how to handle HOT summer days

We live in a region where we are fortunate enough to experience all four of the seasons. Though it is great to see these changes around us, temperatures can be extreme in two of those seasons. We are currently in the hot season of summer. While seeing and feeling the sun is nice, it can tend to bring discomfort on the hottest of days. Imagine walking through your front door at the end of a busy workday looking for relief from the heat to realize your house is just about as hot inside as it is outside. Here is the BIG question: “My AC is on, and set for cold, so why is my house still so hot?” Let’s explore some tips for staying cool this summer, in case you find yourself in a similar situation.

outdoor thermometer on a sunny day

what goes up must come down

Isaac Newtons Law of Gravity works for objects thrown, but not for hot air. The hot air in your home will stay at the highest point in your rooms or home. If you have a second floor, it will most likely stay warmer in the summer months that your first floor or basement levels. You can help remove this heat by opening your return air vents that are higher up on your walls, which in turn will draw the cooler air up.

another “shade” of improvement

Rooms of your home that are Northward facing will stay cooler as the day goes on since it only receives morning sun. Your southern exposed rooms will stay warmer as the day grows longer. So, plan according for these areas of your home, if your property is not graced with large shade trees to help block the sun. Keeping your shades drawn or installing blackout-style curtains will help keep those hot rooms cooler.

location, location, location

Believe it or not, your air conditioning system has 2 parts, 1 part outside and 1 part inside. The indoor portion is the part we want to explore. The indoor coil is often times found in either the basement or the attic. Your basement is naturally cooler, sitting below grade and your attic roof is against direct sunlight. If your attic is not insulated, these spaces can reach 10-20 degrees hotter than the outside temperature, Ex: On a 90* ambient day, your attic space could see 110*. Don’t fret, your system will work as hard as it can in the heat of day.

just cool it

We all like to be comfortable, but keep in mind that your thermostat does not work like a gas pedal. For instance, the gas pedal in your car works on the principle that the farther you push it the faster you will go. Your thermostat does not work like this. So by pushing that down arrow and seeing your desired temperature go lower, your air conditioner does not magically give you colder air faster. It will take time to reach your desired temperature setting, that is if you are asking it do cool to a reasonable temp. Most air conditioning systems are only able to cool within 18-20 degrees of the outdoor temperate. For example on a 90* ambient day, your AC will do its best to maintain 72* inside.

Our hope is that by helping you to understand a little more about your home and your air conditioner, that you can enjoy the summer season a bit more. We know that there are times where things do break and don’t work properly and our customer service team and team of skilled technicians is here to help you with your comfort needs. Lancaster County customers can call our office at (717) 626-7169 to request service or HVAC installation estimates.

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