12 Air Conditioner Tips to Beat the Heat
When you’re stuck indoors during the summer here in Florida, it’s easy to get distracted by the heat. You may even get the constant urge to run in front of an air conditioning vent. Thankfully, there are several ways you can keep cool and comfortable so that you can get the most out of your cooling system during the sunny season. Here are 12 tips that will help you beat the heat.
1. Keep Doors Open as Much as Possible
Many people may not realize this, but a closed room does not facilitate good airflow. It’s true whether you’re only running air conditioning or are also running fans. If you’re not concerned about privacy, keep as many doors open inside the house as you can.
2. Cover Your Windows
Many houses these days are built facing either east or south. If yours is facing east, that means the sun will affect you from sunrise until noon. Some people have blackout curtains so that they can continue sleeping. However, these products are also great at reducing heat caused by sunlight. Just keep your shutters or curtains closed as much as possible and as early as possible. The same goes for houses facing southwest since they tend to overheat in summer.
What about blocking heat without having to use more indoor lighting? Window film allows you to enjoy natural sunlight and keep heat out without increasing your electricity bill.
3. Use Fans
Using a fan will help keep you cool without using as much energy as air conditioners. Ceiling fans are great for big rooms or a whole floor, especially if you run them counterclockwise in summer to push cool air down. Floor fans work best for direct cooling or in smaller rooms, and you can place them against and facing away from windows to cool down the heat emanating from them.
Want to save even more energy? With your fan on, adjust the temperature of your air conditioner to above 78 degrees, as high as you can tolerate it.
4. Use an Exhaust Fan in Your Kitchen
If you do any frying or boiling in the kitchen, you and everyone else in the area will really feel it during summer. An exhaust fan is great for getting rid of the heat and grease as quickly as possible. A popular type of exhaust fan is an overhead hood, rather than the down-draft one that was very popular several years ago. It sucks the rising hot air up and vents it away and through the roof. Another exhaust fan is an inline one, which connects to your home’s existing ductwork. An HVAC professional is qualified to install one for you in the kitchen and in any other key areas you need one.
5. Keep Your Air Conditioner Away From the Sun
The north side of your house is usually the best location for your central air conditioning unit. Barring that, you can shade it by planting trees or bushes. Maintain airflow by keeping the shrubbery 2 to 4 feet away from the unit.
6. Save Chores for the Evening
Cooking, running a dishwasher and drying clothes all heat up a room. Try to do such chores after the sun sets when it’s cooler. That way, you won’t feel the constant need to run a fan or the air conditioning.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
The heat you’re experiencing might be muggy if you’re living in Florida. If that’s the case, turn on your dehumidifier while running fans. You might even be able to increase your air conditioner temperature to above 78 degrees and still feel comfortable.
8. Keep Heat Away From the Thermostat
You might not realize it, but heat-producing appliances, such as lamps and TVs, can trick your thermostat and cause your air conditioner to run longer than necessary. So, too, can direct sunlight.
9. Maintain 78 Degrees or Above as Much as Possible
It’s commonly known that you should keep your thermostat at 78 degrees or above, but does it make a big difference in your energy bill? While it might not seem like much at first, decreasing the thermostat often can quickly add up and end up hurting your wallet. Each degree below 78 increases energy consumption by 8% while each degree above 78 decreases it by 3% to 5%.
10. Weatherize Your Home
Air leaks in your home will make cool air go to waste. Keep it cool inside by using caulking and weather-stripping to seal air leaks around your home.
11. Add a Zoning System
Thermostats work best for the rooms or floors they are installed on. Hence, while your living room might shut off to prevent overheating once it’s at its pre-set temperature, the rest of the house might not be at that same temperature.
This is where a zoning system can save the day. It contains individual thermostats to allow you to control the temperature of rooms that are farther away from the main floor thermostats. An HVAC professional can help you install it.
12. Get a Yearly AC Tune-Up
Your HVAC system needs maintenance every so often. Once a year is standard, more often if yours is having issues. For example, cleaning dirty coils is something best done by a professional. You can also try to duct-tape leaky ductwork or learn how to seal leaks yourself, but a professional can properly locate and seal all the leaks. If you haven’t yet gotten your yearly HVAC maintenance, go ahead and do so; it’s better late than never. That way, your HVAC will be sure to be in top condition for hot weather.
Here are a few things you can do yourself to maintain your HVAC system in the meantime:
- Replace your air filters regularly per instructions or as needed.
- Check the outdoor air conditioner coil to make sure it’s clean and free from obstructions.
- If the coil is not clean, disconnect the unit or turn off the power at the breaker.
- Clean the coil with a spray nozzle attached to a hose and set to medium.
- Dry completely before turning back on.
There are other reasons to have a professional inspect your HVAC system, however. You might have an improperly sized HVAC system or ductwork for your home, leading to overheating and even HVAC failure. Such a case calls for a second HVAC system or replacement of it altogether.
You can only tolerate so much heat until it becomes bothersome. Knowing a variety of tips will help you get the most out of your air conditioning while keeping utility bills down. Sometimes, your air conditioning system will need work done so that it can perform at an optimal level. If you’re stuck in a sweat in Florida, Mario's AC has the professionals to get your HVAC system running at its best. Contact our office in Hudson, FL, for the highest quality HVAC installation, maintenance, repair or replacement services today.