Angie's List has tips for keeping cool come summer

Keeping cool in summer involves more than just cranking your A/C unit. In today’s Angie’s List report, we’ll learn some tips to lower your energy bills and maximize efficiency.

The air conditioner is one of the hardest working elements of your home in the summer, but you can take some steps to ease up the stress and increase your comfort at the same time.

Angie Hicks, Angie’s List Founder, says, “Air leaks can cause your air conditioner to have to work a lot harder during the summer months, so I’s a good idea to have your home evaluated and resealed.”

Dan Welklin,of Precision Comfort Systems, says seasonal maintenance is the key to long HVAC life.

Dan Welklin, Precision Comfort Systems says, “The most forward thinking you can do to avoid a summer breakdown or winter breakdown is to have the annual maintenance. There are a lot of things that we can find ahead of time. You’re so much better off having us fix it while we’re there for maintenance than on the hottest summer day.”

Some of the most effective cooling techniques are the simplest – such as blocking out sunlight from the home.

Welklin says, “The easiest thing you can do, and very little expense, is simply close the blinds or the curtains. That is a no-cost option and it is a significant savings.”

You should also take action yourself to check on potential problems.

“Of course, check your air filter, you’ve heard that several times, as well as go outside and check the outdoor unit to make sure there’s no grass clippings, leave or other dirt,” says Welkin

Additionally, think twice before opening your home on a cool night.

Welkin also says, “You will maybe get some cool air, but it will also bring in a tremendous amount of humidity that the air conditioner will have to remove the next day.”

In fact, you should keep an eye out for potential humidity invasion points, such as open vents in a crawlspace

“Open vents in the summer with outdoor air into a cool space brings in a lot of moisture from the outside, and that moisture condenses on all cool surfaces,” said Welkin

Experts also suggest leaving your fan settings on “auto” during the summer. Having the fan on all the time cycles moisture back into your home and makes your air conditioner work harder.