The summer heat has arrived, and your HVAC system is working harder to keep your home cool, which may mean a spike in your electric bill.
Whether your goal is saving money or you just want your house comfortably cool regardless of the outside temperature, follow these tips to help your HVAC system better handle the heat.
Check your doors and windows
Windows and doors are a key place where outdoor temperatures, whether hot or cold, sneak into your home.
Check your doors for any drafts and replace weather stripping that looks worn or damaged. Check the seals around all of your windows—if the caulk shows signs of cracking or pulling away from the edges, it’s probably time for some new caulk. Depending on which direction your windows face, you may also want to consider adding a tinted film on older, less energy efficient windows.
Close your blinds
Keep your blinds closed, especially during the hottest part of the day, to block some of the heat. For west- and south-facing windows that get lots of sun, consider adding a decorative room-darkening curtain on top of your regular blinds. The extra layer will help reduce the heat coming through the windows and prevent your home from turning into a greenhouse.
Keep air moving
During the summer, switch your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise to help better circulate the cool air in your home. If you don’t have ceiling fans, a couple of strategically placed box fans or tabletop fans can still help circulate air and reduce the temperature in your home. In your bathroom and kitchen, be sure to use your exhaust fans to pull any heat or humidity out of the room as you shower or cook.
Fire up the grill
Using your stove and oven during the summer months makes your house hotter, which makes your air conditioning unit work that much harder to keep it cool. Head outside to the grill to avoid adding extra heat to the house. If you don’t have a grill, consider doing most of your cooking in the morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler and then reheating at meal times.
These are just a few of the tips you can use to help your HVAC unit better cool your home in the summer. If you’ve tried these tips and your unit is still struggling to keep up, it may be time for a service call to identify any other issues that may be going on.