Stay Cool in the Summer

With summer literally right around the corner, most of us have probably already begun to feel the heat. When this time of the year hits the last thing you want is to walk inside your home after a fun day in the sun and it be warmer inside the house than it was outside. An air conditioning unit not working correctly, or at all, can be a nightmare. So what can you do to make sure it keeps cranking the cool air, while discomfort and any high dollar repair costs stay out of your summers plans?

Some things are going to be no brainers, like changing the filter. It should go without saying but you’ll want to change that bad boy at least once a month to keep things nice and cool. Not only is it going to keep your home cooler, but the air will be cleaner and anyone with problems like allergies and such will be more comfortable in general. Things like changing a filter are pretty obvious though, so what else can you do to keep things running smooth? Something easy we’ve come across is the use of a timer. You probably spend an extra amount of time away from home, either at work or out enjoying the nice weather we’ve been having, and you don’t really need your unit working it’s hardest while no one is even home. Good news is most newer units come with a timer already installed or even purchasing an aftermarket device is only going to run you about $20, (be sure to get the correct/matching voltage of your specific unit if you do have to buy one). With a timer you can set it to run at higher temperatures while you’re out of the house and save the cooler settings for while you’re at home. We want to warn you that you may want to rethink the plan if you were thinking you’d save the $20 and just turn the unit off while you weren’t home. Unless it’s going to be for an extended period of time, like an out of town trip or something, it’s not something to get into the habit of. Constantly shutting down the unit and starting it up again is going to put unnecessary strain on the air compressor, making it have to work harder to cool the house again later.

On the subject of compressors, you’ll typically find them outside of the house close to the foundation. To keep them working properly and at their best you’ll want to make sure they have a clearance of about 2 feet in every direction. That means to clear out any plants or branches along with everything else that may be blocking this radius. If you’re in the process of installation, therefore in any type of position to actually do anything about it, it’s best to put them on the north or east side of your home allowing them as much shade as possible. If that’s not really an option you can possibly build a screen of sorts to shield them from direct sunlight as much as possible. Keeping your units condenser/compressor out of the sun can increase its functionality by a decent margin.

Little things you can do to make life easier, along with how hard your unit works, are things you may or may not be doing already. Keeping blinds drawn during the day keeps the sun out and your unit working easier. Run a ceiling fan to help circulate the existing cold air more efficiently. Unless it’s for obvious reasons, try to keep the inside doors of your home open as much as possible to allow for proper circulation. If you aren’t already, contact a local dealer or technician and have them come out at least once a year and go thru your unit to make sure everything is up to snuff. Major emphasis for inspections fall on checking all the coils in your unit, making sure any/all belts are in proper order, motors, fans and bearings are in working shape and properly lubricated, as well as refrigerant levels and pressures are all up to par. It may cost a few dollars one time a year but imagine the money you’re saving on electricity bills overall and, god forbid, if the entire unit was to go out or need replacing. Simple changes and actions are easy enough to keep your unit running well for years. So just by keeping the heat on these simple tasks, you’ll have the air cool in the house for many summers to come.