July 11, 2020

Regular maintenance is the best way to maximize the efficiency of your cooling system in Salem, OR. Maintenance preps the unit for use in the summer month. By having it looked at during the off-season, too, it gives professionals like us at Woodward Heating Air Plumbing the opportunity to double-check if it is still in good working condition. This is a great time to spot potential issues. Even when you keep up with your AC maintenance, there are still more ways to maximize your cooling system’s efficiency. Here are some tips to consider:

1. Seal Leaks

When your home reaches the temperature you desire, the trick is to keep it that way without turning on the cooling system again right away. So, what you need to do is check for leaks. If your home is older, the chances are high that the window and door frames will have some warping. Therefore, you are encouraged to inspect them. Shims are one way to fill in cracks and crevices. Caulking may get the job done in other situations. If your home consists of a basement or attic, cracks and crevices in each have to be filled in, too. The easiest way for air to escape is through the basement and attic. So, you may need to go as far as having each of these insulated.

Insulating a basement and attic actually makes it more livable. Many people decide to use these rooms for storage. With insulation, they can be turned into another living area.

2. Close the Windows

When your home reaches a comfortable temperature, you are encouraged to close the windows. By closing the windows, the air is not going to escape, especially in the middle of the day when the sun and its rays are the strongest. Once the sun begins to set, the air begins to feel cooler outside than inside. At that point, you can open your windows. This allows the fresh, outdoor air to make its way inside. The stale air can then escape, too. If you leave your windows open overnight, you can take advantage of the cool air. Then, when the outdoor temperature begins to rise again, close the windows and turn on your cooling system.

3. Install a Smart Thermostat

The thermostat is your cooling system’s on and off switch. Studies show that a manual thermostat is fairly accurate, but it can be off by five degrees on average. This makes your energy costs more expensive. To beat the heat and manage your energy costs, installing a smart thermostat is a good investment. The smart thermostat is more precise. Studies show that it is only off by an average of half a degree. Plus, a smart thermostat has several built-in conveniences.

A smart thermostat helps you beat the heat. Your preferences can be set up through an app on your smartphone or tablet. This allows you to optimize the cooling system. It never runs longer than it has to, and it begins to learn your habits through software and machine learning. If you ever leave it on by accident, you can turn it off from the app even if you are away from your house.

4. Close the Curtains

A great way to beat the heat is to close the curtains. By not allowing the sun’s rays to directly hit your home’s interior, you are lessening their heating effects. When less heat enters your home, there is less need to run the cooling system at a lower temperature. Once the sun begins to set, you can open up the curtains again. Then, when the sun is directly over your home, you are encouraged to shut them. It may seem like a mundane task, but by blocking the sun’s rays, you are also protecting your furnishings from getting sun-damaged and faded.

5. Insulate the Ductwork

HVAC is a different kind of technology, but it is technology. When ductwork was first installed in homes, it was the best solution available for the houses that were being built at that time. Studies have shown that 25% of an HVAC system is lost when it travels through ducts. This reality has led to new inventions such as the ductless HVAC unit. To beat the heat and maximize your cooling system, consider insulating the ductwork in your home. The insulation is going to prevent leaks. As the output travels from the unit to its destination, it will be less affected by the temperature surrounding the ducts. So, it stays cold instead of warming up on the way to the vents.

6. Limit Heat-Producing Activities

Everyone has to eat, even during the warmer months. To beat the heat, though, consider altering your cooking habits. Instead of cooking with the stove, consider grilling outside. If your cooking must involve the stove or the oven, shift your schedule. Baking can take place after the sun has set when you can let the heat out by opening the windows. You can cook over the stove earlier or later in the day, too. Another option is to change how you cook. You can utilize a slow cooker and a rice cooker instead, for example. The summer months are a great time to take advantage of the fresh produce that requires little to no cooking. Simply chop and toss.

Another option is to insulate the kitchen so that the heat produced by the stove while you cook does not spread to the rest of the house. Simply hang a sheet to block off the warmth. Be sure to open the windows in your kitchen, too, so the heat can escape outdoors.

7. Change the Air Filter

Even though you are keeping up with regular maintenance appointments for your cooling system, you are encouraged to keep an eye on the air filter. HEPA air filters are great for capturing a majority of the particles floating in the air. Since they are so efficient, they must be changed on a monthly basis or at least cleaned if it is the type of filter that is reusable.

When the air filter remains clean, the cooling system is able to operate efficiently. It is producing output at 100%, and the majority of that output is reaching its destination. It puts the unit at less risk for overheating. This means that repairs and replacement will not be necessary frequently or before it should be time to do so.

8. Raise the Thermostat

If you would like to beat the heat and manage your energy costs, consider raising your thermostat at least one degree. You might be amazed that one degree or two does not have a negative impact on your comfort level. If you raise the thermostat one degree or two and you feel a big difference, it could be a sign that your cooling unit is not operating efficiently anymore. At this point, give us a call so our team can take a look in person.

To learn more about the ways that you can beat the heat and maximize the efficiency of your cooling system, give us a call at Woodward Heating Air Plumbing in Salem to schedule an appointment. We also offer emergency repair service, heat pump, and fireplace repair services, as well as gas piping, re-piping jobs, and indoor air quality assessments with trusted solutions. We look forward to talking with you about all the ways we can help with your indoor climate comfort needs.

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