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Wondering how to make your air conditioner run colder? Let’s make one important distinction first. An air conditioner cools your home by taking the heat out, not by adding coldness. Once the heat energy has been extracted from interior air and conveyed outdoors, cool comfort is simply the state that’s left behind. The effectiveness of an air conditioner is assessed by its capacity to handle your home's cooling load: the amount of BTUs of heat energy the unit must transfer outdoors every hour to keep temperatures at a comfortable level. While it's not possible to make an A/C perform beyond its manufactured specifications, making sure it doesn’t fall below its rated capacity is very possible. The answer to how to make your air conditioner run colder comes down to a few simple DIY steps.

  1. Keep the outdoor condenser coil clear of dust and debris. Cut off electrical power to the unit at the main switch or breaker box and use a garden hose to wash leaves and dirt accumulation off the coil inside the outdoor cabinet periodically. Also make sure weeds, shrubbery or other vegetation are not blocking the cabinet air vents.
  2. Put in a new air filter every month during cooling season. Filters are inexpensive, and the increased household comfort and energy efficiency gains are worth every cent. If you don’t know the location of your filter and/or how to change it, ask your HVAC contractor to show you how it’s done.
  3. Find and fix air leaks in your home. It’s not rocket science — it’s caulking and weatherstripping. Gaps and cracks in the structure allow heat energy to infiltrate during summer (and escape in winter.) Gaps around the movable surfaces of doors and windows can be closed with adhesive-backed weatherstripping tape. Cracks where walls meet the ceiling and floor, as well as air leaks where plumbing pipes, electrical conduits or vents enter the structure can be filled with caulking or expandable spray foam in a can.

Gilman Heating & Cooling has helped keep its Richmond customers comfortable since 1917. Ask us for more advice about how to make your air conditioner run colder this summer.

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