During the hot days and humid nights of summer it?s nice to have air conditioning in your home. Whether you have a window unit or use a central system, simple steps you take make your air conditioning run smoother and more efficiently.

Mobile Home Air Conditioner

First, do you know the EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) or SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) of your unit or model? The higher the rating the less electricity the unit will use to cool the same amount of air. You?ll save money in the long run using an energy efficient model.

EER for Room or Window Units

National appliance standards require room air conditioners built after January 1, 1990 to have an EER of 8.0 or greater. Select a room air conditioner with an EER of at least 9.0 if you live in a mild climate. If you live in a hot climate, select one with an EER over 10.

SEER for Central Systems

National minimum standards for central air conditioners require a SEER of 9.7 and 10.0, for single-package and split-systems, respectively. But you do not need to settle for the minimum standard. There are units with SEERs reaching nearly 17.

Source: US Department of Energy

Basic Maintenance

If you need to make repairs clean a room unit, make sure you shut off the electricity to the unit before you make any repairs. You'll need to replace the air filter every spring and monthly during the cooling season. It's important to do this to keep it running efficiently.

Cover your air conditioner during the cold months to cut down on drafts and prevent weather damage.

Check the space around your window unit. If needed, remove cracked caulk and reseal.

Don't run your air conditioner when the outside temperature falls below 70 degrees.

Help the efficiency of your air conditioning by sealing leaks and closing windows and doors.

Keep the coil fins clean and straight. Bent and dirty coils reduce air flow which reduces cooling capacity.

Don't attempt to do more than basic maintenance on your unit if you're not trained to do so. Air conditioners are complicated pieces of machinery. Consult a professional for maintenance items like checking the refrigerant level, electrical components and the fan motor.

Stay cool this summer and keep money in your pocket by choosing energy efficient models and maintaining a clean unit.

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