Here in Texas, we get enough hot weather each summer to last us a lifetime. While the default response is to crank down the thermostat and run our air conditioners around the clock, there are several ways that we make our homes hotter without even realizing it!
Below are seven ways you might be making your home harder to cool during summer.
1. Letting Direct Sunlight in Your Windows
Your windows could be costing you a lot more to cool your home than you might guess. In fact, the US. Department of Energy reports that during cooling seasons, about 76% of the sunlight that shines through standard double-pane windows becomes heat inside your home! Prevent this by closing your curtains and blinds to keep out direct sunlight. You can go a step further by installing energy-efficient window treatments over windows and glass doors that face the afternoon sun.
2. Leaving The Same Air Filter In Too Long
When you don’t change your air conditioner’s air filter frequently enough, you’re almost guaranteed to start to get cooling issues. A filter that’s clogged with dust prevents an adequate amount of air from flowing through your AC system, which decreases your air conditioner’s efficiency and ability to do its job.
3. Using Heat-Producing Appliances
If possible, avoid using appliances that give off a lot of heat during the hottest times of the day. This doesn’t just mean stoves and ovens--dishwashers and washing machines release heat and moisture while running, making your home warmer and muggier. If you’d like to run your dishwasher during the day, try its non-heated dry cycle for more energy savings and less indoor humidity. Speaking of humidity...
4. Forgetting to Use Your Kitchen and Bathroom Exhaust Fans
Activities like bathing, showering, boiling water, and sauteeing meat and vegetables make your home’s air more humid. You can counteract this by turning on the exhaust fans in these rooms while performing these activities and leaving the fans on for about 15 to 30 minutes after you’re done. For bathrooms, this is an essential step in preventing mold and mildew growth.
5. Leaving Incandescent Light Bulbs On
When compared to newer LEDs, traditional incandescent light bulbs are much less efficient. In fact, you can feel the energy incandescent bulbs waste in the form of the heat they emit. When grouped close together, these bulbs can make your rooms feel warmer. By replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs, you’ll reduce the heat in your home and also save money and electricity.
6. Installing Your Thermostat in a Cold Location
Your thermostat responds to temperature changes in its immediate surroundings. That means that if your thermostat is in a sunny location or next to a warm appliance, it might cause your air conditioner to run more than necessary. Likewise, if your thermostat is in a particularly cold, dark, or drafty area of your home, it might not be coming on as often as you like. An HVAC professional can provide you with recommendations for the ideal thermostat location.
7. Postponing Air Conditioner Tune-Ups
Just like any other item in your home, your air conditioner collects dust, even when in use. When dust accumulates on the indoor unit’s evaporator coil, your AC will lose its ability to cool your home. Similarly, dust on the condenser coil in the outdoor unit will prevent your AC from releasing heat properly. On top of that, the system’s parts can loosen and lose lubrication, which can hinder its performance. Bottom line: if your air conditioner is losing cooling power, it’s a strong indication that it’s overdue for professional maintenance.
Always dependable, ethical, and professional, Tom's Mechanical, Inc. has a 60-year history of providing top-notch air conditioning repairs, maintenance, and installations. Call us at (972) 388-3669 or contact us online for AC services in Arlington, TX, today!