When it comes to air conditioning in Panama City, FL, you can expect an increase in your home’s electric bills each summer. There’s no way to avoid this—an air conditioner draws on more electricity than just about any other appliance in a home.
However, you may be paying more than you should to run your AC. Almost any household can benefit from following several steps that will help to lower the cost of keeping cool in the Florida summer heat. Below, we’ll share our best tips for saving on running your AC.
Always schedule maintenance before summer.
This is the #1 way to prevent your air conditioning system from becoming more expensive to run year after year. We just discussed the many benefits of AC maintenance in a post last month, but as a reminder, routine maintenance stops the air conditioning from losing an average of 5% from its energy efficiency rating annually. When you stay current with maintenance, you can expect your AC to only lose 5% over most of its service life.
Change the air filter regularly.
People often forget this simple step, and it’s a costly one when it comes to running an AC. The filter in your HVAC cabinet protects its interior from dust and other debris, but the filter will become clogged if it’s left in place for too long.
A clogged filter will force the air conditioner to work harder to cool the house because it won’t be able to draw enough air through the filter. We recommend you change the filter at the start of the summer and then change it every 1 to 3 months after that. (Frequency depends on the filter strength.)
Raise the thermostat, don’t lower it.
Yes, this sounds strange—but we don’t mean for you to heat your house during the summer. Instead, raise the thermostat to the highest temperature you find comfortable indoors during the heat rather than trying to put the AC on full blast. Each degree you can raise the thermostat will contribute to saving money, and it will also take strain off the air conditioner.
Additionally, the closer the temperature inside your house is to the temperature outside, the slower the house will gain heat. We recommend you aim for a setting of 78°F during the day when people are home, and then raise it by 8°F at night or when the house is empty.
Don’t shut the AC off when you go on vacation.
This also may sound like odd advice, but hear us out. If you shut off the air conditioner entirely while you go on a vacation, you’ll have to use an enormous amount of power to cool the boiling home when you return. Instead of shutting off the air conditioner, set it to 85°F while you’re gone.
The AC won’t run often, just enough to keep the house from overheating. You’ll save money and avoid damage to your home and its furnishings from extreme heat.
There are other methods to cut down on heating costs (never forget the power of just opening up a window to get a nice breeze). If you need help with your air conditioner, you can rely on our team.