Spring and summer are traditionally the seasons of love, as sunshine and flowers brighten the view. But people are not the only thing that needs a little extra loving in the summer. Your air conditioning unit needs some TLC, too. Check out these tips for showing your AC and HVAC system a little love this summer.
Servicing Your Air Conditioner
The obvious first step to keeping your AC unit operating at its optimal performance for the best energy consumption is a regular maintenance call to have it serviced. Your HVAC contractor will check and oil all of the moving parts, check the refrigerant levels, and clean your unit. This is best done in the spring before your AC has to handle the hard work of cooling your home in the summer heat. If you forgot to schedule an appointment in the spring, definitely give us a call as soon as you can. Your HVAC contractor can alert you to possible problems that might crop up in the future and recommend (and make) repairs to head off major issues during the hot weather.
Keeping Cool Air In
Many people overlook the importance of containing the cool air from the air conditioner. If you have leaks in your ductwork, or if you fail to insulate it, the conditioned air can leak out into other areas of your home, such as the attic or unused rooms. Your air conditioner will continue to pump out cool air, you just won’t feel the benefits. This is a surefire way to get stuck with higher utility bills. Check your ductwork for leaks and seal them or have your contractor replace damaged joints.
If you have leaks in your ductwork, or if you fail to insulate it, the conditioned air can leak out into other areas of your home, such as the attic or unused rooms.
Keeping Hot Air Out
Nearly everyone weatherproofs their home for the winter by sealing leaky windows and doors and using heavy curtains or shades to block out cold air. It is equally as important in the summer to take steps to prevent hot air from infiltrating your home. Try these tricks for keeping hot air out of your home:
- Use solar curtains to reflect UV light (and heat) back outside. Don’t worry, they will still let in visible spectrum light rays. You will lose some light, but solar curtains do not darken the home as heavy drapes can.
- Use awnings. Placing an awning over southern or western windows will keep the rays of the sun from beating into your home in the afternoon.
- Create shade. You can do this by planting shade trees or shrubs near the windows. You can also add a trellis and plant vining plants where they will block the sun from shining directly into your windows.
- Insulate the attic and use an attic fan. An insulating barrier between your roof and your attic space will help reduce heat gain through the roof. Use an attic fan to draw out heat that accumulates in the attic. This will reduce the strain on your AC and make your home feel cooler.
Keeping Your Cool
There are other things you can do to keep the living area feeling more comfortable. Running directional fans to circulate air and turning on your ceiling fan can make the room feel cooler and keep you feeling more comfortable. Running the exhaust fan in the bathroom after showers and using the hood fan when cooking will help to keep the humidity under control and make the air in your home feel more comfortable. It will also help out your AC as it works to remove humidity from the air.
If you have further questions about helping out your air conditioner in hot weather, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can service your AC and assess its performance. We can also offer tips for keeping it running smoothly. We offer free estimates for any servicing or repair jobs so you are never left in the dark.