Summertime operation of your home air conditioner is expensive. You can reduce your operating costs by performing some simple routine maintenance on your equipment.
Tip 1- At the outdoor unit location.
Keep all landscape and vegetation cut back away from the equipment. Overgrowth reduces free airflow from getting to the unit and causes excessive heat to build up in the equipment. This reduces the capability of the equipment and increases electrical use substantially. So keep it clean and clear.
Tip 2- The outdoor unit is the heart and soul of your cooling system.
You just try running around the yard for five minutes with a solid cloth placed over your mouth and nose. This airflow restriction would eventually suffocate you. The same thing happens to your cooling unit. Accumulated dirt and debris clog the vents and prevents proper airflow. This in turns causes excessive heat to build up and also increases the use of electricity. In addition, it greatly decreases the cooling capacity of the equipment and leads to early equipment failures. So clean those fins or have a technician service the unit properly each year.
Tip 3- All systems use some type of refrigerant, commonly called Freon.
While Freon is not consumed or used up by the operation of the equipment, over time some loss is generally experienced. Small leaks that normally occur cause minor losses. Allowing these losses to go unchecked results in significant reduction in cooling capacity. So if your A/C seems to run a lot more than it use to or if it appears to not be cooling well, have it checked by a qualified technician and ensure that your unit is properly charged up each year.
Tip 4- Air Filters.
Air filters come in a wide variety of styles and quality. The important thing to remember is the cheaper the air filter, the lower the quality and performance. Those cheap $1 air filters are robbing you blind by not cleaning the air properly before it enters the cooling system. This results in dirty ductwork, dirty furnace motors, blowers and most important, the cooling coil located in the air stream. So purchase a quality filter, a little more expense here is worth it. As mentioned elsewhere, a dirty system costs more to operate.