AC Tuneup

Monday, July 4, 2011 - 7:13am

Simple steps for your AC unit can prevent costly repairs and lower energy bills.

Lets begin with what invariably happens when you don't follow the advice about maintaining your air conditioner.

"…that just turns into something that is going to cost you several hundred dollars on a Saturday night when it's a hundred degrees outside" says Angie Hicks, Founder and CEO of

Hicks preaches efficiency in air conditioning because it represents about forty percent of a power bill during the summer.

So, a few things you can do without a technician include:

For instance, keep landscaping at a distance.

"If you get landscaping too close to it…” says Hicks, “…it actually makes it inefficient because …you can't get enough air flow around the unit in order to operate efficiently"

Inside the house, make sure the thermostat is far from anything that can heat it up like the light bulb in a lamp.

"Otherwise it's going to cost your unit to work a lot more than it needs to in order to keep the thermostat itself cool which is not our end goal here" says Hicks.

Using fans of all types, including the sleek, modern ones, help so much that thermostats can be raised by as much as five degrees.

Plus, she says don't underestimate the benefits of changing filters or think it's too late to get your unit serviced.

Hicks says "If you develop a relationship with a company, the odds if you do have trouble in the middle of a heat spell they are likely to prioritize you as a customer"

That's good news for places with plenty of summer to go.

Chris Clackum, NBC News.

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