As the summer season kicks into high gear, the chances of suffering a major air conditioning malfunction become more likely. The problem is that everyone seems to need repairs at the same time and this can lead to long waits in an uncomfortably hot home. Luckily, just a few small actions make it possible to care for your A/C and reduce the need for sudden and costly repairs.
1. Thoughtful Thermostat Use
According to experts far and wide, the handy devices should be set to 78 degrees at home, 85 when away, and 82 while sleeping. Also, check the location of your thermostat as large windows will keep it reading hot, while a small enclosed area will keep it reading cool. If you’re having trouble finding your most comfortable temperature, just adjust the thermostat one degree at a time, waiting until your home has reached the desired temp until it suits your preferences.
2. Smart System Monitoring
Smart thermostats, such as the fully automated Nest, are connecting to our smartphones and giving us more control over our home temperatures like never before. These devices allow families to monitor, schedule, and make quick changes while they are away. Also, zoning effectively decreases cooling in unused or small areas and then allows that air to be redirected. No construction is necessary because you can simply adjust each vent opening to match your needs.
3. HVAC Maintenance
Routine maintenance is a homeowner’s best bet in reducing the chances of costly air conditioning repairs because it allows problems to be identified before they get out of hand. Monthly air filter changes are important as well and while disposable options are the most popular, there are reusable filters that can be easily cleaned. Families should also invest in regular duct and vent cleaning to decrease the buildup of debris that causes air conditioners to work overtime.
4. Increased Insulation
Effective insulation is a key ingredient to reducing the need for air conditioning repairs. Insulation prevents inside and outside air from equalizing keeping your home’s cooling efforts from being lost to the outdoors. The material also reduces system on-off cycling that can put undue stress on A/C systems. Experts also suggest insulating your home’s ductwork in order to increase your system’s efficiency up to 20 percent and installing reflective insulation keeps attic heat from entering the living spaces below.
5. Other Homemade Tricks
Some other useful tactics for decreasing stress on air conditioners include the use of ceiling fans to promote air movement. Good housekeeping methods, namely regular dusting and vacuuming will keep dust and debris from clogging your system. Finally, avoiding the use of heat-generating appliances during times of higher temperatures will reduce the chances of overworking your A/C. This can be accomplished by grilling outdoors instead of using the stove and oven and waiting for cooler hours to run dishwashers and clothes dryers.
So many homeowners focus on saving money on energy bills, but fail to consider the air conditioning repair costs associated with an ill-maintained system. Fortunately, many of the tactics listed above serve both purposes and save you money in more ways than one.