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Summer tips: Keep your AC running and save money

Posted at 8:37 PM, Jun 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-11 21:37:12-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Monday was expected to be the hottest day of the year so far in Kansas City -- and that means air conditioning units are working extra hard.

Stephanie Tikker and her husband were moving into their new Lenexa home Monday and were struggling with the home’s air conditioner.

The unit was installed in 2014 and should be in working condition, yet they could not get the house down to a cool 72 or 73 degrees.

"My immediate thought - I don't need this. This house is new, why is this happening?," said Stephanie Tikker. "It's 100 degrees outside, now is not a good time."

They have a dual zoned system, an efficient way to heat and cool larger homes. The system also lets homeowners to keep living and sleeping areas separate temperatures.

Jeff Kiesel with Bob Hamilton Plumbing and Heating checked out Tikker’s air conditioner. He recommended the couple run the air conditioner on one floor for now.  

"The system is reading low on Freon. That's why we aren't getting the coolant capacity we want," Kiesel said. He added this was a relatively easy fix and recommended a dye test to see if there are any leaks.

"That way you don't have to recharge it every year," said Kiesel.

The Tikkers are lucky their system is run on a newer version of Freon. Some older systems use R22, which will keep rising in cost after the EPA recommended it be phased out by 2020 to protect the ozone.

Data shows Americans spend about $29 billion on cooling their homes.

KCP&L estimates high-efficiency units can save 20 percent on your bill.

Missouri customers can get rebates for changing out ineffective units that must be submitted by an authorized dealer.

In Kansas, there is an online energy use analyzer designed to help.

Techs said you can close vents in rooms you don't use, but you should not stop the air from circulating.

You can run fans, close curtains and lock doors, make sure your walls and attics have proper insulation.

Appliances should run in the early-morning hours or at night.

Humidifiers can help keep coils and units clean.

"The most important thing a homeowner can do is change their filter," said Kiesel.

All advice Tikker is taking to heart.

"Not to have to think about that stress. I need to unpack boxes first," said Tikker.