10 tips to help your air conditioner (and your wallet) survive Florida’s hottest season.
From late fall to early spring, you might get by without turning on your air conditioner in the Sarasota area. But even the most die-hard Floridians rely on their AC to get them through the summer months, when the daytime temperatures soar into the 90’s and nighttime temperatures no longer sink below 70 °F. Let’s not even talk about the humidity level.
Even a correctly sized air conditioner in good working condition can struggle to keep up with the Florida heat. We have 10 simple tips that will not only help your AC survive the summer, but also make it run more efficiently. By following these tips, you can reduce strain on your system (increasing its life expectancy),and save yourself money by decreasing cooling costs and avoiding costly breakdowns. Plus, you can use some of the money you saved to treat your family to ice cream a few times this summer.
Disclaimer: While many of the tips below are DIY, some of them should be performed by a professional HVAC contractor. Call Kobie Complete at (941) 474-3691 for air conditioning repair and maintenance in Sarasota County and Charlotte County, Florida.
1. Maintain proper airflow for your condensing unit.
The condenser, aka the outdoor part of your air conditioning system, has a vital job. Part of this job is to release heat through vents and a big fan on the top or side. But watch out! Objects can block the fan or vents, making it hard for air to flow freely. This leads to extra wear and tear and a decline in efficiency. In extreme cases, the unit could overheat, resulting in serious damage to the system.
To improve airflow, remove branches, shrubs, debris, and other objects on or around your AC condenser. Remember to keep some clearance on all sides. So, if you want to put up a fence or spruce up the area, just make sure your unit can breathe easy!
2. Close your drapes, curtains or blinds.
During the day, block some of the heat gain from the sun by closing the drapes, curtains or blinds on your windows and sliding glass doors. This will keep your home cooler so your AC won’t have to work as hard.
3. Use a (ceiling) fan.
A fan uses much less energy than your central AC, and the breeze the fan creates helps you feel cooler. So, you can be comfortable with the thermostat set a couple degrees higher than usual. This saves you money without sacrificing comfort.
4. Program your thermostat.
While you shouldn’t completely turn off your air conditioner when leaving your house (hello, mold and mildew!),set the temperature a few degrees higher when you plan to be away for at least a couple of hours. This will give your air conditioner a breather, and will save you money on your electric bill.
With a programmable thermostat, you can set the AC to raise and lower the temperature automatically at specific times (e.g. while you’re at work, before you return home, and when you go to bed). Don’t have a programmable thermostat yet? Contact Kobie Complete to get one installed.
5. Turn off electronic devices when you’re not using them.
This includes large devices like TVs and computers, but also more basic items like lamps. Not only do these devices consume energy, but they also have the side effect of releasing heat into your room when they are turned on. So, make your air conditioner’s daily battle easier by turning off unused electronics and fixtures. Your electric bill will thank you—twice.
6. Put a lid on it.
Did you know that cooking without a lid on your pot or pan takes up to 3x times more electricity and actually lengthens cooking time? In addition, an uncovered pot releases hot, moist air into your room, making your air conditioner work harder to counteract the heat.
7. Strategize the use of appliances.
If possible, use large appliances like the dryer or oven in the cooler times of the day, like the late evening or early morning, to avoid putting extra strain on your AC. Better yet, use small appliances like an air fryer, microwave, or slow / pressure cooker in lieu of the oven during the summer.
8. Use realistic temperature settings.
Does it need be 72°F in your home to feel comfortable, or will 75°F do just as well? Remember, for every degree cooler you set your thermostat, you increase your AC system’s electricity usage. Try experimenting with different temperature settings until you find what works for you.
9. Clean / change your AC filter.
Especially in the summer months, you should check and replace your air conditioning filter at least once a month. Besides benefiting from cleaner air, you can increase system efficiency by 5% to 15% percent by improving airflow.
10.Have your air conditioner professionally maintained every year.
After all, the best way to prevent your air conditioner from breaking down is to catch problems areas early. Our NATE certified technicians will perform specialized steps to get your air conditioner into shape for the summer, and will give you an honest assessment of the overall health of your system. Find out more about our Maintenance Plans.
At Kobie Complete, we’ll make sure you stay cool for many summers to come.
Ask us about upgrading to a more energy efficient air conditioner. We will provide you with an honest assessment and a free quote. Keep in mind that a new air conditioner might use only half of the electricity your old one does. We’ve done the math for you, so check out our SEER Energy Savings calculator to see how much how can save by upgrading.
Finally, rest assured that if your AC should malfunction, we provide 24/7 air conditioning repair service with never an overtime charge. If you live in Sarasota, Port Charlotte, or anywhere in our service area, keep our phone number, (941) 474-3691, handy. We are just one call away and we will have your system up and running in no time.
Last Updated: June 28, 2023