The outdoor part of your cooling equipment should be free of mulch or weeds. You should also make sure that it is sitting flat, 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.
On 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.
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.
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.
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 starting your A/C.
If you are able to turn the temperature up overnight or when no one is home you can really save some money on your electric bill. A programmable thermostat can be set to bring your home back to a comfortable temperature by the time you need it, and it takes the burden of switching it up and down off of you. I’m always surprised how many people have one of these thermostats but have never taken the time to set it up.
Closing the blinds or drapes on the sunny side of the house can go a long way toward blocking the sun’s warmth from heating up your home. This is especially true if you use insulated blinds.
Electric company believes in this so much that they offer a rebate to homeowners who have a professional tune up of their air conditioner. Not only does maintained equipment last longer, it can save you over 20% on your utility usage versus non maintained equipment.
They may not add much heat to your home, but little things can add up over time. Plus, they won’t be using electricity either! Remember to keep lights and televisions off when not in use.
If dirt builds up on the indoor coil, it cannot cool your air the way it’s supposed to. If you know that the filter you have been using is not a good quality one, you might need to have your coil cleaned. A service technician can let you know if your coil is dirty during your preventive maintenance visit.
THIS IS A KEY ONE! The technician will check this during your precision tune up, but checking the filter once per summer may not be enough. Dry, dusty conditions, pets or summer pollen can really clog up a filter.
You don’t want your nice, cool air to slip right outside. What a waste! If you’re not sure where your home is leaking, contact a professional to do a Home Performance Assessment.
Your A/C unit removes moisture from your home in the summer. If you flush 1 cup of chlorine bleach down your air conditioning drain and rinse it through with a gallon of water you can help keep your drain clear through the summer. Or consider adding an “E-Z Trap” to your system. This clear tubing allows you to see any potential blockages before water backs up into your system and provides easy access to clean the trap. Another option is a safety switch that will shut your air conditioning down in the event of water backup into the system. This can save a nasty surprise if the drain becomes blocked and overflows!