How to help your air conditioner beat the approaching summer heat
Summer is on its way – and the heat generally associated with the season may be here even sooner than you think.
So, for homeowners, that means it’s time to not only make sure your home’s air conditioner and cooling system are in proper working order, but also going over a refresher of how to give the AC unit a helping hand in cooling down the house.
If you take the right steps now, then you will help your air conditioning unit operate more efficiently and also save on cooling costs this summer. Here are the steps you can take to make sure you benefit from both a well-running AC unit and lower energy bills.
First things first: Schedule a service appointment
We stress this point a lot here on our blog, but it is critical to get your AC unit and home’s HVAC system serviced regularly each year before the summer heat sets in.
The primary reason is straightforward. By having your air conditioner serviced by an experienced technician, you have a much greater chance of catching minor problems before they worsen into more severe problems that will undoubtedly be more expensive to fix.
And it doesn’t take long for AC repairs to climb higher in price. A simple fix may cost you a couple hundred dollars or less, but a serious issue could easily approach – or even surpass – $1,000 to address.
Just remember to schedule the service call as soon as possible. The deeper we get into summer, the busier HVAC professionals get with emergency calls for AC units that have unfortunately failed.
Use fans and vents appropriately
Once you have the annual service crossed off your to-do list and your AC unit is given a clean bill of health, it’s time to take stock of other ways you can help it work as efficiently as possible this summer.
Making sure you know how to use fans and vents in your home properly is a great place to start. With a few of these tricks up your sleeve, you can rely less on air conditioning to cool your home and save some money here and there on cooling costs.
Fans should spin counterclockwise in summer
Fans should switch directions once summer is here. In warm summer months, you want the blades of ceiling fans to spin counterclockwise. This sends air back down and creates what basically amounts to a windchill effect.
In fact, with this added windchill, you might be surprised how high you can keep your thermostat set and still feel comfortable. Try bumping up the temperature a few degrees while keeping the ceiling fans on in rooms you frequent. If you’re not in the room often, then turn off the fan. This is a great way to save energy and money on utility bills.
Vents can increase comfort
Vents can also help keep your home cool. Most homes have vents in bathrooms and above oven ranges.
Whenever you are taking a shower or bath or are cooking on the stove top, try turning vents on. These can suck up the hot air and help lower both the temperature and humidity level in the room.
Of course, vents are most effective when you use appliances and plumbing features that may require them sparingly in the summer. A vent won’t help you as much during a baking marathon or a long soak in a hot bath.
Clean return vents and floor registers
Another way to lend a home’s air conditioner a hand and help it operate as effectively as possible is to clean return air vents and floor registers throughout the home.
This can often be a quick and easy DIY task that will remove dust, dirt, pet hair and other debri that builds up over time. A deep cleaning helps air flow more freely into and from these vents and registers, which means the rest of your HVAC system doesn’t have to work nearly as hard to cool down your house.
The best way to clean return air vents is with a vacuum that has a hose attachment. After that, you can remove any remaining dust and grime that may be a little harder to dislodge.
Floor registers need a few more steps, though. It’s still not a difficult task, though.
First, you simply unscrew the cover from the floor and scrub it down to remove debris. You can also use soapy water if elbow grease doesn’t do the trick. Then, while you’re letting the register dry, you can use a vacuum to suck up dust that may be visible in the duct.
Keep windows covered
What’s one of the most common sources of heat coming into a home? The answer’s windows, specifically the sunlight that can come into the house through uncovered windows.
This is why you should cover windows when possible during periods of the day when light enters them directly.
Blackout curtains are especially effective at keeping light and heat out of rooms. They can also be drawn back easily when you do want some natural light to enter a room.
Another tip is to install an insulated window film, which can redirect summer heat away from the window.
Change air filters as recommended
Proper air flow is key to any home HVAC component working correctly and efficiently no matter the time of year. As with furnaces, air conditioners have to work much harder when the air filter is too dirty and clogged with dust. Not only can this increase energy bills, it also increases wear and tear on equipment and could cause problems that require expensive repairs.
So, check to see if the air filter your system uses needs to be replaced every month, two months, three months, etc. and stick to that recommended schedule. A clean air filter increases efficiency by anywhere from 5% to 15%, so you will feel a difference and likely see one in energy bills.
Air conditioning problems? Call Comfortec
Don’t hesitate to schedule a service call for your home’s cooling system and AC unit as soon as possible. Our experienced technicians are also available to respond to 24/7 emergency calls.
Either way, there are a number of ways to contact us. Don’t hesitate to reach out.
Share This Post
Read Our Other Blog Posts.