It's an annual event ... the first heat wave of summer hits and after 8 hours of sweltering, you give in and flip on the A/C. You wait to hear that welcome buzz before you say ahhhhh. But 9 times out of 10, you're swearing instead of celebrating. There's no buzz because the A/C is on strike after a long winter. You call the repair center and am put on a long wait list, along with every other homeowner who wasn't smart enough to beat the rush and get the system serviced before the thermometer started its skyward climb. According to Angie's List, a leading provider of consumer reviews, without regular maintenance, your air conditioner loses about five percent of its original efficiency for each year of operation!
Here are 8 other A/C facts that will help you stay cool and keep your cash in your pocket.
1. Don't place lamps, TV sets, or other heat producing appliances near your thermostat. The thermostat can sense the heat causing the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
2. Avoid landscaping with lots of rock, cement, or asphalt on the south or west sides of your home. If those areas aren't shaded, it will increase the temperature around the house and radiate heat.
3. Place your air conditioner in a shaded space whenever possible. Air in a shaded space is cooler than the surrounding air, meaning the A/C until will have an easier time cooling the air, but keep plants, shrubs, and other landscaping about two to four feet away from your outdoor unit to ensure adequate air flow.
4. Remember that each degree you dial below 78 increases your energy consumption by about 8 percent. If your monthly electric bill is about $100, you'll save $8 a month with EACH degree you can stand above 78.Tips 5-8 will save you even more and help get your air conditioner in tip top shape.