Don't Sweat It
Are you tired of coming home in the summer and finding your home feeling like a crock pot on slow simmer? Here are some things you can do before calling a service company out:
FILTERS! Check your Air Conditioner filter and filter grill. Replace your filter and vacuum dust off of the grill. This will improve air flow across the coil.
OUTDOOR UNIT (commonly referred to as a condensing unit): Air flow through this component is crucial. One way to improve airflow is to clean it AT LEAST once per cooling season. TURN POWER OFF TO THE CONDENSING UNIT BEFORE CLEANING. Remove all weeks, grass, toys, tools, etc. from around the unit to insure there are no man-made obstructions to airflow. Take your water hose, with a spray nozzle, and starting from the top, spray water through the fins of the coil. You should see dirty water starting to stand in the bottom. Do this on all sides of the condensing unit and repeat if necessary. DO NOT use detergents, as these tend to attract dirt, if not totally removed. Once complete, turn power back on.
THERMOSTAT: Against popular belief, raising your thermostat to 80 degrees while you're away may actually cause more harm than good - your air conditioning unit winds up running longer in the heat of the afternoon to cool your house down, rather than maintaining a more comfortable 72-74 degrees. Another crucial function of your AC is to dehumidify your home, if the unit is not running, there is no opportunity to remove the humidity, thus causing those "odd" smells in your home.
SOLAR SCREENS are particularly helpful on the south and west sides of your home, as they reduce heat gain to your home during the hottest parts of the day.
ROOF VENTS: Make sure all roof vents are functioning and not obstructed. These are critical to the removal of hot air and moisture from the attic.
GARAGE DOOR: Leave your garage door cracked 3-4 inches to allow the heat to escape from the garage.
I hope these quick and easy tips help keep your home more comfortable and ultimately save your some dollars for more FUN summer activities!