air conditioner getting maintenance

4 Tips for Helping Your AC Make It Through a Heatwave

As the late summer and early fall heatwaves arrive in Southern California, many people will be running their air conditioners around the clock. While it may seem necessary to keep your home cool, running your AC without giving it a break doesn’t bode well for its lifespan or your energy bills. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to make your home cooler and take some of the burden off of your AC.

1. Put Up Blackout or Thermal Curtains

While you may enjoy letting in some natural light, the downside is that over 75% of the sunlight that shines through standard, double-pane windows creates heat in your home. Shutting out this direct sunlight will keep the interior cooler and give your AC a break.

There are several energy-efficient window attachments you can choose from to block out the heat. Blackout curtains and thermal curtains can reduce the sunlight that enters by up to 90%. Essentially, they’re a stylish and cost-effective insulation product.

2. Use Ceiling Fans

If you don’t already have ceiling fans, you can purchase them at significant discounts online, and electricians generally don’t charge much to install them where an overhead light fixture would go. While fans do not actively remove heat from air the way your AC does, they do create a sensation of coolness, which is what matters! The Department of Energy reports that using ceiling fans can allow you to raise the thermostat 4 degrees without any loss of comfort.

Just remember: ceiling fans are only of value when someone is under them, so turn them off when the room is unoccupied. In addition, make sure they are rotating counterclockwise so that the blades are pushing cool air down.

3. Avoid Heat Build-Up

Another way to keep your air conditioner from running nonstop is to avoid or reduce any activities that add heat inside your home. That includes:

  • Cooking with the oven or stove. If you do need your stove, make sure to run the exhaust fan while cooking and for 15 minutes afterward.

  • Bathing or showering without ventilation. When it comes to bathing, opt for short showers rather than long baths, and make sure to run your bathroom’s exhaust fan, if it has one.

  • Running the clothes washer, dryer, and dishwasher. Opt for hang-drying your clothes, and using your washing machine’s cold-water cycles and your dishwasher’s non-heated dry cycle.

Along with these tips, make sure to keep heat-generating appliances away from the thermostat; otherwise, the thermostat may misread the indoor temperature and cause your AC to run more than it needs to.

4. Schedule AC Maintenance

Your air conditioner’s best defense against a heatwave is routine maintenance. During a maintenance appointment, your air conditioner’s parts get inspected, cleaned, tightened, and lubricated, and the technician can alert you to any potential problems that can lead to your AC breaking down when you need it most. Dust build-up is an especially prominent issue in many air conditioners because it impedes the cooling process, lowers the equipment’s efficiency, and can result in frozen evaporator coils and system failures.

Do you need AC maintenance in Orange County? Call Dial One Sonshine at (714) 252-7460 today!

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