If spring slipped by, and you didn’t get your AC checked out, it’s not too late for you to be able to beat the heat with AC. Wondering how you can do that? The following tips may help you with summer’s scorching heat.

Unit Maintenance

If you have central heat and air, make sure the area around the outside unit is free of weeds and plants. The grass is fine, but taller plants can impair the efficiency of your unit. Weeds thrive during the summer months, so check your unit about once a week to make sure nothing is growing near it. Be sure to sign up for an annual maintenance plan with a local HVAC company. Regular maintenance will eliminate potential problems and repairs that can hurt your wallet.

Temperature Regulation

You’ll get the best results from your air conditioning unit if you set it at a comfortable temperature during the day and leave it there. Even if you change the temperature on the thermostat, your unit won’t immediately change the inside temperature, but continually changing the temperature will only stress the unit. You can raise the temperature a few degrees at night if that’s comfortable.

Don’t turn the unit off when you’re gone, but do raise the temperature. It’s more energy-efficient for your AC unit to maintain a constant temperature during the day than it is to try to cool the entire house when you get home.

Additional Cooling

It may be that your unit is too small for your house. This doesn’t mean you need to replace it immediately, but some additional cooling methods such as floor fans and ceiling fans can help you keep your house cool. Perform heat-generating tasks in the evening when it’s cooler. Cooking, cleaning, and laundry generate heat that can raise the temperature. Consider installing a shade cover for your AC unit. Just as the sun warms you up when you’re directly in it, it will also heat up your AC unit and can make it less efficient.

Close your blinds and curtains during the day to deflect the sunlight and its heat. Heat-deflecting window film can reduce a room’s temperature by 10 or 15 percent, but if you have dual-pane windows, that may not be an option for you.

Avoid placing lamps or electronics near your thermostat, as they can generate heat and make your thermostat think the room is warmer than it really is.

Replacement

If you have an old unit, you may be needing to replace it. Most HVAC companies provide financing OAC, and even considering the overall cost of the unit and installation, your electric bill may be substantially reduced. Considering the skyrocketing costs of electricity, that can make replacement the best answer.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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