Here’s how to combat high power bills during the summer

Reporter: Amy Galo Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

It’s the first day of summer, and the weather is not getting cooler, but there are ways to beat the inevitable heat. Having air conditioning is one of them.

But our A/C units have been working overtime, which is bringing in some substantially high bills.
According to an A/C expert, it’s all about maintenance.

Your air conditioner will run smoother if you take care of it.

The problem is, most of us haven’t even changed our air filters once this year or even thought to disinfect the pipes.

But Chase Garlinghouse, of Chase Joseph Air Conditioning, said an air conditioning unit is a lot like the human body.

“The filter acts like your lungs, the condensation drain,” Garlinghouse said. “If you think about it, all kinds of works and functions like your body does.”

And you wouldn’t let your body go a year without a checkup, and you wouldn’t let it go a day without a shower. That’s how you should be treating your A/C.

If you want to save some cash:

“Clean the coils, clean the drain line out, you know, disinfect and sanitize the air handler cabinet,” Garlinghouse said. “Just really want to stay on top of it, because once you let it go, you’re gonna have a lot of issues.”

Every six months is best, but once a year will suffice.

“Make sure your filter’s changed is one of the biggest things,” Garlinghouse said, “and depending on you know, your living situation — carpet or animals or more people — then you might need to change a little bit more often.”

Chase said since it has begun getting hotter, he’s been getting a lot of the same calls.

“People, when they get home from work, they realize that their thermostat is cut off, and they, you know, it’s not blowing any cold air,” Garlinghouse said.

About three people with the same issue every day. One, he said, truly has an easy fix, if you tackle it beforehand. Garlinghouse called it “preventive maintenance.”

That way you won’t have to see your electric bills steadily rise, until one day it’s you getting home to a broken unit in 90-degree heat.

Garlinghouse also said that keeping your A/C at 71 degrees for hours at a time during the hot months won’t necessarily harm it.

He does advise to raise the temperature a bit whenever you’re out of the house, and if you’re vacationing, never let it rise above 78 or 79 degrees.

Because, then, you could run into mold issues.

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