Tips to Cool Your Home | AC Tuneup

The summer months take their toll on our electrical bills. In the following, we offer some tips to help cool your home and reduce energy costs as the temperatures rise. From simple tips to an AC tuneup and more, you’ll find some tips to help reduce your electrical bill this summer.

AC Tuneup Tip #1: Windows

The average window allows sunlight to enter your home creating heat. Use blinds and/or curtains to block the sun’s heat from entering your home. This is especially important on southern and western facing windows. It is also helpful to keep in mind that white reflects sunlight. White or light-colored curtains, shades, or blinds will work best as dark colors absorb the heat from the sun.

Consider adding solar or UV  tint film to windows, it works amazingly well! If you can only do a few, choose those on the southern and western exposure.

AC Tuneup Tip #2: Cooking

Cooking adds heat to the home when you use the oven. Consider microwavable meals, cool salads, cooking in the early hours, or even grilling outdoors. This will reduce the time the air conditioner will be required to run.

Reduce Phantom Energy Use

Appliances that are not in use continue to use small amounts of electricity, this is called Phantom loads. Turn off unused and unnecessary items such as lights, TVs, lamps,and fans or ceiling fans in empty rooms. Fans don’t help cool a room, they just make you feel cooler without changing the actual temperature. It may seem like a small reduction, but over time it adds up.

Tip #3: Use Fans

Fans provide some relief from the heat. As previously noted, they don’t actually cool the room temperature down. Instead, they make you feel cooler by evaporating moisture from your skin. You can use ceiling fans, portable fans or window fans for this effect. A window fan will be more effective if it draws air into the home from a shaded area. Shaded areas typically offer temperatures as much as 20 degrees cooler than air temperature.

Most ceiling fans provide a reversible switch. The desired summer direction pushes the air down in a counter clockwise direction. Remember fans don’t cool a room down, so turn them off when the room is unoccupied to save energy.

Tip #4: AC Tuneup

An AC tuneup is a job for your HVAC technician. If you haven’t had your AC maintenance provided already, give us a call. An AC tuneup ensures your air conditioner is working efficiently, is less likely to break down in the summer heat. It also provides its best performance, to maximize your comfort while saving you money.  During the tuneup, your technician will identify any needs. While not typically an annual task, over time the coils will require a cleaning. Clean coils are necessary for proper operation and cooling. The drain may also need cleaning or other repair may be required. Your technician will inspect, test and inform you of any requirements identified.

AC units require an annual AC tuneup, while heat pumps should receive maintenance biannually, preferably spring and fall. The failure to provide maintenance can result in more frequent breakdowns, a reduced service life, and poor efficiency.

Tip #5: Routinely Replace Air Filters

Replacing or cleaning the air filter is an extremely important task. The frequency depends on the type of filter. Your typical fiberglass filter should be replaced each month, while pleated filters average a recommended change every three months. Check your filter more often during dusty conditions such as when pollen is present, remodeling or dusty outdoor conditions. A clean filter helps to ensure the service life of your AC unit, and efficient performance.

Tip #6: Sealing the Envelope

The “envelope” is the barrier between your indoor home and outdoor conditions. Closing gaps and cracks is a simple and effective way to save energy. Use caulking to fill gaps and cracks. Weather stripping seals doors and window sashes. Check both the attic and basement for air leaks. Use expanding foam of caulking to seal small cracks and gaps.

In the attic, check the level of insulation. Typically, if you can see the ceiling joists, insulation needs to added. Insulation can be inadequate in older homes, and can settle in any.

Additional Energy Savings Tips

  • A quick way to cut your power bill is to switch to LED bulbs. They also tend to last longer than standard incandescent bulbs. Even better, use natural lighting when possible. Outdoors, replace post lamps with LED bulbs, and you won’t be on a ladder as often to change them.
  • Wash laundry in cold water in the evening, and use the dryer when peak usage hours aren’t occurring. You can also consider line or rack drying outdoors.
  • Adjust the thermostat to 78 degrees.
  • Close the flue on fireplaces.
  • Use the air dry cycle on the dishwasher.
  • Turn off bathroom and kitchen ventilation fans when not in use.
  • Install a programmable thermostat.
  • Dress lightly to feel more comfortable.
  • When its time to replace major appliances, invest in Energy Star.
  • Inspect ducts if you can, ensuring seals are intact. Missing seals can mean your cooling the basement or attic space. Broken duct seals can be responsible for a loss of 30% of energy. Insulating the ducts when possible, helps to ensure air delivered remains cool.


The biggest consumers of energy in your home are the hot water heater, the refrigerator and the HVAC system. An AC tuneup can improve your units efficiency, and Metro Express Service is here to assist you. Give us a call today for your HVAC needs.


Randy Murphy

Randy Murphy has been building his knowledge of the air conditioning and heating business for several years now. He first started applying his knowledge while working for his father’s HVAC company. Later, in 1987, Randy started his own business: Metro Express Service. He has been a top 10 Trane & Amana dealer for over eight years. When it comes to heating and cooling, Randy knows the business better than anyone.
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