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Ask an Expert:

Home and Property Maintenance - Beat the Heat

Welcome to Ask an Expert: Home and Property Maintenance. Each month our featured home and property expert will answer questions that provide information, tips and advice on a medley of homeowner topics. We hope to help our readers gain new insights into a variety of local home service professionals, services and products. Our goal is to make maintaining your home easier and empower you with the knowledge that you need to be a successful homeowner in the TableRock lake area. Let’s get started.

Who is our August expert?

“Tyrel Middleton, Service Manager with AireServ Heating and Air Conditioning of Springfield/Branson.”

Why is my air conditioner not cooling my house below 80 degrees?

“Common issues that can prevent your air conditioning unit from properly cooling down your home may include a dirty air filter, a slow refrigerant leak, a blocked condensing unit, ducts leaking inside the home, or an undersized or older air conditioning unit. A great air conditioner is only going to be able to cool your home about 20 degrees cooler than the current outside temperature.”

Can you give our readers 10 tips to help cool their homes during a heat wave?

“Sure! There are a few things homeowners can do that will save money, conserve energy and keep their homes a little cooler during extreme Summer temperatures.”

  • Set the thermostat higher. In extreme temperatures it’s best to set your thermostat to 75-78 degrees (or higher) and learn to live with a little heat. It will reduce the stress on your system.

  • Turn the fan switch to the “on” position. Turning your fan switch to the “on” position instead of leaving it on “auto” helps circulate the air in your home. This can also help with the temperature differences in 2 story homes. It will also use less energy.

  • Keep shades closed on hot days. The natural shade of trees as well as closed curtains/shades keep the home cooler. Shades or blinds closed on the sunny side of the house will help cool your home on really hot days.

  • Close off unused rooms to conserve energy. Close the air vents in unused rooms or bathrooms. Close the doors in those rooms too. It will conserve energy and force the cool air to stay in the occupied areas of your home. This small effort can help lower the temperature in your home by a few degrees.

  • Using ceiling fans to keep cool. Ceiling fans cool the occupants, not the air. A ceiling fan (or floor fan) will move the air in your home and make you feel cooler. This enables you to set your thermostat higher so that your system doesn’t need to work as hard. You also want to make sure the fan’s blades are turning counterclockwise. This creates a breeze and circulates cool air downward.

  • Avoid using appliances during extreme heat. Using the oven, stove, dishwasher or dryer on hot days will add heat into an already warm environment. Try to use those appliances when the outside temperatures are cooler. Think morning and evening, not mid-day when the heat is usually the most aggressive.

  • Check your attic and garage insulation. Insulating materials work by reducing the heat flow throughout your home. The less insulation in your home, the more vulnerable it is to extreme temperatures.

  • Hose down the HVAC unit. The evaporating water keeps the unit cool and working at its best. You can also set up a timed sprinkler or mister nearby that will not use too much water but will routinely wet the unit. This will avoid overheating.

  • Properly maintain your air conditioning unit for maximum efficiency. Maintaining your air conditioning system will result in years of comfort in your home and should keep your utility bills more reasonable. We see a lot of system interruptions because the components are being stressed.

  • Consider upgrading your air conditioning system. According to ENERGY.GOV, if your AC unit is older than 10 years old, you should think about replacing it. Although an air conditioner can last up to 20 years in a normal environment, it loses about 40% of its efficiency after 10 years. Newer technology can also save on cooling costs when upgrading.

Wow! Thanks for all the expert advice. Do you have any specials for our readers this month?

“You bet! If you mention this article we will give you a tune-up and safety inspection for only $59.00. That service is regularly $129.00. It’s a great deal for Lost on The Lake readers.

By: Christal Valbracht


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