Keeping Your Cool This Summer

Things you can do to keep your house cool without increasing your bills

Whew!  Summer months can be brutal on you and your bills.  Understanding your air-conditioning system and doing a few simple things can help you keep cool this summer.

There are five parts to your air conditioning system:  refrigerant, compressor, condenser, expansion valve and evaporator coil.  Each component must be working effectively to help your system run efficiently.  There are a few things you can do year-round to ensure proper function.  It is recommended to have a professional HVAC company do an annual check-up of your system.

How to keep the house cool without skyrocketing power bills

  1. Check and clean your airducts regularly. Dirty airducts cause dust and other allergens to circulate throughout your home when your air conditioning is running.  If you have recently completed any remodeling in your home, it’s a good idea to have the ducts cleaned. 
  2. Replace air filters every 30-90 days, depending on their condition. Clean air filters increase the efficiency of the system and keep the air cleaner.
  3. Set your thermostat to “auto”. Making frequent changes in the temperature causes the system to run irregularly or constantly, wasting power. 
    • Customize the temperature to time of day.
      • The recommended temperature for optimal performance is 78 degrees.
      • During the day or when you are away on vacation, you may set your thermostat at 5-15 degrees warmer than normal and close all the curtains.
      • At night you may set the temperature a little higher than the day time since you are sleeping.
    • When you try to cool your home, dropping the thermostat to a lower degree will not make the system run faster.
    • You may consider installing a “smart thermostat” that you can control with your smartphone.
  4. If you do not need to cool your entire home, try using a window or portable unit. Window units require maintenance.  Check that the casing is clean and free of debris. 
  5. Close vents in rooms that do not need to be cooled. This will push cool air into the rooms you are cooling.  Also, check that vents are not being covered or obstructed by furniture, curtains, or other objects. 
  6. Turn off the lights and close your curtains. Reduce the amount of light in your home to keep it cool.  During the evenings, you can open your curtains and windows for the hot air to escape.
  7. Run fans to circulate the cool air around the home. If it cools down enough at night, use a fan instead of the air conditioner to save money.
  8. When you are cooking, run your exhaust fan to pull hot air out of the kitchen.
  9. Run your dishwasher and clothes dryer during the evenings when the temperature drops.
  10. If you live in a humid environment, a dehumidifier in conjunction with an air conditioning unit can help cool down the house quicker and more efficiently.  Set your air conditioner at 78 degrees and turn on your dehumidifier and fans.  Your house will cool down nicely while decreasing the humidity.
  11. Exterior units and condenser coils require annual maintenance to run at peak efficiency. Hot copper tubing connecting the exterior unit to the home is a sign of a dirty condenser coils. Have a professional HVAC technician clean the coils and also check the refrigerant level.
  12. When installing a new air conditioning unit, it is recommended to be installed on the north side of your home to avoid direct sunlight making it run more efficiently. You can use landscaping to help shade the unit. Professional installation is recommended.

Do it yourself trouble-shooting:

No cold air?

Check that the exterior unit and coils are not blocked by debris and that all filters are cleaned.  Double check your thermostat is on and set to the desired temperature.  Try turning the thermostat off and back on to reset the temperature.  Contact an HVAC company if it still does not work.

No air movement?  Check that you don’t have a blown fuse or open circuit breaker.  Also, check that the air return is not blocked.  Contact an HVAC company if air does not start mvoving.

 

Schneider Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., is the leader in heating, cooling, ventilation and air quality products and services in the La Crosse Area. We have been serving the Coulee Region for more than 80 years.  Our technicians are highly and continually trained utilizing the most sophisticated HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) technologies and equipment. All of the service technicians are NATE certified.  North American Technician Excellence is the largest non-profit certification organization that is governed, owned, operated, developed, and supported by the HVACR industry. And as an alliance of industry-recognized partners, you will have a greater peace of mind knowing we are sending out the right person for the job!  At Schneider Heating and Air Conditioning INC. we pride ourselves on amazing customer service!