The heat is on! But it feels like your AC is not. And you just want a bit of comfort after a long day. The need for HVAC repairs is frustrating and can be expensive. But do not jump the gun yet. There are things that you may be able to do to get the cool air flowing before you call in an HVAC repair expert.

What to Do When Your AC is Not Working at Top Capacity

Perhaps the AC is working, but you feel certain that it was putting out cooler air the previous year. Maybe your home feels muggy and sticky to you. You may not want to think about a major repair bill just yet. Here are some steps you can take!

Check Your Thermostat

The first thing you can do is to check your thermostat. Is it working? Is it accurate? How do you know?

Let us start at the beginning. The thermostat is the mechanism on the wall that you use to turn your AC and heat on or off. If you have a new version, but not a digital one, the numbers on top are the ones you use to set your thermostat. The numbers on the bottom represent the actual temperature in your home.

One way to determine whether your AC is working or not is to turn it on, wait a few minutes (depending on the heat), and see whether the number on top matches the number on the bottom. If it does, great. If not, you have a problem.

When you’re checking out your thermostat, there are several things to keep in mind.

Set the Thermostat to the Coolest Temperature Tolerable 

If you live with other people, this likely will be a debate and compromise situation. Everyone has different body temperatures and comfort levels. However, constantly changing the thermostat causes wear and tear on your AC.

Raise the Thermostat Temperature When You Leave 

Your home will warm up a bit while you are gone. Upon your return, reset the thermostat to a cooler temperature. It will take time for your home’s temperature to decrease again throughout the day, which will ultimately be more efficient and cost-saving while you are not home. 

Upgrade to an Energy-Efficient Thermostat

Like so many other things today, you can buy a smart thermostat that is more efficient at monitoring the temperature of your home. You can program it so that the AC turns on and off at specific times to be more energy efficient.

Confirm the Thermostat is on the Correct Wall

Sounds funny, right? However, if you want an accurate reading, you need to place your thermostat on a wall that does not get direct sunlight, especially through a large window facing east or west. This is because the sun will distort the thermostat’s actual temperature.   

Understanding the way that your thermostat works is a significant step toward maintaining a cool and comfortable living space during warm months. If you need expert advice on how to be more energy-efficient, you can contact one of our technicians for recommendations.

Change Your AC Filter

Anytime that the airflow of your AC seems different, it may be the filter causing the change. It is a good idea to check your filter regularly. Some AC manufacturers recommend that you change the filter every month during use. This prevents airflow blockages and improves the air quality in the home. Changing the filter can also reduce the potential for a fire caused by the build-up of dirt particles in the filter.

These are two ways that you can take control of your living space during hot weather. Making sure that you can stay cool when temperatures rise is important. But what can you do when you have no AC at all?

When Your AC Stops Working Altogether

While this is not exacting a catastrophe, it can certainly feel like one. This is especially true if you suffer from certain medical conditions, such as asthma or COPD. Individuals who take certain medications are cautioned to stay cool in the heat. Senior citizens are particularly at risk in high temperatures.

When an AC unit stops working, it is likely something to do with the HVAC compressor. Until you can get your AC fixed, there are measures you can take to remain cool and comfortable in extreme heat.

Use Fans

A major benefit of using a fan is that it is cheaper than using air conditioning, although it is less effective in extreme heat. Before using any type of fan, clean it to prevent blowing dirt particles around your home. 

There are three basic types of fans that can be used in a home:  Ceiling fans, window fans, and floor fans. Let’s explore the benefits of each.

Ceiling fans keep rooms comfortable when they are turned on early in the morning and kept on throughout the day. They are especially useful in small rooms. If they are over kitchen tables or beds, you’ll want to keep them clean and free from dust particles. 

Window fans are helpful on cooler days. Otherwise, they simply bring hot air into your home. They do not have enough power to cool down hot air and distribute it far into the room. It may only benefit the people that are sitting right in front of the fan.

Floor fans, like ceiling fans, are useful when they are turned on early in the day. Floor fans are usually noisier than ceiling fans. They also tend to collect dust faster because people walk by them, so you may need to clean them more often.

When these fans are combined, ceiling and floor fans are an excellent alternative to AC on most days. If you use them frequently, you will want to clean the fans, as dust does tend to accumulate in them. Clean fans improve air quality, too.

Seal Home Leaks

Making sure that your home is insulated so that cool air does not seep out is another step that you can take during hot weather when your AC is down. Keep your windows closed, even at night when it might be cooler. You want to keep your home cool around the clock.

If cool air is escaping to the outdoors, then hot air is getting inside the same way. Check around windows, doors, and other entryways. Seal any air leaks you find, including those coming in from foyers and garages.

Buy Room Darkeners

These types of curtains can help to keep rooms cool during hotter months of the year. You need to get lighter colors that do not attract the sun’s heat. Place them on windows that face the east and west, as those windows draw the most heat into your home.

These are just a few tips to help you get through the heat until your AC is repaired. Using one or all of these tips can cool your living space and make it comfortable for everyone in it.

Maintain Your AC Throughout the Summer

Once you have a repaired HVAC compressor, you will be ready to enjoy your summer. To continue enjoying your summer, maintain your AC unit to make sure that it operates at top performance. Consider having a technician do an AC tune-up and deep clean twice a year. 

The benefits of this maintenance include:

  • Prolonged lifespan of AC
  • Increased energy-efficiency
  • Prevents loss of 5% of performance output annually
  • Finds and fixes small problems before they become large ones

Any type of home maintenance is a good idea. But when you are talking about AC and the cost of replacement, ongoing maintenance is a must. Scheduling this kind of maintenance with an expert technician will guarantee that the job is done right.

Don’t get left searching the internet for “AC repair near me.” Turn to the professionals at Castle Home Comfort Heating & Cooling. We’ll get a team out to you fast to make sure that your AC system is working at its best.