When it’s summer, we depend on air conditioning to get us through the hottest, most humid months. When there’s no relief anywhere else in sight, we can count on coming home to a cool, temperature-controlled environment that won’t keep us sweating through the night. That’s why it’s so important to take care of our AC units and keep them lasting all through the hot summer months. AC repair can be expensive, and if anything goes wrong in the summer it usually means a long wait until you can get someone to attend to it. Taking care of your AC unit is the best way to make sure you have a cool, comfortable summer. Here are a few ways to keep your HVAC system running smoothly all summer long.
Clean the Vents
Your AC system already works hard enough-. You don’t want it to have to come up against dusty or dirty vents to circulate cool air through your home. Examining your vents every so often to make sure there’s no blockage, dirty coils, or leaks. If you have an older AC unit, it’s possible that the dirt build-up has accumulated in such a way that doesn’t make it easy to clean. Replacing your air filter after a while is a good idea for keeping your machine running smoothly and investing in its longevity.
Use Fans, Blinds, and Windows
When it comes to cooling down the house, don’t let your AC do all the work. Try to get a room as temperature controlled as it can possibly be before turning on your AC so it won’t have to go up against as much. Close the drapes on rooms that get a lot of direct sun contact. Lower the blinds on rooms that aren’t in use all day, and open windows when a room gets too stuffy. The lower the internal temperature of each room is before the AC gets turned on, the cooler and more comfortable it will be once you start using your AC.
Set the Temperature Higher
On extremely hot, humid days, you don’t want to overwork your AC. When the temperature starts climbing into the double digits, the chances of your room becoming ice cold is already slim. Set your thermostat to a reasonable cool temperature and leave it at that. Overworking your machine, especially on days when it’s already working overtime and will most likely be left on all through the night, can cause dips in performance, and is generally bad for your AC unit’s longevity. Accept that a hot day is going to be hot, and try to take as much pressure off your AC unit as you can.
If you’re living in an older house, your doors and windows are most likely prey to leaks. This means not only decreased efficiency when it comes to air conditioning but also problems with heating in the winter. Before you even install your AC for the summer, check your windows to make sure all the leaks are plugged up. If hot air is getting into your home, it’s going to make the project of cooling things down that much harder. Your AC will become overworked, and it will feel impossible just to get the room down to a reasonable temperature on truly hot days.
Don’t Let Rooms Get Too Hot
Again, when the internal temperature of any given room is too hot to begin with, you’re going to have problems with cooling it down through air conditioning. If you’re using drapes and window coverings, you’re decreasing the risk of overheating the room. If you’ve installed screen windows, you can also keep most of your home’s windows open in the summer, during the time when you’re not using your AC. That way, the house won’t feel stuffy and oppressively hot by the time you return home. The more air is already circulating through your home, the easier your AC’s job will be.
Keep the Machine Cool
Your AC unit is using a lot of power to cool your home, and as such, it’s vulnerable to overheating. If you have an AC unit that at least partly lives outside, make sure it’s protected by a shaded covering. An AC that has to sit in the sun all day is instantly going to be less effective at its job than a cool, shaded AC. If you don’t want to run up your energy bill and harm your AC unit in the process, always keep it protected from the sun and the outside elements.