As the warm weather approaches it’s important to decipher the differences between “warm” and “blazing hot.” Obviously the reason we have an air-conditioner installed in the first place is to stay cool as the temps rise. In a kind of ironic turn however, when the mercury starts rising to the mid 90° level it’s time to run your air-conditioner as responsibly as possible.
Cool Down Your Outdoor Unit
When heat waves are present your outdoor unit is busting it’s compressor trying to keep up with the demand. Like an overheated marathon runner, it doesn’t hurt to spray down your outdoor unit with the hose every so often just to give it some cool relief.
Keep Your Air-Conditioner In the Shade
One way to permanently keep your A/C at least somewhat cooler is to provide it with shade. This can come in the form of an awning overtop or some well placed bushes and trees but you’d be surprised the difference that’s made when the sun isn’t constantly beating down on the hard-working exterior unit. Just remember to leave enough room for the A/C to breathe.
Take a Load Off Your Thermostat When Not at Home
Granted you want to come home to a chilly area at night but leaving your A/C running on high all day long is a very unnecessary drain on the system that will result in extremely high utility bills. Not only that, you’re drawing resources from the power company to your vacant property whereas others in the community may be running a daycare or sleeping during the day because of their night job.
Utilize Alternative and Secondary Cooling Methods
Give your A/C some backup in the form of a ceiling fan that can assist in circulating air. Even putting a fan out on your deck may help you enjoy the warm outdoors thus negating the need for the A/C to run on high indoors.
Don’t Use Stoves or Microwaves
It probably goes without saying but you shouldn’t make a warm area warmer by running the oven/stovetop/microwave or other heat generating appliances. Nobody really wants a hot meal when it’s hot outside so a heat wave presents a great opportunity for eating out and soaking up somebody else’s A/C – it may even be cheaper than running your own at peak hours.
Use Fans and Open Windows at Night
The nightfall should provide you a little break from the high temps so use it as an opportunity to give your A/C a pause as well. Open up your windows at night and use a fan for some of the best sleeping conditions.
Make Sure the Unit Has Proper Maintenance
Your air-conditioner is going to be busting it’s hump all Summer long so make sure it’s prepped and ready to go with proper maintenance. With new filters and a clean compressor your unit will be ready to take on the triple digits – and it can help you avoid costly repairs and downtime in the middle of a heat wave.