Lowering Your Electric Bill: Part 5 of 5

Posted on: 21 July 2017

Updated on: 15 August 2018

August is peak summertime, and with it comes sun, heat, and of course, high electricity bills. But they don’t always have to be quite so high! Fig has come up with a 5 part series of practical tips to help lower your electric bill.

  1. 4 Ways to Save Electricity at Home
  2. Housekeeping Hacks to Lower Your Electric Bill
  3. 4 Cheaper Alternatives to Air Conditioning
  4. How to Use Your Window Cooling Unit Efficiently
  5. Easy Ways to Make Your Air Conditioner More Efficient

If you have one, it’s no secret that the biggest electricity hog during the summer is your air conditioner. There are a few simple things you can do to make sure your air conditioner is always working properly and at peak efficiency - and none of them involve calling the repairman.

1. Check the Air Filter

Dirty air filters force the air conditioner to work harder to push air through the filter, using more energy. A dirty air filter can also have mold spores or other allergens, which could cause reactions as the air conditioner pushes them through the air. A new disposable filter costs about $10 for most air conditioners, and some air conditioners also have washable filters. Most places recommend you change your disposable air filter or wash your washable filter once every month.

2. Make Sure Your Air Conditioner’s Condenser is Cool

Air conditioners work best if they can blow cooler air over their condensers. If you use a window air conditioning unit, try to make sure that the unit is positioned on the coolest side of your building or house. Most often, that means the North-facing side, as the North-facing side of buildings in the Northern hemisphere receive the least sunlight. However, whatever local conditions you have, like shade from trees or a local pool might change the best place.

Some people recommend building awnings or other shaded areas over your air conditioner. While this is sometimes a good idea, be careful! An air conditioner depends on an unobstructed flow of air over its condenser to keep working. If your shade awning interferes with airflow, you could harm things more than they help. Instead, consider planting trees or placing your condenser in an already-shady area. This tip applies equally to people with window air conditioners and central air conditioning.

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