Four Ways to Beat the Heat (without Breaking the Bank)

heatPeople have come up with a lot of tricks to keep cool when temperatures rise—such as buckets of ice beneath electric fans, taking cold showers repeatedly, or putting sheets in the freezer before bedtime. Some of these tricks help, and some are downright silly—but if you want to beat the heat consistently, you’ll want to think about how to maximize your A/C system’s performance without breaking the bank.

Here are the top five ways to beat the heat for people who have functioning A/C systems in their homes or businesses.

1. Check filters regularly

The air in your home or business is full of dust, pollen and many other particles. Because these particles affect both your air quality and your A/C unit’s ability to function, filters are used to clean the air and keep the system running smoothly. If these filters are left to collect particles week after week without being checked, they’ll become full of the stuff they’re filtering out. This means your air quality will be drastically reduced, and your A/C will have to work harder to achieve the same cooling effect.

The solution is simple: Be aware of your air filters and where they are. Check them at least once a month, and make sure replacements are installed when needed. Clean filters keep cool air pouring in, and ensure that your A/C works efficiently all summer long.

2. Pay attention to heat monster in the attic

We all know how stifling an attic can become during the summer. The lack of ventilation and high position makes them a magnet for hot air. If the attic isn’t properly insulated, it could be at least partly to blame for your soaring energy bills. That heat source could be raising the ambient temperature in your home and forcing your HVAC system to work harder. No good! If you’re unsure about how well your attic may be insulated, check the US Department of Energy’s recommendations, and call a professional to help you assess the situation.

3. Make maintenance a priority

Your A/C is a complicated appliance, and only regular maintenance can assure that small problems don’t turn into big ones. Annual, bi-annual or quarterly maintenance programs, implemented by an HVAC professional, serve as protection against costly repairs and out-of-control energy bills. It won’t take long to check your system and tune it up, and the costs are usually very reasonable. Most importantly, regular maintenance will assure that your system is functioning at peak level to keep your environment cool.

4. Turn off electronics and use efficient lightbulbs

If you have a lot of electronics in every room—including phones, tablets and laptops—you might not be aware of the ambient heat being generated. This will cause your energy bill to spike, not only because the electronics themselves are using power, but because they’re forcing your A/C to work harder. Turning electronics off when not in use (as opposed to leaving them in ‘sleep’ mode) can actually make a difference of you have a large family with a lot of devices. More resources have to go toward cooling the house in summer months, but cutting down on energy consumption in other ways can help make up the difference.

Efficient lightbulbs are another great idea for the home or business owner who wants to maximize cooling. Newer halogen bulbs throw off much less heat than traditional bulbs, and also use less energy. This makes them a useful tool for keeping the temperature and energy bill down.

Thanks for reading, and we hope you’ve found this information helpful in your quest for a cooler home! Please feel free to leave your questions or comments in the space below.