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The best way to beat the summer heat is also the most costly. Los Angeles summer temps can run up into the 90s and even 100s, which is why central air conditioning units are so coveted. They help us survive the hot months, but if you’ve watched your electric bill, you know they drive up the cost of living as well.

So what do you do? Cracking windows and running ceiling fans can help on milder days, but they just can’t help a stuffy home during a heat wave. The good news is that there are ways to trim your monthly AC bill that don’t necessarily include using it less. You just need to know where to look.

Static thermostats

Many standard-issue thermostats don’t allow for much flexibility. They give you a little control over the temperature, but that’s about it. What you may not know is there are alternative, money-saving models.

With a programmable thermostat, you can set the indoor temperature to your house or business to a pre-determined number all year long. This will prevent undue fluctuations that may occur automatically, and without your knowledge. The most dynamic models will also allow you to set specific temps for specific areas, so that cold, expensive air isn’t unnecessarily distributed. Some experts estimate that this little change can save you over $180 per year.

Dirty coils

Although they seem harmless enough, a dirty coil can dramatically affect your AC’s performance. In effect, it “tricks” your unit by making it think it’s not providing the required amount of cold air, when in fact the coils are just degrading the output.

If your AC’s air feels less cool than usual, call the best plumber Beverly Hills has to offer. Torrance Plumbing and Heating’s trained technicians know their way around central air systems. Whether it’s one of the retail shops along Rodeo Drive or at the Montage Hotel, we can clean or replace your worn, dirty coils, and get your system running at full performance once again.

Lack of maintenance

Like your car, regular tune-ups of your central air unit are required to keep it operating smoothly. Whether it’s to clean the coils or replace a dirty air filter, a professional can make sure the unit is maintaining 100% efficiency. At first, having an annual check-up might sound like a costly and unnecessary idea. But you have to think of it like an investment. The expense spent on an expert’s service will be much cheaper than having to buy a new unit a few years down the road after it loses power, or breaks down altogether.

According to sources, AC models can lose up to 25% efficiency after 5 years without regular check-ups. In order to get the most bang for your buck, make sure get yours regularly serviced.