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During the hot, humid summers in Macon, Georgia, staying cool is a challenge. And many residents deal with higher utility bills. However, your expenses should be about the same from year to year. An increase in your costs could mean you have a problem with your air conditioner. Read on to learn the common causes of high utility bills and how you can avoid them.

A Dirty Air Filter

If your HVAC system’s air filter is dirty, it’ll work harder to push conditioned air through your ductwork and keep all your rooms at a comfortable temperature. You’ll have to set a lower temperature in summer and use more energy to stay cool. The increased dust, dirt and biological growth might also lower your home’s indoor air quality and cause health problems.

Fortunately, you can avoid reduced airflow from a dirty air filter by changing it at least every three months. If you or one of your family members has asthma or allergies, check your HVAC system’s air filter once per month.

Leaks in Your Ductwork

Ductwork with leaks or gaps will let conditioned air escape before it reaches its destination. Rooms that are far away from your HVAC system could feel warm and uncomfortable. You might also hear whistling or rattling noises. Contaminants like pollen and dust can also escape from leaky ductwork before your system’s air filter has a chance catch them.

Since many ducts sit inside walls, ceilings and crawlspaces, you should contact a professional to check for leaks. An expert can also tell you if your ducts need cleaning or more insulation. You can save energy by simplifying a convoluted dust system or by switching to a ductless system.

A Malfunctioning Thermostat

A problem with your thermostat can prevent your air conditioner from turning on or make your home too hot or cold. If the thermometer is broken, setting your thermostat to 75 degrees could make the actual temperature in your home closer to 85 degrees in summer. You could also have an electrical problem that causes other issues, like a heater that comes on when you use your air conditioner. These problems can waste a lot of energy, but they’re easy to fix.

Consider replacing your manual thermostat with a programmable model. With a programmable thermostat, you won’t have to remember to turn down your HVAC system when you go to bed or leave your home. You can set it to adjust your schedule, returning your home to a comfortable temperature before you wake up or come home. Some models can even use sensors to learn your routine over time. If your utility bills don’t decline after you install a new thermostat, have a professional check its connections to your HVAC system.

An Old HVAC System

Heaters and air conditioners often lose their efficiency over time. Parts can wear out or start to malfunction. Contaminants can reduce the airflow through your ductwork and your system’s air handler. If your system is more than 10 years old, you can save energy and avoid expensive, inconvenient breakdowns by replacing it with a newer, more energy-efficient model.

Many new systems qualify for tax credits to help you with installation costs. Even without this extra help, a new system will pay for itself over time through energy savings. It can also raise the value of your home and give you access to comfortable features like:

  • Wireless communication
  • Zoning
  • Indoor air quality monitors

Pruett Air Conditioning is a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer with more than 40 years of heating and cooling experience. We can help you repair, install and maintain a variety of equipment. We’re always completely committed to your satisfaction. Call us anytime at 478-225-4921 for expert service from our friendly, knowledgeable service technicians.

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