Tips for saving money while staying cool this summer

MECHANICSVILLE, VA (WWBT) - The sun is blazing, the temperature is rising close to triple digits and the work load has been increasing for HVAC service technicians across the state.

"Extremely busy, this heat keeps us working hard," said service technician, John Ottoson or Automatic Climate.

At an average rate of $90 just to come out and take a look at the problem, it may seem like Ottoson is raking in the money, but he reveals to us some tips to help save you money in the end.

He recommends, during the summer, turn the air conditioner off when mowing your lawn. The unit tends to suck in grass clippings potentially causing problems in your outdoor unit.

"We can find a lot of the problems before they become serious problems and it'll help protect the unit itself," Ottoson said.

Also, try and keep the thermostat no more than 20 degrees cooler than the outside temperature.

"If you have a 95 degree day outside and you have it set for 75 inside, you're running at peak performance, usually I keep mine at 78 degrees for the best economy," Ottoson said.

Ottoson says, to prevent future problems that can end up costing you almost a thousand dollars in repairs, have a year round service contract so that you don't have to worry about your AC breaking down on the hottest day of summer.

"Really can't stress how important it is to change the filters to keep them changed have the unit serviced once a year," he said.

John worked some hot jobs.

"Extremely hot. Those attics get up to 140 degrees," he said, "If you have 85 degree air in your house and there is a problem, call the technician. If you see frost on your outside unit during the summer, that would be a problem," said Ottoson.

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