The days are growing longer, the temps are getting warmer, and it won’t be long before you need to turn on the AC to beat the heat. If you’re like us, you’re always looking for ways to make your cooling system as efficient as possible. Efficiency saves money, is good for the planet, and also simply keeps your home cooler. We’ve assembled this list of tips to help you stay as cool as possible during the summertime swelter.
Before the hot weather starts in earnest, have an HVAC professional do a preventative maintenance (or PM) on your central AC unit. This will ensure that all the parts of your AC are functional, and will also involve a chemical washing of the interior and exterior coils. Without regular PMs, the life expectancy of a central unit drops rapidly.
Seal It Up
The easiest way to make sure your AC runs optimally is to make sure the cold air isn’t being pulled out out by open windows, doors, or drafts. By making sure the home is well sealed before the season, you’ll save yourself a tremendous amount of electricity and sweating during the summer heat. You can find out just how much energy you’re losing(or not) to drafts and gaps with an energy audit.
Designate an Area
For those of us using windows units, they’re terribly inefficient at heating large spaces. Instead, use them to keep one room or area cool by either closing the door to the chosen room or securing a blanket to the doorway. While this won’t be a perfect seal, it will keep the vast majority of the cool air where you want it.
Keep It In The Shade
Air conditioners of all types, whether window unit, central, or split system, work better when they’re out of the heat of the sun. Consider making a shade for the unit, which will keep it cool and allow it to run at maximum efficiency. The shade doesn’t need to be fancy, so long as it provides a shadow to keep the unit out of the direct rays.
Time It Right
Most modern systems have timers to allow you to determine when the unit comes on and begins cooling. By setting this timer for the hottest part of the day, or only for times the home is occupied, you’ll save the system a tremendous amount of work and increase it’s life expectancy.
Embrace The Summer Air
Air conditioning is designed to cool the air when your space is becoming uncomfortably warm. Using it to keep the space cool even when the temp would be comfortable if, say, the windows were opened or fans turned on, the system is being used unnecessarily. Reserving use for when you really need it will really help the system run more effectively.
Following these simple steps are a surefire way to make sure your home stays cool this summer with minimum stress on your cooling system. They’ll also help you prolong the useful life of your chosen system, and they help reduce your environmental impact. Saving money, saving the environment, and making your home system run more effectively all go hand in hand in the summer heat.