June 13, 2024
10 Tips to Keep Your Home Cool Without Overworking Your AC

Soaring outdoor temperatures means your AC must work harder to lower temperatures and humidity. The harder it works, the quicker the components will wear out, reducing your system’s lifespan and running up utility bills. This summer, give your AC some TLC with tips to avoid overusing it.

1. Limit Afternoon Use of Appliances

Give your AC a break from removing indoor heat. When possible, run heat-producing appliances such as the dishwasher, oven, and dryer during evenings when the temperature outdoors is cooler.

Summer is a great time for outdoor grilling, so crank up the grill and look for new recipes to use. Consider hand-drying laundry during the day.

2. Keep Drapes and Blinds Closed

Summer brings more daylight hours, and a huge percentage of indoor heat enters through windows and glass doors. You can reduce indoor heat by up to 30% by drawing the drapes and blinds. If your window coverings are dark-colored, consider switching to lighter colors so that they’ll absorb less heat.

Go even further and use solar-reactive film to cover windows. Rooms will remain brightly lit while reducing heat from windows by 78%.

3. Replace Incandescent Lightbulbs

Are you still using incandescent lightbulbs? They generate much of their energy as heat and warm up a room quickly. Now is the time to switch to cooler-burning LEDs. You’ll have a cooler home and reduce stress on your AC system. As a bonus, your energy bills will be lower, and they have to be replaced far less often.

4. Use Your Ceiling Fans

Don’t ignore your ceiling fans. Their cooling effect helps reduce the temperature in a room. You can lower the thermostat by a few degrees, leaving the AC with less work. Check the direction of rotation and make sure it’s set to counterclockwise. Fan blades in this position can push air down and produce a cooling breeze.

5. Replace Damaged or Worn Insulation

Old, worn-out insulation in the attic lets cooled air escape and allows heat to enter. Check your insulation paying special attention to what’s around the ductwork and add more to worn areas. If insulation has been damaged by pests or water over winter, it may be time for a professional upgrade.

6. Seal Gaps and Seams

Cool air can also seep out through small gaps and seams. Your AC will work harder to keep up, and your energy bills will rise. Grab a caulking gun and caulk around windows and AC window units. Just as you would in winter, use weather stripping around your doors.

7. Install a Smart Thermostat

Get a smart thermometer if you don’t already have one. It will allow you to automatically raise the temperature at night or while you’re away. Lower the temperature when you wake up or before you get back home. Adjusting temperatures to your schedule will mean less stress on your AC and lower utility bills for you.

8. Have Ductwork Cleaned

Some AC systems use ductwork to carry cool air throughout your home. If that’s the case, getting them regularly cleaned is an essential tip to keep your system running smoothly. Airborne particles like dust, pet dander, and other debris can clog your system and restrict airflow. Your system will have to work harder to distribute cooled air.

9. Consider a Whole-Home Dehumidifier

Humid air interferes with the body’s natural cooling mechanisms and causes you to feel hot and sticky. If your home is in an area that experiences humid summers, consider having a professional install a whole-home humidifier. When indoor air has too much moisture, your AC system has to work harder.

A humidifier also inhibits the growth of mold and mildew that can lead to health issues and damage to furniture, walls, and floors.

10. Schedule Regular AC Maintenance and Inspections

The best way to avoid overworking your AC is through regular maintenance. But if you need an AC repair, turn to us! Keep the filter changed when needed, dust off air vents, and keep the area around outdoor units clear. Routinely check for leaks and obvious damage. Additionally, you can keep from overworking your system by having a professional tune-up at the beginning of summer.

You can rely on the professionals at Heatwave Heating & Cooling in Amherst to keep your AC operating smoothly all summer. We will help maintain your system, inspect it for minor problems, and fix them before they become bigger issues. We can also install a new AC system if it’s time to replace yours. We also install, maintain, and repair heating systems and service tankless water heaters.

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