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Why Is My AC Bill So High?

Cassie Pound, owner of Quality Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric
Published by
Cassie Pound
September 10, 2023
Why Is My AC Bill So High?

Are you sick of high energy costs and how much you’re paying just to keep your home cool? If you’re searching, “Why is my AC bill so high?” keep reading to discover the answers.

As Tulsa’s AC repair experts, Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing works hard to keep your HVAC system working and your energy bills lower.

1. Dirty Air Filter

As an air filter accumulates dust or dirt, it reduces your air conditioner’s airflow, forcing it to work harder to produce the same results. This uses significantly more energy than when your device puts in minimal effort to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

While some air conditioners can use premium air filters that last up to 90 days, you should check most filters every 30 days. If the filter has a thick layer of dust, replace or clean it (depending on the type). If you own pets, have a smoker in the house, experience allergies or respiratory issues, or live in an area with heavy pollution, you’ll likely need to change your filter more frequently.

2. Leaking Air Ducts

Your ductwork is responsible for transporting your treated air throughout your home. In a healthy system, the ductwork is completely sealed and doesn’t lose much air as it travels from the air conditioner into your room.

However, over time, the ductwork can spring leaks or develop tears. When your ductwork leaks air, your home doesn’t cool as effectively, and your air conditioner must run harder and longer before it reaches your desired temperature.

3. Broken Components

Depending on the broken components, your air conditioner could still function while needing repairs. However, though it can function when its blower, compressor, or capacitor aren’t fully functional, its cooling ability suffers. As always, when the air conditioner works harder and longer, it increases your energy bills.

Fixing your air conditioner should restore it to full efficiency and lower your utility bills.

4. Wrong Size Air Conditioner

You need the right size air conditioner to efficiently and effectively cool your home, and if it’s too large or small, your energy bills suffer.

If your device is too small, it can’t adequately keep up with the demand, and you’ll end up running it constantly.

If your air conditioner is too large, it cools your home too quickly and rapidly turns on and off. This quickly ages your unit and uses a significant amount of energy.

When you upgrade to a high-efficiency air conditioner that’s the correct size for your home, you’ll see your energy bills drastically decrease. Your HVAC specialist can help you determine which air conditioner is best for your home or business.

5. Low Refrigerant

If you’re wondering, “Why is my AC bill so high?” it could be your air conditioner’s refrigerant levels. The refrigerant is responsible for transporting heat out of your home and leaving you with cool air. Though a sealed system houses the refrigerant, as it ages, it can develop leaks.

If you notice your air conditioner expelling lukewarm air, the refrigerant is the likely problem. Running your device longer won’t help. Instead, call an HVAC technician to repair the leak and restore the refrigerant levels to normal.

6. Ignored Maintenance

The most important thing you can do for your air conditioner is to schedule regular maintenance. However, many homeowners ignore it because they believe it’s an unnecessary expense. Without maintenance, your air conditioner will break and run less efficiently, costing you more money over time than you’d save on regular maintenance.

Schedule maintenance once a year, preferably in the spring, to adequately prepare your air conditioner for heavy summer usage. Some homeowners prefer to schedule a second maintenance check in the fall to determine how much wear and tear the device suffered over the hot months.

7. Age

With regular maintenance and moderated usage, your air conditioner should last between 15 and 20 years. However, no matter how well you care for it, as the device ages, it will run less efficiently.

Is your air conditioner running well, but you still notice higher energy bills? You might find it more cost-effective to replace it with a newer model.

8. Improper Installation

Even the most experienced HVAC technician can make mistakes while installing your air conditioner. Whether it has a missing part, bad connection, or isn’t properly sealed, all these issues can severely affect your energy bills.

A more experienced technician can fix the problem and return your energy bills to an acceptable level.

9. Constant Usage

You might think running your air conditioner constantly is best to help maintain the comfort in your home. However, constantly running your air conditioner uses a lot of energy and reduces your device’s life expectancy. To moderate how often you use your air conditioner without sacrificing comfort, follow these tips:

  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees.
  • Use ceiling fans to help the air feel cooler.
  • Use UV-blocking window treatments to reduce the heat your home gains by up to 45%.
  • Most importantly, don’t use your air conditioner when you’re not home to enjoy the cool air.
  • If you want to come home to cool air, consider installing a programmable or smart thermostat to turn on roughly 20 minutes before you return home.

10. Poor Insulation

Insulation determines how much air leaks through your home, and a lack of insulation in your attic, windows, and doors can force your air conditioner to work much harder. An HVAC technician can perform tests to determine where you lack insulation and then take steps to improve it.

Contact Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing To Save Money on Your Energy Bills

If you’re wondering, “Why is my AC bill so high?” consider any of the above reasons. Whether you experience weak air conditioner airflow or don’t know how to replace your filter, Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing can help with every problem. We’re quality to the core, and we work hard to ensure you’re always satisfied.

To see what we can do for you or to schedule an appointment, call us at 918-262-5245.

Cassie Pound, owner of Quality Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric
Published by
Cassie Pound

Cassie Pound is the Vice President of Quality Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric with locations in Tulsa, Glenpool, and Bartlesville, Oklahoma.