High temperatures aren’t just a risk to your health, but your home’s HVAC system. The summer brings with it the sweltering heat and humidity, and sometimes those temperatures can escalate to dangerous degrees. Most homeowners rely heavily on their air conditioners to combat the heat, but over time those intense temperatures can wear down your ac unit. Luckily there are a few tricks you pull from your sleeve to protect yourself and your air conditioner.
There’s only so much you can do to fight the heat, but that doesn’t mean you or your air conditioner have to take it lying down. A cool and comfortable home means staying on top of what your air conditioner needs, as well as monitoring habits, and avoiding activities that emit a lot of heat. The summers in California can be intense, but that doesn’t mean you have to fret. Here’s what you can do to stay safe and avoid the miserable heat.
It’s a common misnomer that if you keep your air conditioner running at the lowest of temperatures, it’s the best way to stave off the heat. In reality, having your air conditioner constantly circulating a 60-degree temperature throughout your house will only overwork your ac unit. Keeping the room temperature at 77-78 degrees is still comfortable despite the sweltering heat outside, and it doesn’t overstress your air conditioner. Using a digital thermostat also helps to monitor your home’s room temperature throughout the day, and to adjust it accordingly.
Your air conditioner is an air filter that collects dust, allergens, and debris, that would otherwise be circulated throughout your house. Over time, those filters can collect enough dirt to clog the ventilation in your air conditioner. An ac unit that’s not properly ventilated will not only circulate dirty air, but it can eventually break down. To keep your air conditioner running and the air inside your house clean, it’s important to replace your air filter every 30-60 days.
The more maintained your air conditioner is, the better it can do its job. That’s why it’s important to schedule an annual tune-up with your HVAC specialist. An HVAC professional is trained to thoroughly inspect and fix any problems that prevent your ac unit from working effectively. The best way to take care of your air conditioner is to catch issues early, and that’s exactly what a yearly tune-up can do for you.
It sounds like an obvious idea to try and avoid the sun, but the summer heat provides several different heat traps inside your home. Closing curtains that face the sun is an easy way to block out some of the heat. Treating your windows with thermal lined curtains and window tinting helps to refract those UV rays. Planting trees and shrubs around your house can provide natural shading and a buffer between the sun and your house. Even painting your walls a brighter color can help to reflect some of that oppressive solar energy.
Another important thing to remember is your daily habits. Several routine chores can emit a lot of heat such as using the dishwasher, oven, and dryer. If you can, avoid cooking inside and take shorter showers, as both activities contribute a lot of heat and humidity inside your home. Unplug any unused appliances, and try to keep your fridge and freezer full of food. Any electrical appliance in use will naturally generate some heat, so it’s best to monitor how and when you use these appliances.
Ventilation is important when you’re trying to combat the heat. Closing off closets and empty rooms and using fans helps to better circulate that cool air throughout your house. Keeping your vents and air ducts clear from obstructing furniture is also very helpful and prevents your air conditioner from overworking itself.
Whatever cool air you generate, you’ll want to keep that inside your house. A house that isn’t properly insulated, however, is prone to air leaks which make it more difficult to stay cool and comfortable. Sealing leaky doors, windows, and air ducts means more cool air is circulated where it needs to go. Insulating your attics and installing attic vents will also help to keep the cold in and the heat out.
High temperatures put everyone at risk, causing discomfort and dehydration, and even much more fatal symptoms such as heat stroke. As a homeowner, you shouldn’t have to suffer inside the comfort of your own home, but that does mean taking proper care of your air conditioner. A scheduled tune-up with an HVAC technician is the perfect way to prepare your home for the incoming heat. Don’t wait until it’s too late, set up an appointment today.