Your air conditioner won't last forever; it will eventually need to be replaced. What you want to make sure of, however, is that you can replace it when it is still working, rather than after it fails and leaves you without AC on the hottest day of the year. If you have an older air conditioner, how do you make sure it keeps running well through a heat wave? Start by following these tips.
1. Keep the windows closed.
You may assume that turning off the air conditioner and opening your windows at night gives your air conditioner a break. However, this practice actually does the opposite -- it forces your air conditioner to work harder. Air conditioners do not just cool the air. They also remove humidity from the air, which keeps it feeling cooler. Each time you open the windows, even if you are letting in cool air, you are also letting humidity travel into your home. The next time the air conditioner turns on, it will have to remove more moisture from the air. Leave the windows closed all night, and you'll make things easier on your system.
2. Close the blinds or shades during the day.
You may enjoy some sunlight streaming in through the windows, but you're not just letting in sunlight; you're also letting in heat. If you keep the blinds, shades, or other window treatments closed during the sunniest hours of the day, you will keep your home cooler so your air conditioner does not have to turn on as often. The less it has to run, the less likely it is to break down.
Many people switch out their heavy, insulating curtains for sheer ones in the summer. However, this is not the best strategy for keeping your home cool. The heavy, insulating curtains will actually keep heat from traveling into your home during the summer, so keep them up to ease the burden on your air conditioner.
3. Set the thermostat a little higher.
The hottest day of the year is not the best time to decide you want to keep your home a balmy 70 degrees F. The hotter it is outside, the harder your AC has to work to achieve the same temperature. So, make up for some of this difference by turning the thermostat up a little higher on the hottest days. If you usually keep it at 74, for example, set it to 76 when the temperature outside tops 100. If you feel toasty inside your home, all you have to do is go outside for a minute or two. When you head back inside, your home will feel wonderfully cool!
4. Use your ceiling fan.
The air in your home tends to get stagnant, which can make your home feel warmer than it is. You may be tempted to turn the AC down further because you are uncomfortable, when all you really need to to is circulate the air. Run the ceiling fan counterclockwise to push air down from near the ceiling. You will stay more comfortable without turning the thermostat down, so your AC won't have to work so hard.
5. Change the filter.
When you know a heat wave is about to roll in, switch out your current AC filter for a new one. This way, your air conditioner will have an empty, clean filter to push air through on the hottest day, so it won't undergo as much strain.
Reach out to an HVAC company like TemperaturePro of Central Maryland to learn more about keeping your air conditioner running smoothly, even on the hottest days of the year.