The Dog Days of Summer: Preparing your home for the heat.

It’s heating up and your air conditioner is probably running constantly this time of the year. We put together tips to help keep your home cool during the hottest days of the summer.

Start by closing the blinds during the day. If you are looking for a way to keep your house cooler during those hot summer days, before you leave for work close the blinds. 

Keep doors and vents open. Our friends over at Rheem suggest you keep your doors and vents open to keep good airflow. When they are shut, your cooling system is working harder, and using more energy.

Maintain a healthy heating and cooling system. If you haven’t check out our maintenance articles, it acts as a checklist for you to make sure you heating and cooling systems are ready for our Midwest weather. You know, when spring is in the air, but we get 6″ of heavy snow on April 1st? Yes, that Midwest weather we all know and love. In short, remember to change your furnace filters, and schedule tune-ups in the spring to prepare for these hot summer days. 

Adjust your ceiling fans! A good rule of thumb is to set your ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise during the summer to push the cool air down. 

When you need support, we can help. Warners’ Stellian has experienced Heating & Cooling specialists ready to provide the home solutions you need to live comfortably. There is never a good time for your A/C to go out, but we make it stress-free for you. Learn more about our air conditioner repair.

Read more about heating and cooling resources on our blog

Air Conditioning Maintenance Checklist

The last thing you need on a hot day is for your AC to go out. Spring is the perfect time to make sure it’s in tip top shape. Similar to our furnace checklist blog post, our specialists have created this air conditioning maintenance guide to get you ready for the dog days of summer.

1. Clean the Debris from your Air Conditioner

Just like your outdoor furniture, you will want to clean the leaves and other debris from the air conditioning unit before using it after it’s been through the winter months. Clearing the leaves, sticks, dirt off the air conditioner is the first thing you want to do before moving on to the next step.

Leaves surrounding AC unit.

2. Clean and Replace Furnace Air Filter

This is crucial to have a working heating and cooling system. You can follow these easy steps we put together in a former post that show you how to replace it.

Filter in furnace.

3. Clean Evaporator and Condenser Coils

The reason is because dust and debris can clog it up making it hard for there to be adequate air flow. Simply take a your hose and spray the water on the AC unit.

Cleaning inside of AC unit.

4. Test it out before you really need it.

The last thing you need if for your AC to go out on one of the hottest days of the summer. Test run your air conditioning unit before you need it running constantly. Make sure to wait until it reaches at least 60 degrees outside before doing this step.

Testing your thermostat.

5. Schedule a tune up.

Regular inspection of your equipment can prevent breakdowns, lower utility bills and lengthen the life of your equipment. Instead of a cut-rate tune-up, we perform a comprehensive inspection of heating or air conditioning systems. Appointment includes:

  • Numerous safety and operational tests on the system
  • Light cleaning of all moving parts
  • Proper adjustments to enhance efficiency
  • Provide answers and advice regarding the system
Warners' Stellian employee working on AC unit.

Your air conditioner will thank you!

Use these tips to have the coolest air conditioner on the block. If your AC is 16 years or older, it might be time to start a conversation on replacing it. Contact our heating and cooling team to see how we can help you.

Should You Turn Off Your Air Conditioner While on Vacation?

With the end of summer approaching and Labor Day right around the corner, vacation plans are in full swing. And often a hotly debated topic before hitting the road for your end-of-summer hoorah is whether you should turn off the air conditioner. And if you leave it on, what AC temperature should you set while on vacation? Our plumbing and HVAC services manager Joe Nguyen says if your primary goal is saving energy and money, then yes, turn off the AC (unless you’re leaving pets behind). But according to Nguyen, there’s more to it than that.

Vacation Length

If you’re making a quick weekend getaway, turning the AC off won’t realize big energy or cost savings. After all, the system will have to work harder to reach the desired temperature once you return. For longer vacations, consider the following.

Temperature and Humidity

When the temperature is mild, turning off your air conditioner isn’t a problem. However, high temperatures and humidity levels can quickly heat a home, causing other cooling appliances (refrigerator, freezer, etc.) to work overtime. And a malfunctioning refrigerator will cost more than leaving your air running.

Vacation Temperature Recommendation

Nguyen says the widely held recommendation is to just turn the air conditioner temperature up rather than powering it down. He recommends setting the thermostat between 78 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, using a programmable thermostat with WiFi capability, set the thermostat to cool the house to a comfortable temperature prior to your arrival home.

Nest thermostat on wall

Photo via Nest

Home Vacation Prep Tips

Now that the air conditioner dilemma is sorted out, protect your home appliances with these tips:

  • Close the curtains and blinds. This will keep your home cooler, giving your appliances a break!
  • Turn off the water to your home and home appliances. No one wants to come home to a leak or flood!
  • Put your refrigerator in vacation mode if you have that option.
  • Crack open the dishwasher and washing machine doors to air them out.
  • Turn your water heater down to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Last but not least, enjoy your vacation!

Do you turn off your AC before leaving on vacation? Why or why not?

Save Energy While Running AC

You need an air conditioning unit to save your own energy, but how do you save consumable energy?

Heat burns us out. We have to stay cool to maintain physical and mental health, but it’s hard to be comfortable when you’re stressing about energy usage.

Warners’ Stellian is an expert in heating and cooling, and we know some tricks to prevent energy bills from racking up. Now, we’re going to share them with you.

airplane cropped

Before the season starts

First of all, have your unit inspected and ensure it gets its maintenance each year. If it needs cleaning out, it will work 10 times harder to produce normal results. This is especially important if you live around trees.

You should also check your ducts to be sure the areas they cool are well insulated.

While your AC unit is running

Sunlight gives direct heat when it beats in through the windows. Keep the drapes closed so the AC can do its job. This also encourages you to go outside more! Andy Lindus, COO of Lindus Construction also cautions not to skimp on the quality of your windows.  “Triple pane windows that are specifically designed for the extreme Minnesota temperature swings can help prevent your HVAC system from failing prematurely due to overexertion.”

Misplacement of furniture can block the pathways for which cool air travels through. Rearrange your furniture so that it’s not in the way of any vents.

Remember that electric lights create heat. Try to keep them off unless they are needed. Another suggestion would be to switch to LED lights. 

Don’t underestimate fans. Fans will support your unit and help regulate air so it fills the room better. Fans do produce a cooling effect as well, so they can make an impact when your unit is running low or turned off.

Learn to use the “sleep mode” properly. Some of us get hot in our sleep, but your unit should be turned down at some point to prevent overuse. It’s best to adjust to a cycle where the unit runs low when there’s no natural sunlight. If you currently don’t have this feature, you can contact your energy company to install a saver switch that will cycle your unit.

Need help with your A/C? Fill out this short form to set up an appointment today.

Featured image: Electrolux

How To Keep Your House Cool

2398572388_0c19999959Not only is it important to keep the cold air inside, it’s important to not create more heat for your air conditioner to cool.

Here are some easy ways to make sure you’re not making more work for your AC!

Tips to Stay Cool

1. Run dishwasher, washer and dryer at night

If you’re in bed with a fan trained on you, the kitchen heating up won’t bother you as much…right?

2. Dry loads of clothes back to back

Though this seems to contract No. 1, the residual heat from the previous load will decrease the amount of time your dryer needs to do its magic.

3. Substitute the microwave for your range

Do you really need to use your stove, or can you boil that water or cook that soup in the microwave?

4. Don’t preheat!

If you must use your oven, just throw your food in right away to cut down on cook time. Unless you’re baking, who cares about being precise. Convection baking also will reduce the necessary temperature and time by 25 degrees and 25% respectively.

5. Cover pots and pans

You’ll prevent heat loss, boil and cook faster, thus you’ll shut off your stove faster.

6. Clean your refrigerator coils

The better your fridge exhausts heat, the less it runs, thus the less heat it will give off.
>> How to clean refrigerator coils