Spring is here and summer is right around the corner, and, believe it or not, the days of lemonade on the porch are here soon. After this winter the heat will be a welcome change, but how do you keep your home from getting too hot, and your energy bills from becoming too costly? There are some steps you can take to minimize energy costs and increase the efficiency of your air conditioning system. Some of them are unit related, but there are also steps to keep your house cool using common household items. Here are 4 ways to keep your house cool in the summer:
1. Maintain your AC system – Although it sounds obvious, it’s worth mentioning. Maintaining your system means that we (or you) perform the following maintenance:
- Clean/replace filter
- Clean the evaporator
- Clear around and clean the condense
- Feel the vents when the system is running to see what temperature of air is coming out
- Listen for any strange noises and fix bad parts
Maintaining your system is, in some cases, the most important and effective way to make your system more cost-efficient. Cleaning the evaporator, and clearing and cleaning the condenser are both significantly helpful in improving how easily and quickly it can cool the air and distribute it throughout your home. When those hot summer days roll around, you’ll be happy you did it.
2. Seal up your home – Your home is filled with all sorts of nooks and crannies that are allowing cool air to escape and hot air to come in. Find and plug any cracks. Look specifically at these areas.
- Around windows and doors (especially frames)
- In the basement
- In the attic – if you have an attic, it’s one of the most common areas that leak in a home
After sealing up all of the cracks, make it a natural practice to close all doors and windows when you are not using them. Don’t leave your window propped open for air or your AC system will be working unnecessarily hard.
3. Natural cooling methods/shade – Trees provide excellent cooling and can reduce your energy costs significantly. Your home gets hot because of the sun, which shines through your windows, heating your house like an oven. However, if you’ve ever sat under a tree in the shade on a hot day, then you know how powerful the cooling effects of trees can be. Planting them around your home can naturally cool your home and protect you from the sun’s powerful rays; however, make sure they are not blocking the sun in the winter, and do not block any solar panels you may have. If you can’t plant trees, then you can install shades on your windows to help with the sun light.
4. Clear around vents – Your AC system will push the air through the vents until the designated temperature is reached. If something like a blanket or dog hair is covering the vent up, then the AC system is going to work harder trying to cool the room. Clearing and cleaning all vents will help your AC system out a lot.
Following these 4 tips could save you up to $100 or more on your energy bill. Prepare for this summer by checking your AC system before the heat gets here. On one of the warmer days in April, we suggest firing up your air conditioning unit to ensure it starts up properly. If it doesn’t, get it fixed before the serious heat gets here! It’s always good to check and make sure everything is in working order before the time comes.