10 Ways To Beat The Heat This Summer

Here in Chicago, it already feels like it is summer.  I think we have had over 6 days in a row over 80 degrees.  It is definitely time to start thing about your air conditioning and if it is ready for this summer.  Here are a few tips to get through the summer:

  1. Get a programmable thermostat.  Your house does not need to be freezing when you are at work. Instead, have the air conditioning kick in right before you get home.  This will save money, and you still are walking into a nice, cool home.
  2. Clean and/or replace your filters.  Nothing makes an air conditioner not run well like a dirty filter.  An important number for a filter is the minimum efficiency reporting value or MERV.  This ranges from 1 to 12, and the higher the number, the better filtration it provides.  If you have allergies, you are going to want a filter that gets your triggers out of the air.
  3. Check your ductwork.  Did you know that you can lose up to 30 percent of airflow through leaks?  A leaky duct is like throwing money in the garbage.  You can use foil tape to repair any small leaks.
  4. Insulate your home.  Again, you don’t want your heat or cooling escaping!
  5. Close the blinds!  Some other small things you can do around your house is installing awnings and even running ceiling fans.
  6. To make sure that your air conditioner runs the way you expect, general maintenance is required.  Here is a few things you need to do:  cleaning and inspecting coils; cleaning or replacing filters; adjusting and replacing fan belts; lubricating motors and bearings; cleaning and checking blowers and fans; inspecting controls and safeties; checking refrigerant and pressures; and verifying operating temperatures.
  7. Are all the doors in your home closed?  This prevents airflow and requires your air conditioning unit to work harder.
  8. Have you cleaned the area around your air conditioner?  Make sure your air conditioner is getting sufficient air flow.  If there is debris all around your air conditioner, you are severely limiting that air flow.
  9. Change your light bulbs.  Incandescent bulbs add heat your house and can raise the perceived temperature.  If you are warm, you will adjust your thermostat accordingly!    Instead, you should replace all of your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents which use about 75 percent less energy and emit 90 percent less heat.  This is a tip that will save your money too!
  10. You should also make sure your attic is ventilated.  Gable vents are a cheaper fix.  They can lower your attic temperatures about 10 degrees.  Aridge-and-soffit ventilation system which can be installed when you are reroofing can reduce attic temperature to around 100 degrees.  You can even add a house fan too.

These are a few ways you can beat the heat this summer.  Most importantly, you need to keep your air conditioner in good working order, so you do not spend the summer trying to beat the heat!  If you don’t want to take the steps to make sure your air conditioner is in good working order before it gets too hot, give Around The Towna call, and we’ll be happy to check your air conditioner out for you!

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