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Tips for Keeping Your AC Unit Running Smoothly in the Summer Heat

Southern Louisiana summers are HOT! Find out how to keep your A/C unit running in tip-top shape throughout the summer heat.

One way to save money on monthly utility bills is to run the air conditioning unit less often. But if you live in southern Louisiana and its 90+ degrees for most of the summer, exactly how are you supposed to run your AC unit less and not more?

Lowering your A/C and energy usage to a minimal level can often be accomplished with a full inspection and maintenance of the system, along with following a few simple steps.

Household Tips for Helping Your A/C:

  • Close blinds, drapes and shades during the day (on every exterior wall)
  • Avoid using the oven/range and instead use the microwave
  • Keep all windows and exterior doors in their closed position when the air conditioning is on
  • Manage the interior lights to reduce the amount of heat produced in the home
  • Set the air conditioner thermostat no lower than 78°
  • Clean the lint filter to the dryer frequently to maximize its efficiency
  • Change the air conditioner filter at least once a month to increase efficiency
  • Plan all chores such as laundry and cooking only during the cool hours of every day, to minimize the indoor temperature.
  • Consider grilling outdoors and running the dryer and dishwasher during the night
  • Use every available ceiling fan in the home while the air conditioner is on to better circulate the air
  • Set the air conditioner thermostat to “auto” and never set it on “fan”
  • Seal any obvious leak around windows and doors using weather stripping and caulking whenever necessary
  • Inspect the home for any air leaks

Proper Maintenance of your HVAC System

If the homeowner has been routinely changing the filter to the A/C, their action can dramatically reduce the levels of allergens and dust circulating through the home.  However, other than changing the filters, routine maintenance on the HVAC system should only be performed by a licensed professional and never by a friend who “knows a little something” about a/c units.

The air conditioning and heating technicians at Berner A/C & Heat have the equipment to thoroughly inspect the entire HVAC system to ensure it is operating properly. After performing a thorough inspection, routine maintenance might identify the need to clean the evaporator coils and condenser of the unit. Multitudes of debris and dirt can quickly accumulate inside the condenser. Because it resides outside, it can often become clogged with grass, leaves, dirt, branches and other large and small debris. During the rainy season, mud can accumulate in the coils of the condenser, and completely clog the unit, which could significantly diminish its efficiency.

Additionally, it may be recommended to clean the evaporator inside the home. Many times, the evaporator can simply be vacuumed while using a soft or stiff brush to remove any accumulated dust and dirt. Other times, our HVAC technicians will remove the evaporator from the system to thoroughly clean it outside.

We will also perform an inspection and thorough cleaning on the condensate drainage line to minimize the potential of blockage. Any blockage that forms inside the line can significantly increase the humidity levels indoors or cause extensive water damage. The technician will check the levels of refrigerant to ensure it is operating properly. Low levels of refrigerant can dramatically reduce the energy efficiency of the A/C unit.

Don’t Forget the Thermostat

There is a substantial advantage to installing a quality programmable thermostat that can maintain the temperature indoors around-the-clock. The thermostat can be programmed to maintain a temperature indoors at 78° when family members are home, and set much higher when no one is there.

These few simple tips and HVAC maintenance can increase the energy efficiency in the home and keep the A/C unit running during the heat of the summer.  If you would like to learn more, please click here to learn more about our A/C maintenance and service programs.