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Money Saving Tips

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A little planning before installing your air conditioner will save you energy and money.

* Try setting your thermostat between 72°F and 78°F. Each degree setting below 78°F will increase your energy consumption by approximately 8%. As you can see, that can add up to a lot of money over a year.

* Inspect and clean both the indoor and outdoor AC/Heating coils. The indoor coil in your air conditioner acts as a magnet for dust because it is constantly wetted during the cooling season. Dirt build-up on the indoor coil is the single most common cause of poor efficiency. The outdoor coil must also be checked periodically for dirt build-up and cleaned if necessary.

* Check the refrigerant charge. The circulating fluid in your air conditioner is a special refrigerant gas that is put in when the system is installed. If the system is overcharged or undercharged with refrigerant, it will not work properly. You may need a service contractor to check the fluid and adjust it appropriately.

* Use bath and kitchen fans sparsely when you are running the air conditioning system.

* Reduce the cooling load by using cost-effective conservation measures. For example, effectively shade east and west windows. When possible, delay heat-generating activities, such as dishwashing or baking, until the evening on hot days.

* Try to not use a dehumidifier at the same time your air conditioner is operating. The dehumidifier will increase the cooling load and force the air conditioner to work harder, which in turn increases your utility bill.

* Over most of the cooling season, keep the house closed tight during the day. Don’t let in unwanted heat and humidity. If practical, ventilate at night either naturally or with fans.

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