How to Protect Your Air Conditioner’s Performance
September 11, 2014
Keep your air conditioner performing for another summer season with the following tips.
Your air conditioning system keeps you cool in hot weather conditions. It is hard to imagine how one can survive even for a few hours without an air conditioner in hot and humid weather. Air conditioners are designed to keep your home cool even on the hottest of summer days. However, there is a limit on the amount of load the air conditioner can handle. The task of an air conditioner becomes extremely difficult when there is an increase in heat gain.
What Is Heat Gain?
Heat gain refers to the increase in temperature of an area. There are various factors in the environment and inside homes that can cause heat gain. Sun, heat producing appliances, poor insulation in a home’s floors, ceilings, attic, and walls can cause heat gain. Heat gain causes the air conditioner to work harder to achieve the thermostat settings, and in turn results in an increase in utility bills. Worse still, it may affect the performance of the air conditioner, resulting in breakdowns and the need for air conditioner repairs.
St. Louis HVAC experts share some ways in which you can reduce the heat gain in your home and lower the strain on your air conditioning system, ultimately saving money on your energy bills. These tips will help you stay comfortable through the rest of the season.
Reducing Heat Gain In Your Home
- Dress up your windows. Curtains and blinds are not just for decoration. Their most important function is to control the amount of heat and light entering into a room. Use curtains, blinds, or awnings to shade the windows and keep sunlight from heating the home during day time. Choose window treatments that are light colored. HVAC experts believe that by reducing solar heat, you may be able to reduce your cooling bills by over 25 percent.
- Check insulation levels. Heat gain can be prevented by ensuring that the home has proper insulation. Attic floors and ceilings should have an insulation of R-30 or more, the walls should have a minimum of R-13, and the floors should have around R-19.
- Avoid using unnecessary appliances and lights. Lights and electronic appliances can generate a significant amount of heat. So, switch off the lights during the day, and avoid using electronic appliances such as washing machines, hair dryers, dishwashers, and clothes dryers during the day. Keep the exhaust fan switched on when you are bathing or cooking.
- Seal off air leaks. Use expanding foam insulation, weather stripping, and caulk to seal all air leaks around windows, doors, plumbing, damaged siding, and electrical lines in and around the house.
- Use light colored exterior paints. To reduce the absorption of sunlight, use light colored paints on exterior doors and siding.
End of Season HVAC Maintenance
These simple tips can help you save money and extend the life of your air conditioner system. Now that summer is drawing to a close, it is a good time to think about maintenance for your HVAC system to prepare for the next winter season. Call Scott-Lee Heating Company at (314) 200-0788 for all your HVAC maintenance needs.