Optimize Your Air Conditioner’s Cooling Power

The summer of 2010 is shaping up to be one of the hottest on record all across the United States. This unusual phenomenon means that air conditioners are being asked to perform harder and longer– often humming away off and on during an entire 24-hour period! Your cooling system represents a significant investment and even if you own a high-efficiency model you are probably feeling the pinch in your monthly bills: here are some ways to optimize your AC’s cooling power and save money too.

–Change your filter: Extremely hot temperatures bring with them a larger amount of airborne particulates. Kids are tromping more dust and dirt indoors, and pets are shedding more to stay comfortable in the heat. All of these particulates inevitably end up in your vents, ducts, and eventually your furnace filter. To help your AC run with less effort, change your filter every month instead of every three months.

–Check your vents: Air is constantly circulating through your house; it goes in one set of vents and goes to the air conditioner, where it is cooled and redistributed via another set of vents. Be sure that there are no drapes, boxes, furniture, or toys blocking these essential passageways. It’s especially important if you have an upstairs area that requires extra summer cooling for maximum comfort. If your upstairs rooms are especially hot, close some of the downstairs vents to force more cool air upwards.

–Seal your house against air leaks: You may be letting in more hot air from the outdoors than you think! Add weather stripping around exterior doors if feel heat in these areas and be sure to caulk around windows too. If you can’t tell where the leaks are, have a professional HVAC contractor come out and help: he will have the right tools and techniques necessary to make an accurate determination.

–Replace your AC if necessary: If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, it’s probably time to get a new energy-efficient model. An Energy Star-rated appliance will cut your monthly bills significantly and keep your home cooler with much less power usage.

Your best partner in optimizing your system’s cooling partner is your trusted Utah heating contractor or similar professional where you live. He can either tune your existing unit for better performance or help you select a new air conditioner that will keep your family comfortably cool while saving you some cold, hard cash.