According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), your HVAC system could be costing you an additional $1,000 per season to run, due to dirty coils and clogged filters, it if it is not clean and properly maintained.

“Even though we experience mild seasonal changes in Florida and avoid many of the problems associated with harsh winter conditions, our HVAC systems require maintenance,” said Ivan Smith, Corporate Director of Technical Trades at Florida Career College (FCC). “It is important that we prepare our equipment for the warmer weather in order to keep our cool both financially and physically throughout the warmer spring and soon-to-be summer season.”

Here are nine do-it-yourself, cost-cutting and energy-saving HVAC tips that add up to better long-term efficiency:

1. Change your air conditioning filters once a month. Clean filters enable your unit to run more efficiently, causing less wear and tear on the equipment.

2. Perform a visual inspection of air conditioning ducts to ensure they are not leaking.

3. Replace or install weather stripping around doors, windows and baseboards. Cracked or worn weather stripping allows cool air to escape. Replacing weather stripping annually could result in a 15 percent savings.

4. Make sure that your home is well insulated. Fiberglass insulation is the easiest to install and the most effective. Insulation with an R factor between 30 and 49 is effective and can save consumers up to 10 percent.

5. Regulate the temperature. Keep the temperature cool at night and warmer during the day when no one is home. Programmable thermostats are an affordable way to regulate indoor temperatures for optimal comfort and efficiency.

6. Block out direct sun with drapes and window shades.

7. Keep windows and doors closed when the air conditioning is on.

8. Use ceiling fans to help circulate cool air throughout the house.

9. Plan hot work for cooler morning and evening hours. Basic household functions such as washing, drying and ironing clothes, baking and cooking all make it harder for the cooling system to do its job.

Students in the HVAC program in the School of Technical Trades at Florida Career College learn service skills in electrical controls and motors, refrigeration systems and mechanics, heating systems and controls, air conditioning systems, energy efficiency and green awareness. If you would like to pursue a career in residential and commercial HVAC repair, call Florida Career College 888-852-7272

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