How to spend the most and get the least from your air conditioner this summer

How to spend the most and get the least from your air conditioner this summer

Summer is upon us: hamburger barbeques, water slides, fireworks and yes, huge cooling bills. As a home owner, you know that the electric bill can make your heart pound like a fresh tin of strawberry pie – but in an entirely different way. As astronomical as the power bill can get in the summer, most of the cost increase stems from your air conditioning system. Let’s assume for a moment that you feel generous, and wish to contribute to the economy by paying the most you can to cool your home. This way, the electric utility gets more of your money, and well, nobody else benefits. If this is your goal, you can do that in a few, simple steps. Make sure that your air conditioner compressor is clogged Your air conditioner needs to collect air from the outer grills and exhaust that air above the unit. To minimize effectiveness, set plants directly against the unit, or within 18 inches of the grills. If plants are there, air can’t move into the grills and the unit becomes much less efficient. This will go a long way toward making your bill skyrocket. If you would rather not spend the money on plants, you can do the same with weeds. Allow leafy or viney weeds such as crabgrass or morning glory to climb in and around the grills. They can also choke off the grills in a short period. Voila! Job done.   But if you’re not into greenery, you can accomplish the same thing simply by not taking care of the grills. For example, if you have a lot of...