If your solution to extreme heat is to run your AC unit incessantly, you may be setting yourself up for a far worse scenario: your air conditioner breaking down in the middle of summer, when you’re going to have a difficult time getting it fixed or replaced.
Summer is the busy season for HVAC service technicians, and you might find yourself waiting weeks or months to schedule an appointment. Even emergency air conditioning services are overbooked in the summer. So before you run your home cooling system on full blast 24/7, try these tips to reduce the impact of extreme weather conditions – and avoid the hassles of system replacement!
1. Work With Your Windows
During the day, sunlight pours into your windows and heats your home. If you’re running your AC equipment simultaneously, it works extra hard to cool the air that gets reheated by the sunlight. Close your blinds during daylight hours to prevent the sun from warming your home air. Better yet, try investing in heavy curtains that are specially designed to block sunlight.
The converse is also true: If the weather cools down (as a cold front rolls through or the temperature drops significantly overnight), use it to your advantage. When the temperature drops, open your windows to allow cool air into your home and give your AC equipment a much-needed break.
2. Supplement With Fans
Stagnant air feels warmer than its temperature indicates. Just by circulating air with a few fans, you may be able to eliminate the need for your AC unit to run constantly. When your home is empty, try shutting off your air conditioner (or turning the temperature up) and using fans to cool and circulate the air.
3. Set A Schedule
When everyone is home, you want your house to be cool and comfortable. But if your children are at school or camp all day and you’re at work, there’s no reason to keep your AC unit on full blast. Use a programmable thermostat to set a smart schedule for your home cooling system. Have your air conditioner kick on an hour before you expect your family to be home, and allow the unit to shut off once everyone has gone to bed. This enables you to maximize the efforts of your AC equipment without running the risk of burning out the system.
4. Limit Your Use Of Appliances
Certain home appliances are energy hogs: big-screen plasma TVs, refrigerators, dishwashers, washers and dryers. But there are ways to limit the energy consumption of these appliances. Program “no heat” during your dishwasher’s drying cycle to reduce energy usage, set a timer on your TV to prevent overuse and switch to cold water in your washing machine. Wait until you have enough for a full load of dishes or clothes in order to maximize your efforts.
5. Turn Out The Lights
If you keep your lights on all day, you’re contributing to the warmth in your home. Make sure you turn the lights off when you leave a room, and install timers on your lighting systems as a failsafe. Save energy on your outdoor lights by installing motion detectors. This ensures that your lights are available when you need them but aren’t consuming energy when you don’t.
6. Maintain Your AC Equipment
Performing routine maintenance on your home cooling system is a smart way to prepare it for extreme weather. HVAC service experts are able to spot potential problems before they arise and make adjustments to keep your system running optimally.
Invest in duct cleaning services regularly to keep your system functioning smoothly. If your ducts are blocked, your AC unit works too hard to push air through. Worse, debris buildup in your ductwork negatively affects your indoor air quality by allowing allergens like dust, pollen and mildew to be released into your home.
Change or clean your air filters at least once a month. Invest in HEPA air filters to further improve indoor air quality. Especially when summer heat gets extreme, it’s important to ensure that the air in your home is clean. Heat exacerbates respiratory disorders, and ineffective air filtration is a quick way to fan the flames.
When the weather gets hot, it’s tempting to crank your air conditioner up high and keep it there until winter rolls back around. Resist the urge. With these simple tips, you’re able to lessen the oppression of droughts and conserve energy – all without sacrificing comfort! Give your AC equipment a break before it breaks down for good.
Learn more about maintaining the balance between cool home air and conscious energy consumption as well as preventing untimely system breakdown. Contact the On Time Experts to meet your own Comfort Consultant today!