We went through a record-setting heat wave just recently in the United States. Here in Atlanta, we set an all-time record of 106 F. House with properly-sized ac system are sized for a temperature level of 92 ° F and probably didn't stay so cool. I'm sure several homes with air conditioning unit that seem considerably large didn't stay cool enough either.
Every summertime you can discover lots and lots of suggestions on how to conserve energy and keep cool in your home: Wear cooler clothes, use your ceiling fans, keep the sun out, go to a film, get your a/c serviced, caulk your windows, and so on. I will discuss a few common suggestions in this article, but I'm also going to go over some that you might never have seen in a post like this prior to.
Before we enter into the real pointers, though, it may be handy to remember how the entire cooling thing works. Previously this year, I heard a terrific expression on the radio: Your a/c unit is the faucet; the structure envelope of your house is the cup. If you have a dripping cup, your air conditioning unit has to work harder. If your AC is already doing all it can, you may need to take a look at your building envelope. Also, to go back to the metaphor, a leak in your water pipeline may make it difficult to fill the cup, even it's not leaking much.
Here are three concerns to ask as you attempt to keep cool with an air conditioning system that has a hard time on those truly hot days:
- What can I do to reduce the quantity of heat getting in?
- What can I do to make my a/c unit more efficient?
- What else can I do to keep one's cool?
Let's dive into the suggestions now. I'm focusing here on existing homes. Whether it's a brand brand-new house you simply moved into or a a century old, the house is already there, so some design choices are off the table.
Tips for keeping heat out
1. Keep the sun out. Windows can be the largest contributors to your heat gain. When the sun shines straight into your house, it usually brings a lot of heat, too, unless you have actually excellent windows (with low solar heat gain coefficients). Solar screens on the exterior of the window are excellent for keeping heat out. You might also think about some short-term free ac estimates toronto shading for the east- and west-facing windows on those super hot days.
2. Seal the odd air leakages. The majority of the basic energy-saving recommendations tells you to caulk your windows and weatherstrip your doors. The issue with that is you're neglecting some of the much larger leakages, like, say, crawl space vents that open into conditioned area or a hole in the cooking area ceiling that functions as a refrigerator vent. Take a look around in your attic, crawl space, or basement, and you'll find the worst offenders.
3. Minimize the surface area temperatures. Some parts of your house might be hotter than others. For example, you might have a benefit space that's rarely comfortable. Attic kneewalls with inefficient insulation are typically the culprit there. Get the insulation in the cavities and put sheathing on the attic side of the kneewalls.
Tips for helping your air conditioning system
4. Modification your filter. The majority of people let them get too filthy, and this is among the most common factors for poor performance in a/c unit. An unclean filter adds resistance and reduces air flow. Go ahead and examine it now. I'll wait till you get back.
5. Improve air flow. In addition to the air filter, your AC might have other kinds of air flow problems. If the evaporator coil is unclean, insufficient air moves throughout it and your home does not cool down as well as it should. If the condenser coil is filthy, it won't dispose sufficient heat to the exterior. If your condenser coil is crowded with plants or other barriers, clear it out. You can cut the bushes yourself, however you ought to most likely call a professional to clean the coils.
6. Try to find disconnected ducts. If your ducts are outside of the conditioned area in your house, check to see if anything has come loose. Repairing a supply duct that's sending out all its cool air to the attic or crawl area (as shown below) can have an instant influence on your comfort. This issue is more common than you might think.
Other suggestions for keeping one's cool
7. Use fans. OK, I understand this one's not unusual, however if your air conditioning unit is doing all it can but your home still isn't quite cool enough on those truly hot days, moving the air over your skin might be simply what you need to remain comfortable. Remember, though, that fans do not cool the air; they cool you. Shut off ones that remain in empty rooms since they're using energy and including more heat to your house. Required to buy a brand-new ceiling fan? They now include energy performance labels demonstrating how energy effective they are.
8. Use a window air conditioner. If you've done everything above and your house is still annoyingly hot, setting up a window system Air Conditioning might give you simply enough additional cooling to help you make it through the heat wave. I understand. I know. They're awful and noisy and may be versus the guidelines where you live. They use more power, which contributes to the pressure on the electricity grid, and may contribute more to worldwide warming. Still, if you have actually got an energy efficient home with a right-sized air conditioning unit, this might be the very best way to handle those heat waves when temperatures go well above what your central air conditioner was created for. It's a much better solution than installing an extra-large system just so you have sufficient capability to deal with the severe heat occasions. A more expensive and permanent option to the window unit would be a ductless mini-split heat pump.
9. Get a home energy evaluation. Trained house energy auditors can find the issues I listed above and more and advise solutions. They likewise have devices to measure how leaky your ducts are, for instance, as well as the surface temperatures of your floors, walls, and ceilings.
10. Switch off your power attic ventilators. If you have power attic ventilators in the attic, have them disconnected so they don't run. They may well be robbing cool air from your house.
If your a/c unit repair business suggests changing your unit with a larger one to handle heat waves, beware. A/c don't dehumidify well if they don't have long run times, and bear in mind that heat waves don't last permanently and we don't have bad ones every year. If your Air Conditioning can't keep up when it's hotter than typical outdoors, use the advice above to make it through. Your house will be more comfortable and effective for it even when the temperatures return to regular.