How to Get Your Air Conditioner Ready for a Heat Wave

How to Prepare Your Air Conditioner for a Heat WaveAre you someone that looks at the the 10-day forecast and groans or cheers when you see hot weather on the horizon?  Whether you love it or hate it, heat waves are no joke.  The NOAA describes heat waves as “…a period of unusually hot weather that typically lasts two or more days. To be considered a heat wave, the temperatures have to be outside the historical averages for a given area.”  Prolonged high temperatures can result in serious heat related illnesses, which is why it is important to be careful and prepared when a heat wave is in the forecast.

One of the main defenses against incredibly high temperatures is your home’s cooling system.  Staying indoors, especially for young children and the elderly, is usually the best option.  That’s why you want to make sure that your air conditioner is ready.

How to Get Your Air Conditioner Ready for a Heat Weave

1. Turn the fan switch to on

Typically the air conditioner fan is set to “auto.”  When it is really hot out, it is better to change that setting to “on.” This way, the fan is continuously blowing cool air throughout the home–even when the a/c isn’t actively running.  Once the temperatures cool down slightly, however, revert back to the “auto” setting as this will help you to save money and energy.

2. Help Your A/C with the Heavy Lifting

When it is really hot out, don’t make your air conditioner do all of the heavy lifting alone.  You can help out by lowering the temperature in your home by closing drapes during the day and limiting appliance usage.  Also, turn the thermostat up a few degrees in order to give your air conditioner a bit of a break when you know it will be working overtime.  Plus, those few degrees can help you save money on your next energy bill.

3. Close off Vents in Unused Rooms

If you have seldom used areas of your home, close the vents to those rooms.  This way the cool air will be re-directed to the other, more used areas of the house.

4. Clean or change the air filter

A dirty, clogged air filter can disrupt air flow.  We recommend changing or cleaning the filter at least every 3 months.

5. Schedule an Air Conditioner Inspection

There’s nothing like having your air conditioner quit on one of the hottest days of the year.  Prevent that problem by scheduling a yearly maintenance inspection.

Want to learn more about our residential cooling services?  Contact us at Flame Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical!

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