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Staying-cool strategies for summer

By Jessica Rodrigo
June 21, 2014 at 1:21 a.m.
Updated June 22, 2014 at 1:22 a.m.


HOW TO SAVE ENERGY

High-efficiency appliances can make a big difference because they can better regulate the humidity and temperature.

For every one degree the temperature is increased in the summertime, it can save about 3 to 4 percent on energy costs.

Using ceiling fans to create air flow and make it comfortable in a room means the air conditioner might not have to work as hard.

No one wants to be without air conditioning at this time of year.

When temperatures are nearing three digits and it's not even July, it's not uncommon for homes and businesses to be running their air conditioning systems at their optimum.

Don James, Victoria office manager with Efficiency Air Inc., said summer season is typically when people will find problems with their air conditioning systems.

"When it gets really hot like this, if the system is performing like it should, you know right away," he said.

He emphasizes routine maintenance before the season begins to reduce the potential for problems when the temperatures rise.

Here are a few tips on how to make sure you don't have to pay the price when your air conditioning system goes into overtime this summer:

Use a programmable thermostat: It's more efficient to use this kind of system to monitor the air conditioning in a home or business rather than turning it off completely.

Set it no higher than 80 degrees when it's not in use, and then lower it to the desired comfort level when it's in use.

Maintenance is important: Check the air conditioning unit twice a year - once in the spring and again in the fall.

For the do-it-yourself types, washing the air conditioning coils can help it last longer and run more efficiency. During extra-dry summers, rinse it off two to three times.

Filter maintenance: It should be changed at least once a month - regardless of what the package says. When it's hot outside, change it every month for sure.

Leave the doors open: If you want a room to be cooler, then leave the door open; this way, more air can circulate through the system. Unless there is a return air vent, the air will be able to pass through the system.

Seal your duct work: Homes built in the past 10 to 15 years already have this, but in older homes, it's a good idea to check the seal around the ducts that lead air through the vents.

To do this, remove the vent covers to caulk and seal the duct to the ceiling. This will minimize the amount of warm, moist air and dust, can reduce the need to have ducts cleaned and reduce mildew spots on vents.

Be sure to check if the area where the air filter pulls air into the system is air tight, too; that will help reduce the amount of dust pulled through the system.

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