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Top Ten Tips
Central Air Conditioning Operations: If your central air won't work properly, do these things first: check thermostat settings to make sure they are set to the cool and automatic settings. 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.
Locate 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.
Schedule any heat-generating activities like oven cleaning, baking, dishwashing, clothes drying and ironing for the early morning or late evening hours.
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 clock 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.
When using a room 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 room 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.
Consider using portable, ceiling or whole house fans as a supplement, or substitute, for air conditioning equipment. Fans cost much less to operate than air conditioners. By using a fan, you can run your air conditioner at a higher setting.
On hot, sunny days, close drapes, blinds or shades, particularly those for south and west windows.
Use bath and kitchen vents to exhaust heat and moisture, but run them just long enough to rid the house of unwanted water vapor and odors.
ENERGY STAR® Appliances
If you live in a typical U.S. home, appliances and home electronics are responsible for approximately 20 percent of your energy bills.
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