With temperatures in the 90s, we've all had our air conditioners running for some relief from the heat and humidity. Now, many of us are in shock after receiving our first electric bill for the summer. Here are some tips to keep your air conditioning system running efficiently this summer, helping to keep you cool and energy costs down!
- Make sure your outdoor unit is clean. The outdoor part of your cooling equipment should be free of mulch or weeds. You should also make sure that it is sitting flat and level, and higher than the ground around it so water does not pool in the bottom when it rains. Don’t try to do this yourself, as it is very easy to damage the lines running to the A/C condenser.
- Use fans. On those moderately warm days, sometimes a fan is all you need to keep you comfortable in the afternoon until things cool down. If you put the fan by a window, make sure you choose a window on the shady side of the house so you draw in cooler air.
- Check your airflow. Make sure the areas around the vents are clear so that nothing blocks your airflow—on both outlets and return air grilles. Drapes and furniture can effectively block air from coming into the room. Check that the dampers are open all the way and vacuum away any dust buildup.
- Don’t use your dryer during the heat of the day. This was a new one for me, but it makes sense. Your clothes dryer is blowing air out of the house, causing air to be drawn into your house to offset it. If you are drawing in hot air, your air conditioner is just going to have to work harder.
- Turn off your humidifier. For most humidifiers (typically the by-pass type), when they are set to the “on” or “winter” mode, moisture is added to your air every time the blower runs. In the summer you don’t want to be adding more humidity to your home; that will just make your air conditioning have to run longer. Make sure you set it to the “summer” or “off” setting before you start running your air conditioner.
If you have an idea we don’t mention, please let us know. We’ll make sure to pass your good ideas on so we can all get the most out of our air conditioners this summer.
Kim Nemecek works at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. After growing up in Cleveland, she lived in Florida for many years, working at an air conditioning company there. Kim has four grown children, two grandchildren and two spoiled dogs. She lives in Solon with her husband, Todd.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.