LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - With temperatures set to soar in Kentuckiana this week, AC units are about to kick into high gear. Experts advice to get the most bang for your energy bill buck, it is important to keep units properly maintained.
Ron Walker is a veteran service technician with BJ Heating and Cooling in southern Indiana. He sees firsthand that neglected units become costly units.
"If the outdoor unit, if it's not kept clean or if the filter is dirty, yes, you're going to have problems" Walker said. Especially on hot days, "it's going to use more electricity. It's going to use more than what the fuse or circuit breaker can take and it will blow a fuse or trip the circuit breaker."
To prevent high priced after-hour service fees, homeowner Dwight Pelky invests in an annual maintenance plan. His costs $170 through BJ Heating and Cooling and covers the costs of any service fees. Repairs needed will be discounted 15% and a service tech, like Walker, will do a spring and fall check of the system.
"They check everything, they're here for at least a couple of hours" Pelky said. The units get cleaned, filters and freon checked, "if we see a part that's getting weak or we think is going to go out we go ahead and replace it at that time" Walker added.
There are free ways to save on energy bills too like keeping the thermostat set at around 78 degrees.
"For every degree you raise your thermostat, you'll save something like 3%" Walker said.
Lower shades can reduce heat up to 45% and ceiling fans help to circulate the cool air and keep occupants feeling cooler.
Another easy change is switching to a digital thermostat. They're much more accurate, but Walker advises, if you program the thermostat, do not make drastic changes in the temperature settings. "I think the savings that you saved all day would be gone when it's trying to recover."
Doing these things and upgrading to an energy efficient unit is saving Pelky around $100 a month. "I'm not a 'green' person, but I do care about the green that comes out of my pocket, I do care about that quite a bit."
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