Record-setting heat has suffocated the western states this summer. When the demand for power from utility companies surges during heat waves, household air-conditioning systems are pushed to the max. Here are eight steps to prevent your air-conditioner from collapsing from heat exhaustion.
Keep your air-conditioner going strong
- Have a professional inspect your air-conditioning before summer begins. It’s best to catch any problems before the heat arrives.
- Change your air-conditioning intake filter monthly. A neglected filter gets clogged, which causes the system to struggle to draw air. (Think of going for a run wearing a mask and you’ll see what we mean.)
- Upgrade to a smart thermostat. You can program the temperature to adjust when you leave for and return from work and again at bedtime. Precision temperature programming means you can “set it and forget it.” A complete smart home system allows you to control your air-conditioning with a smartphone app.
- Inspect windows and doors for leaky seals. Remove and replace gapping caulk and weather stripping. Consider having windows tinted, or even replaced with Low E Glass to cut heat transference. Use dark curtains or shades and close them when the sun is directly beaming through.
- Check your attic insulation to make sure you have the proper amount for your climate zone. If your home has a pier and beam foundation and the underside is not insulated, add it.
- Gently rinse the condenser fins on the outside unit to ensure maximum operating efficiency. Never scrub the fins.
- Run ceiling fans counterclockwise to circulate cool air throughout your rooms.
- Plant trees and tall shrubs on the southern and western sides of your home to cast shade.