7 Tips for Keeping Your Lyndhurst Home Cool During Hot Snaps
Every year, the climate becomes more unpredictable, and that’s leading to new extreme weather conditions. Here in the US just this year, we’ve already seen a freak snowstorm hit Texas and a heatwave across the northwest that led to unprecedented high temperatures. Unfortunately, it seems like events like these are going to become the new normal in years to come.
Beyond the larger impact on the planet, these unpredictable heat waves can put a lot of strain on the local economy as well. People are having to spend more money on air conditioning, and in turn, that’s putting additional strain on local power systems. If those systems become overloaded and unable to keep up with demand, it can lead to blackouts – which can be deadly during extreme heat.
In other words, it’s in everyone’s best interests to find ways to stay cool during heat waves, while avoiding wasted energy. This helps keep your own power bills low while reducing overall demand on the power grid.
As Lyndhurst air conditioning specialists, we know plenty of tips for keeping your home or office cool, even when temperatures peak. Here are some ideas that anyone in New Jersey can implement and help do their part to reduce energy waste.
1 – Clean your AC air filter regularly
The more you have to run your AC system, the faster your AC’s air filter is going to get clogged up. A clogged air filter will impede the airflow into your AC, causing it to work harder just to keep the air circulating properly. In other words, you’ll be wasting electricity, while receiving less and less cold air.
During high-use periods, you should check on your AC filter every month. In many cases, it can simply be cleaned off and put back. However, don’t be afraid to replace the filter if it’s looking ragged or the frame is becoming bent. They’re cheap and can be purchased at any home improvement/DIY store.
2 – Close your windows and blinds during the day
If you’re in the middle of a heatwave, you don’t want to make the problem worse by allowing sunlight to beam directly into your home. That can significantly increase the indoor temperature and cause more strain on your AC system.
Closing all your shades and blinds during the day may cut off natural light, but it’ll save you a lot of money. The extra electricity used by light bulbs (especially economical LED bulbs) will be a tiny fraction of what your AC needs to keep your house cool.
Speaking of, if you’re still using incandescent bulbs, it’s really time to stop. They use far more power than LEDs while putting out a lot of heat which just makes the problem worse.
3 – Utilize a programmable or “smart” thermostat
One of the biggest single wastes of electricity in a home is when homeowners allow their AC to run when nobody is around. Doing this absolutely throws money away. Upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat can help you avoid this problem, by having the thermostat automatically turn itself off during times no one will be around – like in the middle of a workday.
If you use a smart thermostat tied to your phone, it becomes even easier. You can remotely control your home’s temperature. So, for example, if you have to work late, you can override the programming to keep the AC off. Or you can tell the AC to turn on when you’re leaving work so that your home will be cool when you arrive.
4 – Consider upgrading to more efficient AC units
Upgrading your entire HVAC system isn’t cheap, but in the long run, it’ll save money and electricity. In particular, heat pump systems are by far the most energy-efficient form of heating and cooling yet invented. They’re growing steadily in popularity and will probably be the standard technology within another decade or two.
Heat pumps come in two basic types. One is a central air system, very similar to traditional air conditioners and heaters – except everything is in a single unit. The other option are mini-split systems, where every room gets its own dedicated AC blower. These offer the advantage of allowing you to micro-manage your home’s cooling, with each room set to a different temperature. This can save big money by allowing you to shut down cooling to rooms you aren’t using.
Mini-splits are also excellent for people in homes without existing central air since they don’t require air ducts.
5 – Use more fans
Ceiling fans and oscillating fans are underrated when it comes to keeping a home cool. While it’s true they’re of limited use by themselves when temperatures get above 90 degrees, they can be combined with limited use of air conditioning to great effect.
For example, you might be able to get away with only cooling your home to 80 degrees, then using fans to maintain airflow. This will greatly reduce your reliance on air conditioning and, of course, fans will only use a tiny amount of power compared to an HVAC system.
6 – Improve your attic’s insulation
The upper floors of a house, particularly the attic, are often the source of energy inefficiency. Leaks in the attic will allow hot air to intrude into the building and cause a lot of extra wasted energy trying to keep the upper areas cool. Adding more insulation to your attic is relatively inexpensive and will pay off significantly over time.
Also, patching any holes in your attic will prevent water intrusion, and help keep out pests and animals. It’s a good idea for several reasons.
7 – Check your home for other air leaks
If your home or other building is older, there’s a good chance it has a lot of leaks. For example, older windows will often shift slightly over time, or their caulk will become cracked, leading to air leaks around their frame. Older siding and other outdoor insulation can also become a source of leaks.
Having a home contractor go around your home looking for leaks, and sealing them up, can significantly improve your energy efficiency. You might even consider installing new energy-efficient windows and doors which are designed to minimize the amount of heat that can leak in from the outside.
Air Temp Service Co Are Your Lyndhurst Air Conditioning Specialists
For over twenty years, we’ve been providing Lyndhurst with air conditioning services, as well as across New Jersey. We handle repairs, installations, and basic maintenance for both homes and businesses around the state. If you think your AC unit isn’t as efficient as it should be, or it’s time to upgrade your system, contact us to schedule a service visit!