The ongoing extreme heat wave is turning summer into absolute hell. According to NASA, the intense heat wave will scorch Europe, Asia, and Africa. Some places will even experience temperatures above 40°C (104°F).
For example, London’s temperature set a new record high of 40.3°C. Some parts of London experienced fires putting emergency services on high alert. The US is also facing the same problem as more than 60% of its population can be affected.
The first resort is your air conditioning (AC) system. That means you must stay alive and keep cool in this extreme heat wave. However, the excess summer heat is a massive workload on your AC that will cause internal damage.
It will need to work longer to keep you and your loved ones cooler. So, your AC system will sustain excess wear and tear.
Because you can not afford to have a broken AC in these extreme temperatures, you’ll have to adopt strategies to keep it running. You can keep your AC running in extreme heat with these tips.
Run Regular AC Maintenance
Maintaining your air conditioning system is one of the first steps to prevent heat from being a health risk to you and your loved ones. The AC should run efficiently, and regular maintenance ensures minor potential issues don’t become big problems.
Your AC uses a lot of electricity. And if its efficiency drops due to minor problems, the bill could be higher. Some issues that can reduce AC efficiency include dirty filters, low refrigerant, duct leaks, etc. You can identify these issues when they’re at an early stage if you conduct regular maintenance.
Most experts emphasize that AC maintenance should be done twice a year. But there can be exceptions. With the current extreme weather conditions due to climate change, your AC system is undergoing excessive wear and tear. So, you should do it as much as possible to ensure it runs optimally and your electricity bills are not high.
So, keeping your AC’s performance optimal will ensure your electricity bills are in check. Salt deterioration can also impact its performance if you have an AC unit along a coastal region.
The salt will corrode the AC’s aluminum coils and reduce its efficiency over time. That means you’ll be using more energy to cool your house.
So, wherever your home is, regular AC maintenance ensures your unit runs smoothly during this high-temperature season. Because the AC will run longer than average, regular maintenance will also help keep the energy bill from hitting the ceiling.
Replace Your Air Filters
One of the maintenance activities should be replacing or cleaning your air filters. If possible, you should clean your AC air filters monthly. Air filters pick up dirt that clogs them over time. They are also responsible for blowing air into your home to cool or warm it up. So, dirt will find its way to your home whenever they are clogged with dust.
To help you choose one struggle, clean the air filters or replace them regularly. You don’t want to battle sinuses due to accumulated dust and still dodge the excess heat. Besides, a clogged air filter makes your air conditioning system work extra hard. That means more energy consumption.
So, to help you cool down your home and get the comfort you deserve, checking your air filters can come in handy.
Get A Programmable Thermostat
Using a programmable thermostat can help you adjust your AC’s on-off positions. As a result, it can scale back when there is no one in the house or at cooler evening hours. Plus, you can achieve this without pressing your thermostat.
The perk of having a programmable thermostat is that it will save your energy bill. It will know when to run at full speed and scale back to ensure efficient operation. And efficiency comes with energy bill savings too. So, it will be a win-win for you – efficient operation and energy saving.
Ensure The Attic And Garage Is Well-Insulated
Warmer air always seeks cooler air to maintain temperature balance. Insulation helps prevent heat flow, especially when you have cooler indoor air. So, if you have less insulation in your home, you are highly prone to the extreme heat outside.
Some of the first places to check for your insulation is the garage and the attic. However, the insulation of choice depends on your region’s climate and insulation type. But the general rule is to have 10-15 inches of insulation material.
You can start by insulating the garage door to help reduce the extreme heat from getting into your home through the garage. Although a small effort, it can make a huge difference in keeping your home cooler. As a result, your AC will not need to overwork to keep it cool.
Seal Door And Window Gaps
We need to keep your indoor air as cool as possible to reduce the workload on your AC. Another way to achieve that is by sealing your door and window gaps. It will prevent your cool air from escaping outside. Simultaneously, it will avoid scorching air from entering your home. You can seal your door and window gaps using weather stripping or caulking.
Sealing your windows and door gaps will also prevent insect infestation. You don’t want to simultaneously deal with bugs and roaches and battle extreme heat. So, seal your window and door gaps to reduce your AC workload and keep bugs from your home.
Complement Your AC With Fans
Stagnant air can make the room feel warmer than the temperature indicates. Using a fan can help circulate the air in the room and reduce or eliminate the need to keep an AC running. So, complement your AC system with fans to help circulate air in your home.
The result is reduced workload on your AC, making it efficiently operate when turned on.
Upgrade The Whole AC System
Sometimes your AC unit may have outlived its valuable days. So, if you continue pushing it with the excess workload when it’s past expiry, you’ll be the one suffering. You should not continue paying high energy bills because your AC unit is too old to run smoothly.
You would instead install a new system that performs better and costs less to run. According to the US Department of Energy, the average lifespan of an air conditioning system is ten years. So, if your AC unit is too old to handle this extreme heat wave, upgrade the whole system.
So, if you’re experiencing reduced efficiency and your system is more than ten years old, it may be a sign to change it to manage this heat wave.
Place The HVAC Unit In A Shaded Area
Shading the outdoor condenser unit of your air conditioning system can enhance its efficiency. It does this by cooling the air around the unit. With cool air outside, your unit will work less to ensure it blows into your home. That makes AC work easier and reduces energy usage and associated bills.
So, create a shade around your outdoor condenser unit. You can use a set in a place with more trees or create an awning. Also, shrubs can cool down the air around the unit. Wherever the shading approach can work best for you, do not block your AC system airflow.
Close Your Window Curtains
It may be tempting to open your windows to cool down your home when the summer heat gets unbearable. Unfortunately, it could have the opposite effect and make your home warmer.
If the air outside is hot, opening it into your home may make it warmer than cooling it down. You should only open your windows if there is a breeze. In short, only open the windows when the outside air temperature is lower than in your home.
Otherwise, keep closing the window curtains to prevent the scorching temperature from getting into your home. Opting for outdoor window shades and reflective materials can be more effective.
It will help keep the indoor air cooler reducing your AC’s workload.
It is important to have tips to endure and survive this uncomfortable summer heat wave. We have shared some AC tips for extreme heat to keep you safe. You can run regular maintenance to avoid breakdowns during this extra hot summertime.
Also, you should upgrade your AC if it’s too old and inefficient. You can reduce your AC workload and enhance its efficiency through:
- Insulating your home, especially the attic and garage
- Sealing window gaps
- Closing your curtains
- Keeping the AC’s outdoor unit under shade.
These tips will help keep your indoor air cooler, reducing your AC’s workload. Your AC will reduce its wear and tear due to the reduced workload.
You can upgrade or replace the AC system for efficiency and smooth running. An old and expired AC system will not help you even if you change its parts. It can cost your life in this extreme heat or slap you with a high energy bill because it will be inefficient.
So, opting for a complete upgrade may be cost-effective by lowering your energy bill and keeping you and your loved ones safe.