Beat the heat: How to keep cool this summer with A/C tips

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Ask a HVAC Technician
Image description
Ask a HVAC Technician

Local HVAC technicians answer questions and offer tips to homebuyers and sellers to save energy this summer in or around The Woodlands.

What tips can homeowners follow to keep electric bills low this summer?

Have an [heating, ventilation and air conditioning] professional perform a spring A/C tuneup. This will ensure that your air conditioner is running at peak efficiency and ready for the summer heat. Also, be sure to change the system’s air filters often. Other items that can help lower the electric bill include limiting the use of bathroom and kitchen fans. You can also turn on a ceiling fan to help keep the room feeling cool while setting a slightly higher temperature on the thermostat.

How should homeowners operate a thermostat efficiently during the summer?

There are two schools of thought for the best use of the thermostat: Either set it and forget it, or schedule a program if the thermostat is [programmable]. The set it and forget it method will keep the house comfortable all day long and also help keep the humidity lower. If you’re scheduling a program, set the temperature 2-3 degrees higher than the normal set point 30 minutes before you leave the home and have it return to normal 30 minutes prior to returning home.

When should homeowners repair or replace an existing air conditioner?

Generally, if the system is older than 10 to 12 years, uses the old R22 refrigerant and the repair costs exceeds 10 percent of a new system, I would recommend replacing versus repairing. A new system will be much more efficient, reliable and have an excellent warranty.

How should homeowners prolong the use of an air conditioning system?

To prolong the life of your air conditioning system, routine maintenance is the key. By performing seasonal AC and heating checkups, this will ensure the system is operating at peak capacity and efficiency year-round. Another important step is frequently change your system’s air filters.  A system with good air flow runs more efficiently and applies less stress on the system’s components.