By Joe Mumford, Joe Mumford Plumbing & Heating Co.
Air conditioners are responsible for the major part of most people's electric bills during the summer months and heaters are responsible for a large part of the utility bills during the winter. There are several simple things you can do to cut back on our bills.
• Maintain Your System - With the proper maintenance your air conditioning and heating equipment will work more economically and be dependable for years to come.
• Get a Tune Up - To keep your central air conditioner and heater working to its fullest potential occasionally you need a tune up If you skip your regular maintenance, you will cost yourself money and be inconvenienced in the long run. For maximum performance and long life have a professional perform needed maintenance on your air conditioner in the spring and your furnace or heat pump in the fall.
• Have Freon leaks repaired - Leaks in your system will lower its efficiency and will only get worse with time. Freon is not a fuel source it is only a cooling medium and it should only need to be replaced if there is a leak.
• Get a Programmable Thermostat -This will allow you to set your unit to a more efficient temperature while you are gone and raise the temperature when you arrive home. Many experts agree that 78°F is a good starting point. Every degree below 78°F that you set your thermostat for AC will increase your energy usage by around 8 percent.
• Properly Seal your Ducts - Have your ductwork checked to see if it needs any repairs or if it needs to be replaced. Also return grilles and grills in each room should be evaluated to see if they are properly sized.
• Repair Air Leaks - Have a professional examine your air conditioning unit to see if air is leaking. The average home leaks 30 percent of air that the AC and heating unit is putting out. This is wasted energy that can be easily recouped.