Anonymous asked in Home & GardenMaintenance & Repairs · 9 years ago

How to keep central air conditioning costs down?

I live on the 3rd floor in an apartment and I have sky lights in my living room. Recently my air conditioning bill has been through the roof, and so I put shades up on my sky lights to keep the light out. Thinking this would help keep the costs down, it did not. I have kept my thermostat at 76 because anything higher makes it extremely hot in here. Any advice on what else to do? I keep the ceiling fans on constantly, and try to turn the air off on cooler days. I need advice on how to keep the costs down because it is getting to the point where I can no longer afford these high bills! I have tried to find the filter but where I assume it would be located, has no filter to change. (And yes i have called maintenance, THEY ARE SLOW! It has been over 2 months and they have not come, I call everyday!)

Ps. I have cats, so turning the air off while I am not home is out of the question.

7 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    I think your unit if you have a in-wall type is low on freon. This type needs to have it replaced at least every other two years. Second it needs to be set for maximum on intervals for best results. If using a central A/C system run it only a night for sleeping or during evening hours before bed. The system is best to have checked every three or more year, at least once after five years. Cats then if a wall unit, clean it of cat hair first. In any space with one of more cats the air/ per /cubic /inch is loaded with cat hair because it is lighter than air.

  • 9 years ago

    All home air conditioning should have a filter. It should in most cases be located behind your return air grill or at the base of your air handler possibly behind a metal access cover that would be about the width of the A/C unit and only a couple inches high. "Should be changed at least every 30 days". The first thing you should make sure of is that you apartment A/C is working properly. If this is supposed to be maintained by your complex then you may have to stay on top of them constantly until they comply. "squeaky wheel gets the grease".

    What you can do:

    Other than that closing window shades that have sun exposure is one way, partially closing room vents in mostly unoccupied rooms to divert air flow to the heavier used rooms as well as reverse ceiling fans to blow air towards the ceiling. This will help circulate air and pull the cooler air up towards the heated air that rose to the ceiling. Good luck hope this helps.....

    Source(s): Been there done that!!!
  • 9 years ago

    I'm not really buying that you cannot find where the return air filter goes.....

    If it won't get you any complaints, get six bricks and a tarp and cover the skylights until winter.

    If you have animals then the chances of having hair and contaminates stuck in the evaporator coil are very high. You must gain access to the air handler, get that filter changed out (its your responsibility anyway) and clean the evaporator coil with scrubbing bubbles, a light duty brush and a good rinse. Your unit, if the refrigerant level is correct will cool your place as designed and do so way more efficiently than you think.....

    You may also want to clean the condenser coil.

    Source(s): I live upstairs too; my thermostat stays at 68F and my unit cycles as designed even at 100F outside, even at 2:30PM.... because the return air filter is clean and the evap coil stays clean.....
  • Top floor will always have the worst AC bill (but often the lowest heating bill) because of solar heat gain from attic. Can you get more insulation above your ceiling?? Guess not, if they won't bring a furnace filter. Have you tried heavy drapes over the South and West windows? Lot of heat gain there, too. Most apartments, even newer ones, are built cheaply, because the owner isn't paying the bills. Best bet is to live on a lower floor with windows facing East or North (unless you live in the North, and would have to face those Blue Canadian Snowstorms).

    Source(s): Long time custom homebuilder
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 9 years ago

    Shading windows works well if you do it from OUTSIDE the window AND that there is space between the shade and the glass. If fabric is just sitting on top of the window, the fabric will heat up the window pane and pass the radiant heat along as if there were no shade.

    Also, if you have west facing windows, consider getting some solar screens with proper spacing between the glass and the screen material. ( at least 1/2 inch)

    90% of your cooling load comes from windows and the attic. Skylights are the WORST of both worlds.

    Alternate idea for your cats, get a small room cooler or a swamp cooler and just cool one spot for them.

  • 4 years ago

    when you say condensor, do you mean the outdoor unit?? if you are checking the evaporator on the inside of the closet or attic then it is doing what it was designed to do?? now if the outdoor unit is blowing cool air then it sounds as if the unit could be iced over by low refrig. or the compressor is not working. if the compressor isnt working then its either the starter windings are bad or the start capacitor is shot??? also is this a heat pump?? if so make sure you have the t-stat set to cool and not heat. in the heat mode a heat pumps outside unit actually becomes the evaporator and the indoor unit becomes the condensor via a 3-way valve reversing the flow of freon. if the probelm is electrical my suggestion is to pay someone to troubleshoot! working on 240volts is dangerous and stupid for a novice!!

  • 9 years ago

    You must have a filter in he closet where your air handler is. It should be on the bottom of it.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.