How to Make Your Air Conditioner More Efficient and Effective at High Temperatures

As temperatures across the country continue to rise – along with humidity and our electricity bills – our air conditioners start to work. But if your home has a central air conditioning system, there are a few things you can do to make the most of it, said Dave Radzey of the Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors Association who spoke to WKMSP Fox 9 Minnesota . Here’s what to do.

Make sure the fan is on

Radzey says that before you do anything else, you should check your thermostat to make sure the fan is working because it helps circulate cold air, giving your AC unit a little breathing room. “Just think, air is constantly circulating from the basement to the second floor and back, ” he told Fox 9 . “This is the most efficient way to use it.”

Check your vents

Then check the vents to make sure they are pumping air. You can do this by bringing a tissue to each inlet and outlet.

Close all vents in the basement.

In many cases, you don’t need an air conditioner to keep your basement cool, Radzey says, so cover all vents there. “This will give you more air pressure to go up to the upper floors,” he adds.

Adjust the flaps

While you’re at it, Radzey recommends adjusting the dampers in the basement to help redirect the cold air upstairs. “If you don’t have enough air at the top, you can adjust these dampers,” he explains. “This will direct air to different parts of your home.”

Check your air conditioner filters

On the one hand, if your air conditioner filter is clogged with debris, it means it is doing its job. But if you leave it that way, he’ll have to work harder to keep your place cool. “If you let this filter get clogged, it’s like wrapping a blanket over a coil, and no air can pass through it to cool,” explains Radzey. “So you are going to use more energy, more electricity, than you need.”

Clean the outdoor unit

Radzey says that you should not only clean the filter regularly, but also clean the AC outdoor unit. This is because as it draws in air to cool it, a lot of debris and dirt collects during the trip – something else that will make it work harder and use more energy.

He recommends cleaning the outdoor units by first turning off the power and then using a hose to spray them. “You have to do this a couple of times a year,” he says. “Just spray it on, scrub as much as possible.”

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