Quick fixes during the heat to get your AC in tip top shape

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 4:37 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - While water and finding shade are the obvious ways to stay cool, if your air conditioning unit is not in tip top shape, you will feel just as uncomfortable inside as outside.

The HVAC companies are working overtime. Check your unit thoroughly before calling in the professionals.

“We’re running probably about eight to ten calls a day. We’re trying to keep on top of our calls and not put many of them off tomorrow,” Rick Low, with HVAC Master in Springfield said.

Temperatures this week are hotter than what AC units can handle.

“For Springfield, Missouri it’s designed for 92 degrees,” Low said,

The heat will strain your AC. Step outside and check the unit for icing around the lines. This is a sign your unit has frozen up. This could mean one of two things. First, your filter may need changing. Shut off the unit and set the fan to auto. This will melt the ice in about an hour.

“If we lose air flow, we lose cooling capacity. The filter can be your best friend. The cheapest thing you can do is just keep a clean filter,” Low said.

Change the filter while you wait for the ice to melt.

If this fix doesn’t work, your unit may need a charge. This requires a service company.

Next, check that the coils inside your unit are clean.

“If they get plugged up with dirt, this unit can’t transfer the heat that is needed,” Low said.

Low said some units are easy to clean yourself, but recommends calling in for a service if they are dirty.

Even after your unit is serviced, you will not notice a temperature change until nighttime.

“You’ll feel the humidity go down if your house, but you won’t really see that drop temperature until the sun sets,” Low said.

If you are without AC, keep the curtains and shades shut. Sitting in front of a fan with a bowl of ice will also make things a little more comfortable.

Make sure your ceiling fans are spinning the proper direction. In the summer, your fans should rotate counterclockwise. This will push air straight down and make it feel cooler. In the winter, switch your fans to clockwise. This will pull cooler air up and keep the room warmer.

Just like how you need to check for air leaks in the winter, you also need to check for them in the summer. Seal all gaps around doors and windows.

The type of clothing you wear matters. Light and loose fitting clothing will make you feel cooler than tighter clothes or darker colored clothes. This is because light colors reflect more sunlight, while dark colors absorb the sun’s rays and heats you up.

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