electric chart

Air Conditioner Tune Up + Cost Savings Analysis

This article is the final in a three part series occurring 9-23-2014 through 9-25-2014.

The First

The Second


I was really frustrated about an electric bill about six months earlier and decided to take action to save money and electricity. This resulted in an assessment of the potential options for improvement. From the list three items were ultimately selected for the improvement.

  1. Installarion of a New Programmable Thermostat
  2. Repair of Leaky Floor Vents.
  3. Having the Air Conditioner Serviced.

The previous two articles focused on items one and two. This article will focus on item three and a 5-months later savings report.

The Problem – Air Conditioner Not Blowing Enough:

The problem is fairly simple today. I placed my hand over the vent and felt less than the expected airflow.  I checked the usual culprit, the air filter, but it was not at fault. This is about the point that my knowledge with regards to air conditioning units ends.

The Solution – Call a Repairman to fix the Air Flow:

I googled heating and air companies and picked the one whose office was closest to my home. A side note, I try  to get services that result in less driving this may be a small difference but if everyone reduced driving of people on service calls it would amount to a significant reduction in automobile emissions. OK, back to the story…the repair guy came out, we killed the power to the unit and he opened it up. Once the unit was open it was much simpler than I imagined.

The repair guy quickly diagnosed the problem as the internal coils were dirty and he sprayed them down with a water hose. Then he put everything back together again. In short 4 screws, my water hose and water a whole lot of standing around waiting for the unit to cycle on to ensure the problem was solved and it was done…maybe an hour total from the time I called to the time he collected payment. The total cost was $150….but I upgraded to the subscription plan and received the service visit and another visit in six months (for free, to clean maintain etc… The system). Actual total cost $130.00 (why do I get the feeling everyone they service gets a subscription and a second free visit….such is life).

 Cost-Savings Analysis:

This is the fun part, from the three articles (if you read them all and you should) if you paid attention you know that my total cost was approximately $260. Below is a photo of a graph produced on my electric providers website. Just eyeballing the graph it is approximately 2300 kWh (kilowatt hours) of power savings in a five month billing cycle compared to the previous year. My current electrical rate is $0.09445 or just under ten cents per kWh. Then multiply 2300*0.09445 and the total is about $217 or $43.40 a month. Provided month six is average then that will increase my savings to $260.40, that is more than I spent. Plus, I still am waiting on that second scheduled maintenance visit from my contract.

electric chart
This is the chart documenting power usage this year over last year

I think these numbers speak for themselves.

 Short Lesson:

A kilowatt hour is equivalent to 1000 watts of electricity used for 1 hour. You may be familiar with light bulbs that have a certain wattage. The five month electrical reduction I made from these changes is enough to run 23,000 light bulbs that consume 100 watts for 1 hour. Better, I could power 127,777 LED 100 watt equivalent light bulbs (18 watts of power each) for 1 hour.

Well that concludes the series on my high electric bill. Tomorrow the article will be about light bulbs. Please come back and check it out.