In the U.S., homeowners spend roughly $29 billion every year on air conditioning utilities. That’s a staggering price, but it’s still only about 6% of the country’s total electricity usage. 

Air conditioning used to be a luxury utility, but now it’s become a necessity. With rising temperatures, you can’t afford not to have air conditioning especially when you live in a hot climate. 

The good news is, AC maintenance can cut your cooling costs and make your home more comfortable. Keep reading to find out what you can do to make your AC unit run more efficiently and save money on utilities. 

1. Change Your Air Filter

Replacing the air filter is one of the easiest ways to boost efficiency and protect the air quality in your home. The air filter covers the fresh air return duct and keeps pollutants out of your AC system. You should replace it at least twice a year as part of your AC maintenance plan, but you can do it as often as every three months.

You can find replacement filters at most hardware stores. Make sure to buy filters with the right airflow rating or it could damage your system. When you put in the new filter, match up the arrows so the air flows in the right direction.

2. Program Your Thermostat

You can also save money by adjusting your thermostat. If you raise the temperature by 7 to 10 degrees when you’re not home, you can save 10% on your utilities. 

If you have a programmable thermostat, set it at your preferred temperature when you’re usually at home. For the time of day when you’re away, raise the temperature by at least 5 degrees. You won’t even have to touch the thermostat, but your home will feel comfortable. 

If you have an older thermostat, you can use the same strategy. Just remember to raise and lower the temperature before you leave and when you come home. 

3. Clean Up the Space Around the Outside Unit

The compressor or condenser component of your AC sits in an outside unit. Since it releases the hot air from your home, that means it needs good air flow around it to work.  

If you have plants or weeds growing around the unit, pull them out or cut them down. The more air that can flow around the unit, the more efficient your AC will be. 

4. Vacuum the Fins on the Outdoor Unit

The fins on the outdoor unit can trap debris and stop air flow. The fins are very fragile so the safest way to clean them is with a shop vac and a soft-bristle attachment. Make sure the unit is off before you do any AC unit maintenance.

Once you’ve removed dirt and debris from the fins, you can use a butter knife to gently straighten any bent fins. This will also help with efficiency. Make sure you’ve turned off the unit’s electrical supply before you start.  

Get Professional AC Maintenance Services Today

If you’ve noticed increases in your energy costs, these AC maintenance DIY tips can help you save money. Plus, you’ll extend the life of your HVAC system.

While the do-it-yourself option is a great place to start, sometimes you need to call in an HVAC contractor for an AC tuneup. If you live in the Rockwall area, All Care Comfort Solutions can handle HVAC and home AC repair. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.