Are you a homeowner? Does it seem like your home is getting hotter and hotter this summer, in spite of the temperature that you've set on the thermostat? The best way to ensure that your air conditioner is functioning properly is to call in a professional to check it out. But if you're waiting on your next paycheck to be able to afford the service fee, you still want to try to get your home cooled down in the meantime. Here are some easy and inexpensive tips for doing just that:
Open interior doors: When an air conditioning system is installed, it's intended for use with a certain interior layout. If your home has had rooms added or the interior layout has changed since the air conditioner went in, then your home's airflow will no longer be the same. This can result in hot or cold spots, depending on what changes have been made. Although you might like to keep doors closed for privacy reasons, keeping them open or keeping them mostly open is going to be better for ensuring that your whole house is able to remain cooler. When you have the money, you can talk to an air conditioning professional about rerouting your duct work or installing a bigger A/C system so that this is less of a requirement.
Hang heavier curtains: New curtains are not necessarily cheap, but you can sometimes find acceptable ones at second-hand stores or on clearance. If you can find heavier or light-blocking curtains for your south-facing and west-facing windows, this will help to prevent sunlight from heating up the interior of your home. This, in turn, will keep your air conditioning unit from needing to work so hard and the inside of your home will feel cooler. Even after you get the unit tuned up or repaired, you may want to continue to use heavy curtains in your home in order to keep your energy costs lower.
Check your weather stripping: The weather stripping around your doors and windows is intended to keep the interior and exterior air separated. However, it's made of relatively soft bits of rubber or foam that can break down over time. You may have installed weather stripping last year or the year before that and think that you're fine, but it's possible that it's already starting to break down. Go around your house, checking for drafts. Use a piece of tissue paper cut into strips to check for air that is flowing into or out of your home. If you plug up these leaks, even if it's a temporary fix like duct tape, there will be less warm air for your air conditioning unit to deal with and your home can be significantly cooler as a result.