If you feel stressed, just imagine what your AC unit goes through during the peak of summer. With temperatures soaring, you expect your Central Air Conditioner to cool your home. But since the outside air your unit has to condition is hotter, it will definitely have to exert more effort so you can be provided with your expected results. That extra effort obviously equals more stress to your AC machine, not to mention the added energy it consumes for it to perform properly, which unfortunately may lead to it getting “burned out.” When it burns out, often replacement or installation is your only choice. Alas, your HVAC system, cannot go on a Caribbean cruise or a deep tissue massage, not even an alcoholic binge or a relaxing night with a video streaming service to chill.
As a responsible owner of this overworked AC system, there are things you can do to decrease the stress on your HVAC system. Not only will knowing these make you kinder to your unit, and thus make it less overworked, you can also find yourself saving on energy costs.
Be Kind, Go Programmable
A recommendation for a programmable thermostat? Again? Well, having a programmable thermostat is really heaven-sent not only to you, as you may already know that you can save on energy costs with it, but it is also heaven (or if ACs have heaven)-sent to HVAC systems. Why? Because if you program your programmable thermostat correctly, it can be saved from having to work overtime on times when its services aren’t really needed (like why would you demand cool air at 2 in the morning, when everyone is supposed to be in deep sleep already?). So, using a programmable thermostat will definitely lessen the stress on your AC unit.
With a programmable thermostat, you won’t have to turn down your HVAC system manually every time you want to save energy. You can add separate schedules for holidays, weekends, and weekdays. Installing a programmable thermostat is inexpensive, and it can quickly pay for itself through energy savings.
Improve Your Home’s Insulation
When a house is improperly insulated, conditioned air tends to escape the area, so the energy exerted by the AC unit to make that air cool is wasted. Thus, ceilings, walls, and windows, properly insulated, will help in maintaining your home’s ideal temperature. Try to check if there are cracks, tears, or leaks on your windows and doors, and make sure they are replaced or repaired as soon as possible to avoid the cool air provided by your AC unit to leak out and go to waste.
An insulation’s R-value—the material’s thermal resistance or resistance to heat flow—depends on what region of the country you live in and what part of the house you are insulating. The higher the R-value the better the material insulates.
Decrease the Heat Inside Your House
Your house will have things that generate heat, and that head may actually add stress to your AC unit. For example, if you have dark-colored furniture, then they take longer to cool. If you use appliances and fixtures that exude heat, like ovens, stoves, and even heavy lighting fixtures, can obviously affect the temperature inside your house and will cause your AC system to work harder to cool your place down.
An important consideration in passive cooling is house color. Dark-colored home exteriors absorb 70% to 90% of the radiant energy from the sun that strikes the home’s surfaces. Some of this absorbed energy is transferred into your home by way of conduction, resulting in heat gain. In contrast, light-colored surfaces effectively reflect most of the heat away from your home.
Here’s Some Shade You’ll Like
This method may usually be forgotten, but it is actually very effective. Your AC’s condenser is outdoors and is usually exposed to extreme conditions like being hit by direct sunlight. So, take care of it by installing a sort of slanted roof above it, or similar to an awning to your windows. If you want to give things a more natural feel, put something shady like a tree or tall grass nearby so your condenser can be protected from the harsh sun rays.
Awnings have come a long way since the days of tin monstrosities sold door-to-door. Today’s modern, colorful fabric awnings can add color and class to your patio or deck. Install a retractable model and choose whether you want to bask in the sun or cool off in the shade.
For more tips on de-stressing your HVAC system, get in touch with us.