At long last, summer is here, and you can finally enjoy a proper walk in the park without having to endure the cold wind that freezes your fingers and cracks your lips. While much of the country is planning picnics and posting pictures of snowdrops on Instagram, this is the perfect time to check your air conditioner and get it ready for the new season. Before you know it, summer is here, and you’ll need your AC to help you face the high temperatures. Knock these ten things out of the way now to make sure your AC unit will run at peak performance.
1. Have it checked by a service technician
Although everything looks fine from the outside, your AC may actually be on the verge of breaking down.
An old air conditioner will have to work harder and longer to keep the heat at bay. Not to mention, it will increase your bills. A technician will check the coolant levels and the airflow, clean the coils and will get your AC ready for what’s to come.
2. Keep your AC out of the sun
A system kept in the shade can be up to 10% more efficient than one kept in direct sunlight. Ideally, you should place your AC on the north side of your house.
However, if that’s not possible, you can use landscaping to your advantage. For instance, you can plant trees or shrubs around the unit to protect it from sunlight. Make sure to leave two-three feet between them and the AC so that you can have access for maintenance and repair.
3. Seal the space
A window or door opened or other gaps will bring heat inside your house forcing your system to work harder. The cool air circulates in a sealed room making, it easier for the AC to maintain the desired temperature. Don’t forget to close the vents to the lower portion of the house as well since the basement is the coolest room in the house and the air will naturally flow down there.
4. Close the blinds and curtains
In fact, use anything to shade your windows during the hottest part of the day. Pay special attention to the windows facing south or west. Open them in the evening to allow heat out of your house.
5. Turn on the fan
A fan will ease the load on the AC by circulating the cold air throughout your home. More than that, it will save energy since it uses less electricity than a 100-watt light bulb.
6. Install a whole-house fan
A whole-house fan is more effective than a ceiling fan at cooling the house, and it uses less energy than an AC. These types of systems bring cold air from the outside through open windows and eliminate the hot air from inside through the attic.
7. Set it and forget it
Set your thermostat to 78 degrees F and forget about it. If you think that setting it to 70 degrees will help to cool your home faster, you’re up for disappointment. The AC cools at the same rate no matter the setting.
8. Do the chores at the right time
Not only that cleaning the house is more comfortable in the evening or early morning than during the afternoon, but it’s also better for your air conditioner. Every appliance you use, from the washing machine to the vacuum and the dishwasher heat up your house. If you do your chores during the hottest part of the day, your AC will have to work harder to keep the house cool.
9. Rearrange your furniture
Make sure there are no furniture pieces, drapes or anything else that might block the vents. If the design of your home doesn’t allow you to move the furniture around, install a vent air deflector that can allow you to redirect the airflow where you want it.
10. Keep the AC lower at night or when you’re not home
78 degrees F is the perfect temperature that ensures the AC is working at maximum efficiency and you’re comfortable. However, you don’t need the same level of coolness during the night (or when you’re away for that matter.) So, make sure to change the temperature setting during the night or use the “sleep mode” if it has one.
With your drapes closed and the AC up to 85, it will still be comfortable. That way, when you are awake or come back home, it takes less power for the AC to start cooling off since the room is already somewhat cool.
These are just a few options to help your AC work more efficiently and save you some money, no matter the season.