Presidential Heating & Air Conditioning
Gaithersburg HVAC Contractors
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Summer comes early here in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and you’ll be turning on your air conditioning unit sooner than you think. Hopefully, you have scheduled an annual AC maintenance visit with Presidential Heating & Air Conditioning to be sure your AC is working correctly and efficiently. With the price of electricity being what it is these days, you don’t want to have to run your air conditioning unit any more than necessary. And with that in mind, our HVAC technicians have some tips for you for keeping cool this summer while doing your best to save energy.
1. Get Your AC Serviced
You may subscribe to the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” We get it. But our HVAC techs also know that things break when they are under maximum load. That means it’s hot, and you will want someone right away! Avoid the rush—get your AC serviced ahead of time.
When you opt to get a Presidential Advantage Maintenance Plan, your annual AC maintenance call is included, as well as other great benefits and perks. But you don’t have to get a maintenance plan to get an AC tuneup — you can just call and make an appointment.
A tuned-up AC runs more efficiently, and when your air conditioning unit is running at peak efficiency, you stay cooler and use less energy.
2. Change Your Air Filters Regularly
Our HVAC techs suggest air filters be changed monthly, but you may change yours more or less often depending on your usage of your furnace or air conditioning unit. Especially in the spring, air filters get choked with pollen, so if you or someone in your family is an allergy or asthma sufferer, you may want to change your filter more often.
But even if it’s simple dust in your filter, it’s important to change it regularly because the dirtier your air filter is, the harder your air conditioning unit has to work to suck the outside air through it and blow the chilled air into your home.
Most air filters are made of wafer-thin paper and fiberglass, which is designed to allow air to flow through, but not dust and dirt particles. As the filter catches more and more particles, it becomes less porous and it’s harder for any air to get through. Not only does this waste energy, it puts unnecessary stress on your air conditioning unit and could cause it to break down prematurely.
3. Use Shades and Blinds to Block the Sun
How much the sun heats up your home depends on a number of factors. Brick and stone are better insulators, and these homes tend to keep out the heat and cold better. Some homes in Maryland were built without any insulation at all. Rooms on second floors will heat up faster than rooms on the ground floor. The best way to save on energy on a sunny day is to close the blinds (or shades or drapes) in rooms where the sun shines in. Once the sun has passed, you can open the blinds again.
If you have a portable room thermometer, test our theory by placing it in the sun in your home for an hour or so and see how high the temperature gets.
4. Avoid Running Heat-Generating Appliances
Especially if your clothes dryer is on your main floor, avoid running it on the hottest days. The heat generated to dry your clothes will linger in your home, causing your air conditioning unit to run more than it needs to. Additionally, you will be using energy to dry clothes at the same time you are using energy to try to make your home cooler. Consider air-drying your clothes on a hot day. If they’re wrinkled, toss them into the dryer with a damp washcloth for 10 minutes and they’ll come out wrinkle-free.
Our HVAC techs have the same advice for using your stove on hot days. The oven is the worst, but the stovetop heats up the house too. Consider eating salads or cooking outside on a grill on hot days.
When you run the dishwasher, skip the drying cycle, and just allow your dishes to air dry. This tip saves energy twice!
Even blow dryers and curling irons can heat up a room, especially a small room like the bathroom.
5. Dress Appropriately
It can be difficult to share space with someone who wants the temperature to be much higher or lower than you find comfortable. If someone in your household likes to set the temperature low in the summer, remind them to wear light clothing — cotton T-shirts and shorts rather than jeans — and consider going barefoot to stay cool.
It can be frustrating to have to wear a sweater at home and pay high utility bills just because one member of your household is always too warm. If you have a basement level, urge them to work, sleep or spend some time down there where they will be more comfortable. Encourage them to drink lots of ice water, and to try keeping a cool towel around their neck.
6. Use Fans Judiciously
There is a school of thought that says fans do not make you cooler. Yet, fan sales are robust, so we can at least say that fans might make you feel cooler. Our HVAC techs neither encourage nor discourage fan usage; however, we do caution against putting a fan in the window at the wrong time.
The humidity can be brutal here in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and once you open the windows and let it in, you may feel much hotter even if the temperature isn’t that high. Therefore, unless there is a very cool breeze blowing, our HVAC techs recommend using a fan with the windows closed.
We hope you find these tips for keeping cool useful and remember to call Presidential Heating & Air Conditioning whenever you need air conditioner repair, maintenance, installation, or replacement.