Keeping cool and comfortable inside your home can be a major concern when a heatwave strikes. Many people resort to running the air conditioning units nonstop to keep temperatures under control. Although that will increase your perception of comfort, there are a few things you can do to improve your AC unit’s operation and keep your home at a comfortable temperature level.
The first step to ensuring that your air conditioning unit is equipped to handle the demands of a heatwave is to have it serviced regularly. This includes cleaning filters and duct work so the unit can work as intended, and completing any AC repairs that are needed. This is a good time to check that your unit is the proper size for your living space. Trying to cool your home with an AC unit that is too small for the area puts extra stress on the unit and leaves you disappointed in its performance. Your local HVAC contractors can assess your needs and make recommendations for the correct size unit for your living area.
Some people mistakenly think that if they run an air conditioner in the home, they shouldn’t run fans too. This isn’t always true. There are times when running a fan can help your AC unit keep your home cool and comfy.
- Ceiling Fans: Ceiling fans help circulate the cool air from your AC unit throughout the room or living space. When used alone, they can make your room feel 8 degrees cooler. That means ceiling fans can bring relief with or without an air conditioner.
- Attic Fans: Attic fans can sometimes function as a whole house fan. When the sun goes down and the air outside cools, turn off the AC and take advantage of your attic fan. Open all the windows in the lower level of the home and turn on the attic fan. This will draw cool air in the windows and whisk it up through the house as hot air is drawn out through the attic.
- Garage Fans: If your garage is attached to your home and it has an attic with a fan, you can use the garage to cool your home. Open the garage doors approximately 2 inches and prop open the entrance to the attic. Turn on the attic fan to draw air through the garage to cool it. Opening the door to your home will help circulate the cool air.
Tips for Outside
Its easy to forget that your air conditioner does most of the heavy work outside your home. You can help it out and improve its efficiency by providing a little TLC outside.
- Install an Awning: Install an awning over the air conditioning unit to shade it from the rays of the sun.
- Create a Shade Barrier: Planting climbing vines on a trellis to shade the unit from the sun is both attractive and efficient. Remember to keep all plants at least two feet from the unit so that air can circulate freely.
- Plant Shade Trees: Shades trees can make your house feel cooler in the summer and can be used to shade the AC unit too. Plant them on the southern or western side of your home to block the hot afternoon sun.