Central Air Conditioners

  • If your central air conditioner doesn’t work properly, do these things first: check thermostat settings to make sure they are set to the cool and automatic settings and check fuses or circuit breakers in the panel box. In the case of a blown or tripped fuse, simply reset or replace the fuse. Check the switch on the side of the furnace; it should be in the on position. Some furnaces have a safety switch located in the blower or filter area. If you’ve recently changed the filter, make sure the outside cover panel is on correctly and making contact with this switch or the unit will not start.
  • If your central air conditioner is more than 12 years old, consider replacing it with a more efficient unit. When shopping for a new central air conditioner, look for an ENERGY STAR certified model. They have a higher seasonal energy-efficiency ratio (SEER) than standard ones, making them about 14 percent more energy efficient. We recommend units with a rating of 15 SEER or higher.
  • Install air conditioning units on the shady side of the house. Direct sunlight on a window unit or the compressor section of a central system adds to the workload of your equipment
  • If it is not already shaded by the house or trees, provide shade for the outdoor unit of your central conditioner. However, be sure not to plant shrubs too close to the unit. For it to work best there must be a free flow of air around the unit. Clean the unit prior to each cooling season and check it regularly during the summer to make sure it’s not being blocked by leaves, lawn clippings and other debris.
  • Minimize the use of appliances that add heat and humidity to your home when the demand on your air conditioning system is highest. Run the dishwasher or clothes dryer at night or early in the morning. Also, consider alternative cooking methods on the hottest days, such as grilling outside or using the microwave.
  • A recommended temperature setting for an air-conditioned room is 78 degrees. Raising the temperature one degree for each eight-hour period during the cooling season can save up to 2 percent on cooling costs.
  • Don’t turn the thermostat lower than your desired comfort setting. The house will not cool any faster, and chances are you’ll end up over-cooling your home and wasting energy.
  • Except when it is quite hot and humid, you’ll save money by turning off your central or window air conditioner while you’re gone during the day. Buy a programmable thermostat which can be preset to turn on the air conditioner so it cools your home in time for your arrival.
  • Don’t run the air conditioner during the night if it is cooler outside than inside. To set-up cooling currents of air, open windows top and bottom on different sides of your home and use a fan.

Window Mount A/C’s

  • If you purchase a window air conditioner, look for an ENERGY STAR certified model. They use at least 10 percent less energy than standard models.
  • When using a window air conditioner, set the fan speed on high except in very humid weather. When it is humid, set the fan speed on low; you’ll get less cooling, but more moisture will be removed from the air.
  • Keep the window air conditioner clean inside and out. Check and clean the filter regularly. The condenser (outside coil) should be cleaned at least every two or three years.