How to keep cool at home without breaking the bank

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1. Use lighting as needed only.

Lighting generates heat so reducing the use of lamps and lights may result in a notable reduction in room temperature. Make a habit of switching off lights when exiting a room. Use only necessary lights. For example, reading a book may only require a reading lamp, not overhead lighting.

2. Put the ceiling fan to work in the evening.

In most regions, temperatures drop dramatically in the evening hours, making it unnecessary to use an air conditioner or central air conditioning system. A ceiling fan may be sufficient in keeping the home comfortable.

3. Close drapes and shades in sunny conditions.

Homes that receive a lot of direct sunshine may benefit from closed drapes or shades to block some of the room-warming sunlight. This simple action may reduce room temperature by several degrees.

4. Wear summer clothing.

Attire has an important role in comfort levels in homes. Wear shorts and sleeveless shirts instead of pants and long-sleeve shirts at home may enable the thermostat to be set a lower temperature.

5. Tune up window ACs or central air conditioning systems for greater efficiency, reduced energy consumption and to extend the life of the equipment.

a. Window air conditioner maintenance tips:
i. Clean the air filter.
Disconnect power to the AC before performing any maintenance. On most ACs, removing the front panel provides access to the filter. Use warm water and a small amount of dish soap or white vinegar and gently clean the filter. Be sure that the filter is completely dry before returning it to the air conditioner. If the filter has any damage (i.e. tears, holes, etc.), it should be replaced. Foam filters can be replaced using electrostatic filter material (about $12) and cut it with scissors to fit particular model sizes.

AC filter material 00587004

 

ii. Clean the condenser coils.
Condenser coils have the important role of removing heat. When dust and dirt naturally build up on the coils, heat is less efficiently removed. The air conditioner is then forced to use more energy to do its job. Dust and dirt on the coils can be removed by blowing condensed air, using a soft bristle brush and a cleaning solution made specifically for condenser coils.

Related info
Air conditioner maintenance tips

b. Central air conditioning system maintenance tips:
i. Take good care of the condensing unit (the unit installed outdoors)

  • Regularly check the condensing unit for insect and animal nests.
  • Use a garden hose to remove debris such as leaves and twigs.

ii. Replace or clean the air handler or furnace air filter.
A dirty air filter will cause the furnace or air handler to consume more energy. Replace it or clean it at least every three months. Earlier this year, we introduced a line of RepairClinic-exclusive air filters with features to dramatically improve air quality by trapping impurities and stopping them from circulating in homes.

Related info
Central air conditioning system maintenance tips

 

6. Inspect the vent registers for blockage.

Use a flashlight to check the registers and remove air-flow restrictions such as fallen objects. Remove rugs, curtains, furniture or other objects that may restrict air flow.

7. Pay attention to changes in performance of air conditioners and central air conditioning systems.

Troubleshoot at the first signs of changes in performance in equipment such as increased noise levels or leaking.

Get repair help for window air conditioners, central air conditioning systems and other heating and cooling equipment.

8. Consider installing a programmable thermostat.

A programmable thermostat enable convenient control of a home’s temperature while family members are away from home.

What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.

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