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Is Your Air Conditioner Killing Your Budget?

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Every summer, you hope beyond hope that it won't be too hot, because whenever it gets too warm, your electric bill skyrockets. If this describes your situation, you should take a look at your air conditioner. A failing air conditioner can go through electricity pretty quickly. Here is how.

Neglecting Your Annual Maintenance

Just like your car, the motor in your air conditioner requires regular cleaning and maintenance. The best time for this is in the fall, once the leaves are gone, but before it starts to freeze outside. While your air conditioner might work without it, like a car that never gets an oil change, it is going to start struggling eventually.

  1. Turn the power off to your air conditioner and remove the cover. From there you can easily pull out any leaves and branches that will impede airflow (You might want to wear gloves for this part).
  2. The big stuff is not the only thing blocking your air conditioner from moving air freely. You also need to take your garden hose and wash away any dirt that has collected in the fins.
  3. The fins that surround the condenser can be quite delicate and you may have bent a couple while you were cleaning. Don't worry-- just use a butter knife to carefully straighten each one.
  4. Once your air conditioner has dried completely you can put the cover back on. If you live in an area with harsh winters, you may also want to wrap your air conditioner in a tarp secured with bungee cords to protect it a bit.

Your Air Conditioner Is Too Old, Too Small, Or Too Big

Maybe you or your HVAC tech has worked on your air conditioner every year since you moved in. Despite this, your bills are just creeping up and up every summer. Unfortunately, no matter what you do, your air conditioner is going to get older, and it is going to loose efficiency over time. Regular maintenance will slow this progression, but it simply can't get rid of it completely. If your air conditioner is more than ten years old, it is time to start planning for your next purchase. Use an online calculator to figure out the point at which purchasing a new air conditioner will save you money over keeping your old one for a couple more years. Of course, when an older air conditioner needs repairs, that additional cost of keeping your old model is usually enough to make a new air conditioner the clear choice.

In the likely event the air conditioner was there before you moved in, there may be another reason you are having so much trouble. You have no idea who sized the unit, and the previous owner could have purchased a model that is either too small or too large. A unit that is too small will have to run constantly to try and keep up, whereas one that is too large won't get to complete its cycle. Neither is a good situation. Your HVAC tech will be a great resource in determining if this is the source of your issues. If so, that replacement unit might be worthwhile much sooner than you thought it would be.

Something Else Is Making Your Air Conditioner Work So Hard

It is entirely possible that your air conditioner isn't actually the source of your problems. Cooking, electronics, and a leaky home can all make your air conditioner work extra hard. There are dozens of small steps you can take to keep your home cooler while air-conditioner-less. A little bit of research should give you at least a few ideas that you can easily integrate into your life.

Once you get your air conditioner working properly, your energy bills should get back into the realm of reasonable. While the bill for the repairs might sting a bit, you'll recoup the money quickly when you get your electric bill. To make an appointment, contact a professional service, such as McKinney Heating & Air Conditioning.