Florida is famous for its hot weather. While the warm, tropical climate does provide many advantages, all of that heat and humidity can also make keeping your home cool an expensive proposition. In fact, Floridians spend more on air conditioning every year than virtually any other state. The good news is that these simple tips can help to ensure you stay cool this summer without breaking the bank.
1. Have Your AC System Cleaned and Serviced
No matter whether you have a central AC unit or a heat pump, annual cleaning and maintenance are essential for ensuring that your cooling system is functioning effectively. If you don’t have your system professionally maintained, it simply won’t work as well as it should. As a result, your home will always stay warmer, and your energy bills will be much higher.
The first part of the maintenance service is to inspect all of the system’s components to ensure that there aren’t any issues that could limit the effectiveness of the system or slow down the rate at which it cools. This is important as even small problems can have a major impact and dramatically limit how well the system works. Annual inspections are also important for preventing any problems that could cause the system to suddenly stop working in the middle of the summer when you need it most.
Cleaning is also important for preventing issues and improving the system’s effectiveness. The two most important parts are cleaning the indoor evaporator coil and the entire outdoor unit. If the evaporator coil is coated in dust, the system will cool far more slowly. This is because the dust insulates the coil so that the warm air coming into the system can’t directly contact the coil, which means that the refrigerant flowing through the coil won’t be able to absorb as much heat. If the coil is extremely dirty, it can also lead to ice starting to form and the system freezing up. Not only will the system not cool at all if the coil is frozen, but continuing to run your cooling when it is frozen can lead to serious damage.
Cleaning the outdoor unit is also important for ensuring that it can properly disperse all of the heat it absorbed from inside the home. If the outdoor condenser coil or the sides of the unit are overly dirty or clogged, the system won’t be able to release heat properly. This can lead to the unit overheating and automatically shutting down, in which case you will then need to wait for everything to fully cool down before the system will run again.
2. Keep Your Windows Closed and the AC Running
Sleeping with the windows open can definitely be pleasant, but it can also quickly heat up the home and put lots of extra strain on your cooling system. The main issue in Florida is that open windows allow lots of humidity to get inside. All of that moisture then soaks into the walls, floors and furnishings, which means that your air conditioning will have to work much harder when you turn it back on the next morning. In fact, studies have shown that the humidity gain from sleeping with the windows open will typically cancel out any energy savings from having the AC shut off at night since the system will need to run longer and work harder once you turn it back on. For this reason, we would always recommend leaving your windows closed except during much milder, drier weather.
3. Make Sure Your Attic Is Well Insulated
Attics are typically one of the biggest sources of heat gain. The temperature in your attic can easily rise well above 150 degrees during the day. If the floor of your attic isn’t sufficiently insulated, all of that heat can then start to seep down into the living area and quickly cause the indoor temperature to skyrocket in the late afternoon and evening. A lack of insulation on the attic floor can also allow lots of cool air to escape and force your air conditioning to work overtime. This is why having a properly insulated attic is essential and one of the most important factors in ensuring your home stays cool. If your attic isn’t well insulated, attic insulation can be one of the best investments you make as it can make a drastic difference in how hot your home gets.
4. Always Use Your Exhaust Fans
Your home likely has exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms, and using these fans is also important in keeping your home from getting too hot. Every time you cook, lots of heat is released into the home and can quickly raise the temperature by a few degrees. Showering and bathing also produce lots of heat and humidity, which can have the same effect. Running your exhaust fans every time you cook and bathe can have a much bigger impact than you might realize and will work to quickly remove all of the extra heat and humidity so your home doesn’t get as hot. Exhaust fans can also help to improve indoor air quality as they will work to draw stale, polluted air outside.
5. Close Your Window Coverings to Minimize Heat Gain
Along with the attic, windows are also one of the biggest sources of heat gain. All of that sunlight streaming through your windows during the day can drastically raise the temperature in the home and make it almost impossible for your cooling system to keep up. This is why it is always a good idea to keep your curtains and blinds shut during the hottest parts of the day as window coverings will drastically limit the amount of heat gain the building gets through its windows. You’re fine to keep the window coverings open in the mornings and evenings, but it is definitely best to keep them closed during the day to minimize heat gain.
6. Turn On Your Ceiling Fans
If your home has ceiling fans, they can also be a huge help in keeping you cooler during the summer. Running your ceiling fans in reverse or counterclockwise direction will push air downwards and help to create a cooling breeze. While it may not seem like much, ceiling fans can have a huge effect on helping you to stay cool. In fact, the EPA says that running your ceiling fans can allow you to turn your thermostat up by a few degrees without any noticeable difference in your comfort. That means that running your ceiling fans won’t just keep you cooler, but can also reduce your energy bills since your AC won’t need to run as often if you turn the thermostat up a bit.
If you’re looking to stay cool this summer, you can trust the team at Billfish Air Conditioning, LLC to ensure your cooling system is working properly. Our certified technicians specialize in HVAC maintenance and repairs, and we work on all brands and models of air conditioners and heat pumps. We also offer professional cooling and heating installation services, and financing for new HVAC units is available on approved credit. For more information on our residential and commercial heating and cooling services or to schedule a service appointment in the Stuart area, give us a call today.