If you have an older air conditioning system that's nearing the end of its service life, a long, grueling summer day can be really taxing on the whole system. Trying to keep your AC up and running for as long as possible sounds feasible, but without a little intervention, an ailing unit can quickly become a unit that no longer functions. You may need to reduce the strain on the ailing air conditioner on the hottest days of summer. Here are a few ideas.
Have the unit professionally serviced before summer settles in.
Before that first really hot day happens, reach out to a local HVAC contractor to have the older AC services. You may be hesitant to spend money on an ailing AC that you know will have to eventually be replaced, but a service call can be as little as $100 per hour for a basic tune-up. The tune-up can involve:
- Mending any refrigerant leaks
- Checking for wiring or electrical issues
- Cleaning around the vents
- Checking your thermostat
Simply let the technician know you are planning on eventual replacement and do not need major repairs—you only need to make it through the summer.
Cool only the rooms you are in and seal off the rest.
The larger the space the system has to cool, the harder it has to work. Reducing the space is easier than it sounds; you only need to shut off the parts of the house not in use. For example, if you are primarily in the kitchen and living room throughout the day, shut off the vents to the rest of the rooms and cool only the living room and kitchen. Shut off other rooms or block them by hanging heavy blankets at entryways.
Use the power of fans to keep the air circulated.
Place a few box fans on the floor near floor vents and turn on your ceiling fans. The air circulation will help the house feel cooler, but it will also help to evenly distribute the cooler air so the AC doesn't have to work so hard.
Make sure the exterior condenser unit is getting enough airflow.
The exterior condenser unit can get overtaken by weeds, dead leaves, and grass clippings. Step outside and make sure the area around the unit is cleared. This may seem like a moot thing, but the better the airflow is around the condenser, the easier it can expel heat so the system stays cool.
For more tips, reach out to a local air conditioning service.