Differing factors account for your home comfort in the summer and the winter. Let's take a look at some of the things you should be paying attention to now as the long, hot summer proceeds so that you can maximize your comfort without your utility bills going through the roof.
Humidity is one of the major factors affecting comfort in the summertime. When your home's relative humidity exceeds 50-55 percent, you will experience difficulty cooling off, as moist air inhibits the evaporation of perspiration on our skin and its subsequent "wind chill" effect. Humid conditions in the home's interior may occur for a number of reasons, such as these:
Ceiling and plumbing leaks
Air conditioner not dehumidifying properly (dirty air filters and condenser coils may contribute to this)
Activities such as cooking, showering, clothes washing and drying
Poor or no exhaust ventilation
You can lower humidity by fixing leaks, changing filters and having coils cleaned, limiting moisture-producing activities and installing exhaust ventilation.
If your air conditioner isn't in good working order, it may not increase your comfort to keep turning the thermostat down, down, down. Many factors can be at play when an A/C doesn't cool, among them:
A/C is wrong size.
Air filter is dirty.
Ductwork is poorly designed, or may be leaking air.
A/C refrigerant is leaking.
While you can change the filter regularly, fixing the other situations may be more challenging -- particularly getting the right size A/C. Whenever it's time to replace your A/C, make sure it's neither too large nor too small.
You may not be that aware of your home's indoor air quality, but a summertime accumulation of airborne pollutants, such as pollen, pet dander, chemical particulates, dust mites, dust and mold can actually make you sick. Switch to a good quality, pleated air filter (rated MERV -- minimum efficiency reporting value -- 8-12) in your HVAC system and vacuum often with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter.
For more on home comfort, contact Air Assurance of Broken Arrow. We've provided quality products and service in the Tulsa area since 1985.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.