Houston Home Service Experts

How to Survive the Summer Heat | Top A/C Tips

When it comes to keeping cool during the summer without having to break the bank, strategy is key. On Wednesday, the Texas power grid reached a record high of 68,459 megawatts due to the high use of air conditioners between 4 and 5pm. With even higher temperatures throughout the week, more records are sure to follow. In fact, 2015 is set to become the hottest year on record globally.

Learn how to survive the increasing temperatures with these top A/C tips for the home. By following these 10 guidelines, you’ll be able to keep cool and comfortable without having to crank the A/C!

10 Air Conditioning Tips: Save Money & Conserve Energy

  • Keep your windows and doors closed tight. Make sure they are caulked and weatherstripped.
  • Use fans to save money on your air conditioning without sacrificing comfort. By using a fan, you can raise your thermostat 2-5 degrees without feeling a difference in comfort levels. Just remember, that fans cool people and not rooms, so turn the fans off when you leave the room.
  • Shades saves. Shade can reduce your heating and cooling bills by up to 25%! Plant large deciduous trees on the south and west sides of your home so that they can block the sun in the summer while letting those warming rays in during the winter. A mere 6-8 foot tall deciduous tree will begin to shade your windows within the first year.
  • If buying a new air conditioner, make sure that it’s properly sized. Always do your research before hiring an HVAC contractor and check for licenses, BBB status, reviews, and background checked and drug tested technicians. It’s not as simple as replacing your current HVAC system with a similarly sized one. Be wary of any technician that will give you a quote for a new air conditioner before first fully inspecting your home (insulation, duct leakage, etc.) and determining the right size first.
  • Buy a high-efficiency air conditioner: for room air conditioners, the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating should be above 11; for central air conditioners, look for a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating above 13.
  • Maintain your A/C to maximize efficiency. Learn how to change your air filter and complete this task every 30-60 days. Your outdoor heat pump should also maintain a minimum 2 foot clearance and be cleaned at least once a year. It is highly recommended that you schedule professional HVAC maintenance every year. The cost will be offset by your energy billl savings.
  • Install white window shades or mini-blinds. Consider purchasing solar screens, which reduce glare and solar heat gain by 90 percent.
  • Close curtains during the day for any window that gets direct sunlight. Most of our home’s heat gain comes through the windows.
  • Clean your A/C’s air filter every month during cooling season. Normal dust build-up can reduce air flow by 1 percent per week and cause your system to overwork itself.
  • Turn your A/C up 3-5 degrees when you leave your home for more than an hour. It takes more energy to cool a hot home than to maintain a moderate temperature.

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