Central air conditioning isn't exactly a necessity, but it sure does making coming home after a long hot day so much better. The downside to having central air conditioning is the added expense. It's nice to have the temperature in your home cool, but it can really increase your energy bill the following month. To help combat these excessive bills, there are some maintenance tasks you can do to help lower your energy bill. See below for some helpful tips.

Replace Your Air Filter

Replacing your air filter allows proper air flow into your system. If your filter is clogged, it can cause your system to work harder, which can result in a higher energy bill. A clog can also cause an early breakdown of your system, which can also be costly to you. Change your air filter every other month, unless you have pets, or if someone in your home has breathing or allergy issues then you should change your filter every month.

Change Your Thermostat

Upgrade your thermostat to a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat can save you money, as you can program it to turn on according to your schedule. Scheduling when you want the thermostat to turn on means it won't run while you are not home, but a cool house will be there to meet you when you arrive.

An older thermostat may not be as efficient or accurate. A programmable thermostat is considered an energy efficient upgrade and if your energy company has a rebate program, one of these thermostats could qualify you for a rebate.

Clean Up the Unit

The unit itself should be cleaned as part of your maintenance schedule. A dirty unit can cause improper air flow, which could make your air conditioner cycle over and over in an attempt to cool down your house. Your AC turning on and off might create a large energy bill for you and could also cause a breakdown of your system. Clean the unit by spraying it down with the garden hose to remove dirt, dust and other debris from the fins and coil.

Repair Air Leaks

Repair the possible air leaks in your ventilation system by adding a special foil tape around the joints in the duct work. You could be losing some of your air through the leaks in the joints. Adding this foil tape can help prevent air leaks. Also, to prevent air leaks you should make repairs around doors and windows by adding caulk around these areas or even adding new weather stripping.

Other Money-Saving Tips:

  • Add tinted film over your windows to help provide a bit of shade, especially for windows that don't have curtains or blinds. You can find the tinted film at your local hardware store or online.
  • Ceiling fans can help keep you cool. Turn them on in rooms where you are sitting (or sleeping) to keep you cooler.
  • Open up the windows and doors on nights when it's cooler outside. Allow some of that free air conditioning to come into your home, but be sure to close the windows in the morning before the humidity comes in.
  • Take a cool shower at night to cool down your body temperature before bed.
You shouldn't have to sacrifice your comfort because of fear of your energy bill. Add upgrades where necessary, make repairs as needed, and maintain your HVAC system to help save you money and to lengthen the lifespan of your system. Contact the professionals at Hartman Heating Air and Fireplaces about having your system's maintenance done or about upgrading your system to something more energy efficient.