While fall is around the corner, our 80+ degree temperatures mean the A/C is still cranked on. With another month or so of warm weather ahead, now is a great time to brush up on best practices and mistakes you could be making with your A/C. Let's take a look.
1. Opening the windows - Air conditioners require a sealed environment to work optimally. This is why even window units come with material to help block any remaining window opening. To work properly, the inside air and the outside air need to be isolated from each other. Otherwise any heat pulled from the air by your A/C unit will come right back into your house through the window.
2. Cranking down the temperature as low as it will go - Cranking the temperature down to 65 degrees will not cool down a hot house any faster or more efficiently than if you set the thermostat to your desired temperature. Setting the temperature to the lowest setting does not make the cold air output any stronger, it only makes your system run longer and harder. This increases wear and tear on your HVAC system.
3. Not using a ceiling fan with the A/C - Many people don't know that using the ceiling fan and the A/C together is a winning combination. The ceiling fan helps circulate the cool air as it is released from the vents to help cool the entire space. And because ceiling fans cool people down too, it can make the room feel as much as 4 degrees cooler than it is. This means you can set the temperature a little warmer and save energy and money.
4. Not changing the air filter - Whether winter or summer, a gunky dirty air filter will restrict airflow. These means less cool air for you and your A/C has to work harder and longer to bring your home to the desired temperature. Change your air filter at least every other month or more often if you have pets, smoke or have people with asthma and allergies in the home.
5. Running the A/C full blast all day every day - Your A/C should cycle on and off throughout the day. Once it reaches the desired temperature, it should cycle off for a bit until it needs to kick on again to keep the temperature consistent. When you run your A/C at too low of a temperature, especially in the scorching heat we've had this summer, your A/C never gets to cycle off. This puts excess wear and tear on the unit. It also decreases energy efficiency and increases your utility bills.
6. Putting off regular A/C maintenance - Regular professional maintenance of your HVAC system keeps it working smoothly and helps catch small problems before they can lead to a major breakdown.
We've got several weeks of warm weather ahead and there is still time to help your A/C work smoothly and efficiently the rest of this summer.