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Keeping Cool in this Summer Heat: MyFoxAUSTIN.com

my Fox 7 logoA busted air conditioner could cost you big bucks this summer but with a few good tips you can stay cool and keep change in your pocket. Chuck Wilks with Chucks Air Conditioning in Austin says he’s been extremely busy this summer.

“We’ve had a lot of components fail that are consistent all summer with the same part on every single unit that go out on. It’s a part that fails. It’s called a capacitor and we’ve had a lot of them fail because they just can’t take the heat, it’s been so hot and units have been running so long compared to other summers,” said Wilks.

He says broken components and hot houses can be prevented. First, maintain your AC unit.

“When you’re low on Freon, you lose capacity. When you lose capacity, you lose the efficiency to be able to pull heat out of the house,” said Matthew Wilks, with Chucks Air Conditioning.

“If you don’t have the unit serviced you’re running the risk of having it break down on a 110 degree day when you can’t get anybody out there for two or three days. Ninety percent of the calls we go on, every summer, are parts that would have been repaired or would have been caught had you had it serviced in the off season,” said Wilks.

Wilks also suggests placing your AC unit in the shade.
“If you can design a house so the air conditioner is out of the sun or plant banana trees or some type of plant to keep the unit out of the heat of the day, you can lower your electric bill by 10 to 15 percent.”

Saving money is hard during tough economic times. Wilks says one big way to save money is to turn your AC up when you’re not at home.

“If you’re going to be gone for several days then turn it up four or five degrees but don’t turn it off because if you turn it off the house is going to build up so much heat that by the time you get back, it’s going to run longer to cool the house down that if you would have just left it up,” said Wilks.

That’s just one of many tips from Ercot who is urging everyone to conserve energy right now.

Ercot’s tips include:

Use microwaves for cooking instead of an electric range or oven.
Set your pool pump to run in the early morning or evening instead of the afternoon.
Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances and electronic equipment.
Close blinds and drapes that get direct sunlight.
Set air conditioners to 78 degrees or higher, and use fans to cool the air.
Don’t use your dishwasher, laundry equipment, hair dryers, coffee makers or other home appliances during the peak hours of 3:00 to 7:00 P.M.


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