When it comes to keeping your home cool, not all of the work will rely on your air conditioning unit. In fact, a lot of it will have to do with stopping heat from coming in in the first place, as well as keeping cool air in.
This can be achieved in quite a few different ways. Many of the things that might heat up a room are things that you would not have thought of otherwise, and things that you will want to keep cool. Below are some of the most common sources of ambient heat.
One small but common source of heat is electronic devices. Electronics provide ambient heat that can add up quite a bit, especially if they are kept running for long periods of time. TVs, computers, and more can constantly generate heat, making the rooms they are in that much harder to keep cool.
For example, due to conservation of energy law of thermodynamics, the 100 watts the average desktop computer uses is converted into heat. Add in a large TV, a laptop, and a phone and charger, you’re talking about the equivalent of adding another sun-facing window to a room.
The simplest way to combat this type of ambient heat is to keep these devices turned off or in sleep mode when they are not in use, such as overnight. This small change can help make cooling your home easier on your air conditioner, plus it can contribute to lowering your electric bill.
Another common source of ambient heat, and perhaps even a more serious one, is appliances that produce heat. The main culprits here are laundry dryers, dishwashers, and ovens. These appliances must produce heat in order to do their jobs and there’s no way around that. However, you can lessen the impact they have on releasing heat into your home.
Consider moving our laundry dryer into the garage or another area not directly open to the rest of your home. If moving the dryer outside isn’t an option then try keeping the door to the room or closet with your dryer in it closed to prevent the heat escaping into the rest of the house until it has dissipated.
When you run your dishwasher, remember to leave its door closed once the cycle is complete to allow the heat generated there to slowly dissipate and not heat up your kitchen and home more than necessary.
For your oven, keep the oven door closed once you’ve removed the food so that the residual heat doesn’t escape. In addition, if possible try to plan your oven usage for the evenings after the sun has gone down when your A/C normally isn’t working so hard to keep your home cool.
A large, and obvious source of heat is the sun. Depending on the direction your windows face, they can sometimes be a huge source of ambient heat, especially in the summer. While you can’t unplug the sun, there are ways to minimize the ambient heat it may be shining into your home.
First, block the sun when you can, especially during the time of day that you get the most sunlight. If your windows face west, keep the blinds drawn in the late afternoon to lessen the amount of heat coming in (you can also use this to your advantage in the winter – keeping blinds open when getting full sun can help keep your heater from working so hard).
You can also switch up the arrangements in a room to make it feel cooler by avoiding the sun. If your living room has large windows, move seating like couches and chairs out of the sun so that you won’t feel hot sitting in direct sunlight.
Have you taken care of ambient heat issues but still feel like your air conditioner is struggling? Contact the experts at AirOne Heating and Air Conditioning to have a professional come check out your unit.