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Beat the Heat: How to Maximize Your AC for the Summer

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Optimize Your Air Conditioner's Cooling Power in the Dog Days of Summer

You need your HVAC system to work reliably in the summer to avoid breakdowns, high energy costs and discomfort in your home. Making sure your AC is set up for success during the Clayton and Raleigh area summer is the easiest way to keep comfortable!

If there are dirty filters, clogged vents or leaky ductwork, your AC may struggle to circulate enough cool air and send your energy bill skyrocketing.Proper AC maintenance, ventilation and ductwork maintenance, air filter replacement and energy-saving thermostats can all help you maximize summer air conditioning without breaking your budget.

The Importance of Taking Care of Your AC

When it comes to keeping your air conditioner running at peak performance, prevention is key. Staying proactive with maintenance and fixing small repairs when they pop up helps prevent major breakdowns and disruptions.

  • AC maintenance: Scheduling preventative AC maintenance and tune-ups catches minor problems before they wreak havoc on your HVAC system. A technician will perform a thorough inspection, check refrigerant levels, lubricate moving parts and test airflow for proper performance.
  • AC repairIf you notice rattling or banging noises, odd smells, unusually high energy bills or reduced airflow, there may be an issue that needs to be repaired. It's important to find the root cause of the issue and get it fixed to avoid recurring problems.
  • AC replacementIf your AC is more than 10 years old, it may be smarter to replace it than repair it. Upgrading to an energy-efficient model or even a heat pump will lower energy costs and provide reliable cooling all summer long.

Enhancing AC Efficiency

Whether you use central air conditioning, a heat pump or a ductless mini-split system, you want to get the most efficient cooling power possible. Enhancing your AC efficiency ensures you only pay for the air you use and prevent your system from overworking itself.

  • Check for proper insulation: Even when cool air escapes through your attic or walls, you still pay for it. Proper insulation traps the cool air to prevent your home from overheating and reduces energy costs.
  • Seal air leaks around doors and windows: Sealing small leaks around doors and windows is often overlooked but is just as important as insulating your attic and walls. You can even place a towel under doors and windows to prevent cold from escaping.
  • Install window coverings to block heat: Solar heat gain works against your AC's efforts to cool your home. Shading windows with thermally insulated blackout shades, window film or fabric reduces energy usage and heat transfer.
  • Utilize ceiling fans strategically: Using ceiling fans in addition to your air conditioning provides a cooling boost in a specific area without drastically raising utility costs.

The Power of Proper Ventilation & Ductwork Maintenance

Your air conditioner can only work as well as the ventilation and ductwork allows it to. Dust and debris buildup impede airflow and increase energy usage while the AC tries to compensate and cool to the set temperature. Optimizing your ventilation and air ducts helps improve indoor air quality and lower energy consumption.

  • Keep the condenser clear: Remove any objects or debris around the outdoor unit to promote healthy airflow.
  • Don't fully close vents: Closing vents to try and redirect airflow only makes your AC work harder. Use fans, zoning control or mini-split systems instead to cool a specific area.
  • Schedule ductwork maintenance: Keep air ducts clear of buildup with professional inspection and cleaning.
  • Seal leaks and repair cracks: Fix any gaps, leaks and cracks in air ducts that let cool air escape.
  • Install an air purification system: Improve air quality and reduce dust buildup with a filter that works directly with your HVAC system.

The Impact of Air Filter Replacement

HVAC air filters work hard to catch pollutants passing through the air. Neglecting to clean and change them can lead to AC repairs and breakdowns that interrupt your cooling in the middle of summer.

Most air filters should be changed every 90 days and checked in between changes for any clogs or debris buildup. If your home isn't cooling as it should or there is limited airflow, check that the filter is clean and replace it if needed.

During preventative AC maintenance, a technician will clean or change the air filters, but you can maintain them in between tune-ups for optimal cooling.

Energy-Savings & Smart Thermostats

For more control over your home's cooling, smart thermostats are a great choice. Not only do they do the work of controlling temperatures throughout the day but they help reduce energy waste while you're away.

Programmable thermostats let you set the temperature and forget it so you can worry less about energy use and comfort. You can even program different settings throughout the day to keep up with changing outdoor temperatures.

Installing a smart thermostat means less adjusting, more savings and a lighter workload for your HVAC system to manage indoor temperatures.

Keep Cool With Island Breeze

Here at Island Breeze, we know just how important it is to stay cool through the North Carolina summer. Caring for your home's air conditioning system, even when it's working properly, is crucial to beating the heat and saving money.

By scheduling AC maintenance, keeping air ducts clear, changing air filters and considering a smart thermostat, you can take a load off your HVAC system and get back to enjoying your summer. Contact our team online or give us a call at (919) 693-4822 to make the most of your AC today!

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