Does it seem like each passing year in Farmington Hills, MI is bringing increasingly warm summers? Reliable HVAC is less of a luxury and more of a necessity for many homeowners. However, air conditioning is just one single component of what should be a more comprehensive plan to keep cool during the summer. With a variety of tactics, you can stay comfortable all summer long even without cranking your air conditioner. Here are seven ways you can help keep your home cool in the summer heat.
1. Schedule an AC Maintenance Appointment
One of the best ways to keep inside temperatures cool is by maintaining your AC unit. A poorly maintained air conditioner will have to work harder to keep the temperature stable, and that costs you more in the end. It can also struggle to generate the cooling capacity necessary to meet demand. Ideally, you should schedule necessary AC maintenance before the temperatures begin to climb. This helps your unit work at maximum efficiency, which will help keep your home cooler and reduce energy costs.
A qualified HVAC technician will do several things during the maintenance appointment, including checking for the proper amount of refrigerant, cleaning and checking air filters and the blower motor, and identifying potential problems before they can interfere with the function or efficiency of your air conditioner. If they find a problem, you can then correct it before the season gets hot.
You don’t want to wait until it’s sweltering outside to find out that your AC has a problem, so make an AC maintenance appointment your first pre-summer ritual.
2. Apply Heat Blocking Film to Your Windows
Another effective way to keep temperatures cool and comfortable inside your home is by preventing it from getting hot in the first place. As the sun floods into your home through the windows, it heats your home. If 2kW of sunlight enters your home each day, your AC will need an extra 2kW to remove it.
Blackout curtains are one option, but they block not just the heat from the sun but also its light. Your home might feel much darker and less welcoming than you’d like. Another option is heat film.
Heat film is a reflective type of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) sheet that you can affix to your home’s window glass. Its purpose is to reflect UV rays and heat back out of your home while still allowing light to pass through. Some types of window film will block up to 78% of the sun’s heat and 99% of UV radiation. They also work in reverse in the winter by preventing the cold from seeping in through the windows and keeping the heat inside where it belongs.
3. Cook Outdoors as Often as Possible
Summers and barbecues go hand-in-hand, but you don’t have to wait for guests to fire up the grill. The more you cook outdoors during the summer, the cooler you’ll stay indoors. Your home’s kitchen is one of its biggest sources of heat. Keep that heat outside where it belongs so your conditioner won’t have to work overtime to deal with it. As a bonus, you’ll get to satisfy all those summertime barbecue cravings.
4. Install Ceiling Fans
One of the most common problems many homes have in the summer isn’t a lack of air conditioning. Instead, it’s a lack of airflow. If the cold air produced by your air conditioner is unable to reach the parts of your home that need it, you’ll still be hot. You can solve that problem handily with the installation of ceiling fans. Fans help circulate air in your home by pulling cooler air up from the floor. That can help your air conditioning system remove more heat from your home and help keep you cool.
For the best results, make sure your fan blades are set to spin counterclockwise. In the winter, you can simply switch the setting and enjoy the opposite benefit: warm air circulating from the ceiling down.
5. Open Your Interior Doors
Although everyone likes privacy, closed doors can be a disaster for your air conditioning unit. When the air conditioner is cooling, closed doors will trap the cooled air in the various rooms, increasing pressure and forcing cooled air out of the room through any openings. This could mean that conditioned air is getting pushed outside or into the attic or other unnecessary spaces, wasting money and energy.
You could close the supply vents in unused rooms, but that could create more problems. The conditioned air from the rest of the house could leak into that room as a result of the negative pressure, and your cooling costs could be increased as the system works to maintain the proper temperature.
Opening up all of your interior doors helps your air conditioner work as intended and should lead to more balanced and effective cooling throughout your home.
6. Consider Adding Register Fans
If your home has a traditional ducted AC system, there’s a good chance certain rooms in your home receive less airflow than others. That’s because the vents closest to your AC’s indoor blower unit siphon off the air before it can get to the ends of the duct branches. As already mentioned, simply closing the vents won’t help much and could even make matters worse.
To help boost the airflow in the rooms that need it, you could instead consider adding register fans. These fans are installed directly in or on your AC vents, and they activate as needed to push more cold air into your rooms. Simple models sit on the outside of your vents while more complex ones may replace your register covers altogether for a more finished look. Either way, they can help balance the flow of cold air in your home and keep you cooler in the process.
7. Install a Mini-Split
In some cases, a home might not stay cool enough in the summer due to its design. For example, you may have built an addition without duct connections to the existing HVAC system. In that case, the disconnected parts of your home depend on the cold air coming from the spaces with vents. This is likely to result in inadequate airflow for cooling purposes and could even affect the comfort of adjacent rooms even if they have fully functioning vents.
The solution to this problem is to install a mini-split ductless AC system to provide cooling for the room that lacks it. Such systems are easy to install, efficient to operate, and have remote controls that make them simple to operate. You can use them to relieve your existing AC of the burden of trying to cool a space that it wasn’t designed to accommodate. Furthermore, you will be able to control the temperature in your home’s addition independently of the rest of your home.
Consult the HVAC Experts
These tips can help you keep your home and family cooler this summer. However, if your HVAC system is struggling or unable to meet your family’s cooling needs, it might be time to update or upgrade. AJ Danboise Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical can help. We offer comprehensive HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair services to homeowners in Farmington Hills, MI, and the surrounding area. We can also tend to your home’s plumbing and electrical needs. Don’t wait until the worst of the summer heat is upon us. Contact AJ Danboise Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical for all of your HVAC service needs today!