2022 has been the spiciest summer in a decade, and with it comes talk of rollling blackouts and heat advisories. While the modern air conditioner is virtual a miracle (placing its inventor, Willis Carrier, just below the Archangel Michael in the pecking order of saints), in extreme temperatures they need all the help they can get. Here are a few tips to help give your air conditioner a little help:
1) KEEP YOUR SYSTEM MAINTAINED – Hands-down the most important thing you can do. Even if it’s working perfectly, have your technician come out every spring and fall. In the spring they will check your coolant levels, make sure your coils are clean, and give it a full physical.
2) MAINTAIN A CLEAN FILTER – Replace your filter every 1-2 months. Put it in your calendar, write it on the refrigerator or carve it on the back of your hand. A dirty filter not only decreases your efficiency, it heavily burdens the system and can spell an early demise. Also, agents like me use filters as a barometer for how a seller has generally kept a home.
3) CHECK FOR LEAKS – Windows, attic access, and exterior doors should be closed as tightly as possible. Also, in the spring and fall check your ductwork for leaks. Rats and squirels love eating through it.
4) SHADE AND KEEP YOUR CONDENSOR CLEAR – Keeping your condensor out of direct sunlight will help it’s efficiency, but make sure nothing is within 2 feet of the unit. Circulation and shade will make sure the unit is doing it’s job.
5) DON’T CRANK UP THE THERMOSTAT WHILE YOU’RE GONE – While keeping the temperature at 80 while you’re at work may seem like a good idea, in reality it takes more time and energy to cool your house down than it would to simply maintain a constant temperature.
6) ADD INSULATION – You can never have too much in your attic. Insulation is messy, but it’s relatively cheap to have blown into your attic.
7) KEEP DUCTS OPEN – Not only does it not improve efficiency, a closed duct puts stress on your system.