It’s going to be HOT this weekend in Philadelphia and Bucks County. With high humidity and temperatures nearing 100 degrees over the next four days, your air conditioner is going to be working extra hard to keep you cool and comfortable.
In these extreme temperatures, air conditioning systems are put under more strain, use more energy, and cost more to maintain a comfortable climate in your home. Below are some simple ways you can escape the heat and get the most out of your air conditioner so you can stay cool and save money.
Head to the Pool to Stay Cool
This is a great solution for those of you with kids who need their fill of outdoor time, even in this crazy heat. Philadelphia has more public swimming pools than any other city in the country, and many of them are free. The parks and recreation department of Philadelphia has a convenient list of public pools you can find here. Bucks county also has a list of pools and parks you can use here.
Visit Someone Else’s Air Conditioning (Get Cool with Art and Culture)
Museums are great to visit during heat waves because paintings are fragile. They need a specific humidity and temperature of 70 degrees so they don’t crumble and fade over time. The Philadelphia Museum of Art costs money to enter, but it’s free after 5pm on Wednesdays. There are also plenty of free attractions around Philadelphia like the Institute of Contemporary Art or Independence Hall. You can visit them at no charge for the air conditioning (or the art and history, up to you).
Heat waves are a perfect time to go to the mall or see that movie you’ve been wanting to watch. Sunday matinees are cheap and usually fall during peak heat hours.
If all else fails and you’re really strapped for cash, you can always hang out a friend’s house and turn down their thermostat when they aren’t looking. (Disclaimer: They might not appreciate this or remain your friend for very long if they find out what you’re doing.)
How to Optimize Your Air Conditioner
Let’s say that you have been to the public pool, have hung out in a cool museum, have been kicked out of your friend’s house for freeloading off of his air conditioning, and are now relying on your own air conditioning system. At HVAC Philly, we want you to get the most out of your air conditioner while saving as much money as you can, so here are some tips to optimize your air conditioning system.
The Golden Rule: Don’t make your system work harder than it has to
- Don’t leave any windows or doors open!
- This may seem obvious but it’s a surefire way to let that sweet conditioned air out of your house forcing your AC to work overtime. Mother nature won’t benefit from the cool air, and you’re wasting a lot of money as well as putting stress on your air conditioning system. Also, check your windows and make sure they are locked tight to minimize leakage of air conditioned air.
- Avoid setting the fan to the “On” position.
- This causes the fan to blow all the time, and it can result in moisture being blown back into your home that your system now has to dehumidify again.
- Use an Exhaust fan when cooking or showering.
- Cooking, showering, hanging clothes to dry, and other similar activities all produce moisture that causes your system work harder than it should.
- Wear light, summer clothing.
- Take a look in the mirror. What are you wearing? A long sleeved t-shirt and sweatpants might be comfy, but it probably means your AC is too low. You don’t have to walk around your house in the nude (unless you want to), but wearing lighter clothing and turning your thermostat up a degree or two will save you money in the long run.
- Don’t let the sun unnecessarily heat your house
- When the sun is high in the sky and shining through your windows, it’s heating up your house. Make sure you close the blinds where the sun is beating down.
- Don’t Light Empty Rooms
- Leaving more lights on in your house than you need wastes energy and adds heat to your rooms, so only keep the lights on that you are actively using.
- Schedule regular maintenance to keep your AC system at its best.
- At HVAC Philly, we have over 20 years of experience in Philadelphia, Bucks County, and Montgomery country servicing heating and cooling systems. Call 215-725-6111 for more information on our services and preventative maintenance plans so you can be professionally assured you are saving as much money as possible with your AC system.
Do you have any good tips to beat the heat or optimize your air conditioning? Let us know in the comments!