Keeping My Power Bills Down

Energy Bill Higher Than Normal? Check These Things On Your Air Conditioning System

With warmer temperatures right around the corner, it can be stressful to find that your energy bill is higher than normal once you turn your air conditioning on. Examine these things on your air conditioning system to discover the potential cause of your increased bills.

1. See if the Condenser Coils are Dirty

The condenser coils on your AC unit are responsible for releasing the heat that the refrigerant in your system absorbs. This heat release is necessary for the unit to begin the next cooling cycle.

It's possible for these condenser coils to become clogged with dirt, grass, insects, and other debris. When the coils are clogged, the lack of airflow makes it difficult for them to properly absorb the heat from your unit. This means that the AC system has to work harder and run longer, causing an increase in your utility bills.

If your condenser coils look dirty, you can hire an air conditioning repair contractor to clean them. It's possible to clean them yourself, but it's a fairly labor intensive project that requires shutting off electricity to the unit and dissembling certain portions of it.

Another benefit of bringing in a pro is that they can straighten any coils that are bent. Bent coils are commonly caused by careless use of a weed eater or pressure washer around the unit. If you have a storm with hail, the hail can also damage these coils. 

When the coils are bent, this interferes with the flow of air, bumping up your energy bills. Your contractor can straighten the coils when he cleans them so that the air flows properly. 

2. Check Your Air Filter

Your air filter keeps debris, like pollen, dirt, and mold spores, from entering your home. However, you have to regularly clean or replace your air filter.

Once the air filter is covered with debris, it makes it harder for the unit to send air through the return duct on your air conditioner unit. Not only does this cause your system to run harder and for longer, but it even puts your unit at risk of not achieving its full life span. 

How often the air filter needs to be replaced depends on a few factors, like whether pets live in your home or if anyone has allergies. Most recommendations suggest replacing the filter every one to three months.

3. Make Sure Your Thermostat is Accurate

If your thermostat isn't accurate, your air conditioner will run longer than it needs to because it believes the set temperature hasn't been achieved. This additional operation means that your home is using more energy. Have your contractor calibrate the thermostat to ensure its accuracy. For more information, contact an air conditioning repair service.