Portable air conditioners are a handy item to own to get you through the hot summer months. PAC’s or spot coolers as they can be called are nothing new, but have been increasing in popularity because they are compact, versatile, convenient and very cost effective.
Depending on what model you choose, PAC’s are quite inexpensive. Models range from $150 to $400. If you are renting an apartment or small house that doesn’t have an A/C you can buy a cheaper PAC as opposed to a window unit and take it with you when you move out. Obviously no installation is required so you don’t have to worry about dismantling it when you leave. It is a permanent purchase that you can take with you and keep enjoying. Most PAC’s are set on a platform with wheels so it can be moved from room to room with you, they are also quite light and can be carried if need be. If you get hot cooking dinner in the kitchen you can simply wheel in your PAC, if you like sleeping in a cool room, set it up in your bedroom at night. The possibilities are endless.
When compared to a window unit or HVAC system, a PAC is very inexpensive to operate. They are energy efficient and will keep your power bill low. Another bonus is that a PAC operates as a dehumidifier as well as an AC. It will keep indoor humidity levels low which is great news for an allergy sufferer because it will help alleviate dust mites and mold growth. Some PAC’s have high efficiency air filters built in acting like an air purifier. The majority of models come with a remote control for added convenience.
Staying comfortable temperature wise can be expensive. Running your HVAC system in the house or office can be the largest contributor to your power bill. Here are some tips to keep your power bill down.
Consider replacing your old HVAC unit with a newer, more efficient system. Paying upfront for a new energy star rated model can save you money overtime. Lower power bills will eventually cover the cost of the initial investment. Be sure to look for the SEER rating, the higher the rating the more efficient the unit is. If you double the rating you can cut the AC operating cost in half. Be sure to look for federal, state and local rebates on higher efficiency units.
Install a programmable thermostat. Newer thermostats allow you to program them from your smartphone. This will allow you to adjust your temperature while away from the house so you are not paying to cool or warm your house while it is empty. You can increase or decrease the temperature an hour before you come home so you walk into a comfortable environment.
Change your filter monthly. A dirty filter makes your blower fan and cooling system work extra hard using more power. Do not underestimate the importance of a clean filter, they are the number one reason HVAC systems break down and can cause a 7% power bill increase.
Make sure your ductwork is in good standing. If they are not sealed correctly cool air may be escaping and is wasted in the basement, attic or crawl spaces. Consider tinting your windows or upgrading your window shades to block out sun. It is estimated about 30% of heat comes through your windows. Your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard to cool the house if the inside temperature is mild.
Have your HVAC system inspected once a year to make sure it is operating at peak performance. The HVAC technician will normally perform a detailed once over and clean the outside unit, coils and check the controls and refrigerant levels.