ARLINGTON, Va., May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As temperatures climb, homeowners throughout the country are preparing for hot, sticky weather. For many people, a major concern this season is keeping their homes cool and comfortable without driving energy costs through the roof. With this in mind, one important item that every summer checklist should include is ensuring your home's air conditioning system is operating properly and efficiently. Once you know your air conditioner is in shape to handle the hottest of the hot weather, there are several steps you can take to keep cooling bills low throughout the season.
A Smart Start to Energy Savings
Every homeowner with a central air conditioning system should have it checked annually by an HVAC/R professional. When scheduling an air conditioning check-up, keep an eye out for special deals on seasonal preventative maintenance. Another reason it's important to shop around is because not all HVAC/R technicians offer the same level of expertise, so the responsibility falls on homeowners to ensure that they get the protection and quality assurance they deserve.
Most consumers are unaware that the HVAC/R industry does not require technicians to take mandatory competency tests. However, many technicians go through voluntary testing to obtain certification from North American Technician Excellence (NATE), the nation's largest independent, third-party, non-profit certification body for HVAC/R technicians.
When selecting a contractor to perform an assessment of your air conditioning system, choose one that employs NATE-certified technicians. With nearly 30,000 NATE-certified technicians nationwide, it's easy to find a professional you can trust to ensure your equipment is installed right and operating properly, offering maximum comfort, energy savings and peace of mind.
Keep Energy Bills Low as Temperatures Rise
Once you've confirmed that your air conditioning system is running efficiently, there are several things you can do to keep energy bills to a minimum:
- Raise the thermostat about five degrees. Each degree saves a percentage off your cooling energy bill.
- Don't obstruct airflow around air conditioner units. Keep them clear of plants and debris.
- Clean the air filters. Check them every couple of weeks and change them at least twice in the season, or as directed by the manufacturer.
- Review last year's energy bills and keep an eye on cooling costs throughout this season to monitor for major increases or inconsistencies.
As homeowners continue to adopt eco-friendly, high-efficiency products and appliances, it's important to realize that even the greenest equipment can waste money and energy if it's not installed, serviced and maintained properly. By working with NATE-certified technicians, homeowners can have confidence their HVAC/R equipment offers the energy efficiency it promises.
When scheduling an air conditioning check-up, be sure to request a NATE-certified technician. To find a qualified local contractor who employs certified technicians, look for the NATE logo on their website or promotional materials, or go to HVACRAdvice.com.
About North American Technician Excellence (NATE)
Headquartered in Arlington, Va., NATE was founded in 1997 as the nation's largest non-profit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians. NATE tests technicians while others train. Testing validates the technician's knowledge and a training program's instruction. NATE-approved testing organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada offer NATE tests. Candidates can earn installation and/or service certification in nine specialty areas: air-conditioning, air distribution, heat pumps, gas heating, oil heating, hydronic gas, hydronic oil, and commercial, light commercial refrigeration and senior efficiency analyst. NATE also offers the International Ground Source Heat Pump test. For more information about NATE, visit www.natex.org.
SOURCE North American Technician Excellence (NATE)