Friday, July 5, 2019
By Mary Jo Morgan

We hope you had a great 4th of July. Our wonderful Coronado area is now heading into the warmest few months of the year, statistically between July and October, so now is an ideal time to make sure your A/C system is in top shape.

Here are some great tips to help you stay cool.

Servicing - Have you had an annual air conditioning inspection done yet? If not it's a great idea to get this done before something fails when you most need the cooling. "Preventive medicine" is always better, and much cheaper, than trying to get a problem solved when HVAC professionals are busy troubleshooting other units that didn't get their annual TLC...

Air leakage - We perhaps more commonly associate insulation and sealing windows etc. with keeping the cold weather out. But air leakage works in both directions, of course, so it's equally important to make sure you keep the cold air you've generated within the home. Look for, and seal, any possible leakage sources, including around window and door frames.

Temperature control - If your thermostat isn't working properly, it will either keep the home too warm or cost you more money by over-cooling. Thermostats should be placed in locations where they can accurately sense the overall temperature of the room. They shouldn't therefore be affected by localized heat sources such as lamps and televisions. Carry out an assesment of the current positioning of thermostats and consider if they would benefit from being sited elsewhere.

Technology can assist - When it comes to temperature control, recent years have seen an explosion in devices that provide you with much more control. In the case of air conditioning, perhaps the most exciting development has been the widespread adoption of so called smart thermostats. Although individual feature sets vary, generally speaking these devices enable far more sensitive temperature control with the goal of saving on energy usage and costs. They are highly programmable and can essentially control temperature on the fly, adjusting your cooling, or heating, to suit. Most models are also supported by apps and some will integrate with voice assistants such as Amazon's Alexa. Voice control can be especially useful if you feel that your cooling needs to be tweaked after you've retired for the night. Just ask Alexa to handle it without lifting your head from the pillow. You can also control ceiling fans using services like Wink and Google Assistant, providing your fan has been fitted with an appropriate WIFI controller.

Ceiling fans - Wide deployment of ceiling fans around the home can help to provide extra cooling in areas where it's most needed, plus it can reduce the workload, hence the costs, for your main aircon unit. And if you've forgotten to flick the switch for counterclockwise summer operation, now would be a great time to do this, so that air is pushed down into the room.

Outdoor unit location and care - Shade can help your external A/C unit operate more efficiently, by providing relatively cooler air for it to process. That being said, plants, shrubs etc. should be kept at least two to four feet away from the unit to prevent airflow restriction.

Time for a change? - Even the most well maintained air conditioning system will eventually reach the end of its effective operational life. Efficiency will gradually erode to the point that a replacement becomes the best option. The good news is that old units weren't designed with the levels of energy efficiency that's built into today's models, so you will be making cost savings that will gradually accumulate, saving you money in the long run. An HVAC professional will be able to provide you with guidance on the wisest options.

We hope that you find these tips useful. Don't hesitate to contact us on 619-886-0175 if you have questions relating to real estate.

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