adjust the setting down a few degrees, then raise it by one degree a day until you’re at 78°F. Remember, the closer the indoor and outdoor temperatures are to each other, the slower heat enters your house.

Regularly change the air filter

This is the one simple step we wish homeowners would never forget. A clogged air filter in the HVAC system creates all types of problems, and one of the biggest is that it places extra strain on the blower fan. This forces the fan to drain additional electricity, spiking up bills. To stop this, change the filter every 1–3 months, depending on the filter strength.

Keep the blinds closed

The sun shining through windows may provide great natural light, but it also brings in a lot of radiant heat. During the middle of the day, close the blinds on the parts of the house that are receiving the most light.

Install an upgraded thermostat

If you’re still using a manual thermostat, you’re paying more for air conditioning (as well as heating). The new Wi-Fi smart thermostats have greater temperature precision, which would save you money even if it weren’t for all their other features. However, don’t purchase a new thermostat and attempt to install it yourself. The thermostat must be matched to the AC system or it can damage it! Ask the pros to get you a great thermostat upgrade.

Cut down those cooling costs with the help of Advanced Mechanical Services. Service throughout the Tri-State Area.

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