How to Help Your Air Conditioner Make It Through Summer

August is historically one of the hottest months of the year here in Phoenix, with average highs still hovering around 105°F during the day and only cooling down to 8o’s very late in the night. Sprinkle monsoon season into the mix, and with all the added humidity our central air conditioners have to deal with, it means a residential air conditioner won’t get much of a break this month. That can be problematic for some because the home’s cooling system has already been putting in steady work since the end of April.

You have to be mindful of how  your air conditioning system sounds, and is performing during the month of August because it hasn’t gotten much of a break in a while and we’re not out of the heat yet…we still have a good two months or more we need them! At the first sign of trouble, call us for air conditioning repairs. If you try to wait out the summer, you could risk something small turning into a major repair.

We also have some preventive recommendations to help your air conditioner in Tempe, AZ and nearby cities make it through the tough summer heat. You can also count on us to assist you with new air conditioner installation if you think the time is now. 

The 78°F thermostat setting goal

This is the lowest thermostat setting recommended by many AC manufacturers during intense heat. Higher temperature settings are not only a way to save energy, it also helps to lower the strain on an air conditioner so it’s less likely to malfunction. If not everyone in your household feels comfortable with 78°F, you can try to set the temperature lower by a few degrees, and then raise it by one degree each day. In theory; this will acclimate people to the warmer temperature.

Not everyone will be comfortable with a temperature setting that high. I personally keep my thermostat set to 74 degrees during the day and 72 degrees at night, but:

  1. I’ve owned an air conditioning company in Mesa, AZ for the last 20-years so I’ve spent my share of time being too warm.
  2. I’ve made my home extremely energy efficient, so I can set my temperature very low without the consequence of a huge utility bill.
  3. I have high-efficiency air conditioning on my home!

Have solar sunscreens installed

This is a home improvement that provides immense relief for the air conditioner, by blocking a major source of heat gain from entering your home before it gets in. Adding solar sunscreens blocks up to 90% of the heat that can enter a home through the windows, and is up to seven times more effective than standard curtains and blinds. As an additional benefit, they won’t turn your home gloomy and dark during the day: solar sunscreens still allow light to enter your home—they’re only blocking the heat.

I’ve installed 90% solar shades-creens on my own home, so needless to say, I’m a believer. This energy improvement is one of the reasons I’m able to keep my temperature setting so low without getting stuck with a whopper of a utility bill at the end of the month. If you are a SRP utility customer, you even qualify for rebates that help pay for a portion of the installation!

Talk to our home performance specialists to find out about professional installation for solar sunscreens in Phoenix, AZ.

Never forget to change the air filter

How often do you check on the air filter for the HVAC system? Even if you’re accustomed to changing the air filter every 2 or 3 months, we strongly recommend you make a check on it monthly. With extra dust and debris moving through the system as it works harder, the filter can become clogged much faster than you expect—and a congested filter is a major cause of preventable air conditioning problems! Changing the filter isn’t hard, so get in the habit of making a monthly check on it. (To help you remember, connect the regular filter check to another task you do monthly.)

Boost your attic insulation

Attic insulation is as essential in hot weather as it is in cooler weather: effective layers of insulation in the walls and attic prevent excess heat from entering the house and making the AC’s job much harder. It is not uncommon for us to find a homes insulation has either settled in areas or been moved by wind shear, or even the cable guy over the years and leading to hot rooms which people often attribute to poor ductwork or an under-performing air conditioning unit, only to replace them and find they still have a problem.

Contact us to learn more about our options for insulation in Scottsdale, AZ.

Call Magic Touch Mechanical today to experience our award-winning customer service first-hand. We look forward to exceeding your expectations!