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Keep your air conditioner cool in high heat

The Omaha-Lincoln area is getting an early taste of summer this weekend. Temperatures are expected to climb into the mid- to upper 90s and stay there through at least Tuesday.

Keep your air conditioner cool during high heatWith that in mind, it’s time to take a look at your air conditioner to make sure it’s running properly and will keep you cool.

First and foremost, when temps soar, don’t turn your thermostat way down to help your house cool more quickly. This does NOT work, according to Clear the Air Cooling and Heating in Houston, TX.

“AC units only have two settings – off and on,” according to Clear the Air. “When your thermostat detects your house has warmed too far past your setting, the AC unit kicks in and will run until the thermostat detects the house has cooled enough. ”

Turning your thermostat way down only makes the air conditioner run for a longer time.

What will help is keeping your air conditioner clean. First, check the furnace filter to make sure it’s not dirty or clogged. Replace the filter if needed.

Then check the outside unit. Cotton from cottonwood trees started to fly this week, and this can block the air flow. Hose down your AC when it’s off to clean it out.

Trim back any grass or shrubs around your unit to keep air flowing freely.

Other suggestions from Clear the Air to beat the heat and keep things cool:

  • Turn off the pilot light in your fireplace.
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer full. All of those cold items will hold cold air in, and your fridge won’t have to work as hard. “When the cooling system is running on your fridge, it is producing warm air in your home,” according to Clear the Air.
  • Take shorter showers. Be sure to run the fan while showering to reduce humidity.
  • Use the dishwasher and clothes dryer in off-peak times, such as early morning or later in the evening. And keep the lint trap and dryer vent clean.
  • Shut off the drying cycle on the dishwasher. Open the door and let dishes air dry instead.

AmeriSpec inspectors have other suggestions on how to help your A/C keep its cool in the heat. And here are some tips for troubleshooting if you have problems with your air conditioner.

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