Here are some great tips on reducing your air conditioners consumption level and, therefore, reducing your bill.

After the car, your Heating and Air Conditioning system is usually the most expensive technology you own. It’s smart to keep it maintained regularly and be alert to any potential signs of trouble.

Before calling for repair service If you see frost or ice on freon lines, turn off the system immediately to prevent damage. It must be completely thawed before we can correct the problem. If nothing comes on, set the fan switch on the thermostat from “auto” to “fan” – if the fan doesn’t start, check to make sure the furnace blower door hasn’t come loose, the switch at the furnace is on, or that the furnace breaker hasn’t tripped. When the air conditioning suddenly quits, check to make sure the outdoor unit is running. If not, it may simply be a tripped breaker. If you have a condensate pump, give it a jiggle… they have a float switch and often will shut down a system if they become full to prevent flooding.

To reduce operating costs Ceiling fans help you feel cooler which lets you operate the expensive AC at a higher setting. Menopausal or frugal? Try misting yourself with a spray bottle in the breeze of a fan. Programmable thermostats can be set to automatically adjust the temperature so the house is comfortable when you are home and cut back when you are away. The department of energy recommends setting your thermostat at 78F for cooling and 68F for heating.

Clean filters Use a good quality pleated filter and replace as soon as you see dust accumulating on the surface. Air filters prevent dust, dirt and allergens from entering your system, which would otherwise clog your fan and cooling coil, reduce efficiency, and potentially lead to pricey repairs. Since every indoor environment is different, you could check your filter every month until you see dust accumulating to determine how often it should be replaced.

 Rinse any lawn trimmings or other yard debris off condenser coil for maximum efficiency. Don’t let your condensing unit (outdoors) get overgrown. You should keep plants and shrubs cut back at least 2 to 3 feet to provide for good airflow and heat exchange. Be careful when trimming around the unit that you don’t cut the thermostat wire or refrigerant (freon) lines.