Rosie on the House

Rosie on the House

Maintain It

Have an air conditioning technician come to your home every spring before it gets too hot and check your system out. The earlier you catch a problem and repair it, the smaller than problem will remain.

Add Insulation

To your attic or crawlspace so hot air doesn’t get in the house. The warmer the home’s air, the harder the air conditioner has to work. The harder it works, the quicker it will wear out. Attic insulation should be between 12 to 14 inches deep.

Make Sure Unit's Right Size

Bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to A/C. A room air conditioner that’s too big for the room it’s supposed to cool won’t operate as efficiently as a smaller one that’s the right size. For more information on choosing an AC unit that is right for your home, visit Rosie’s Air Conditioning Consumer Guide.

Install A Whole-House Fan

It will keep your home cool without using the air conditioner on days when the sun’s not too hot or overnight when the outside air is cooler than the inside air.

Install Ceiling Fans

Or if you have them already, turn them on. Ceiling fans move the air so you’ll feel cooler, which will let you raise your thermostat a few degrees without noticing any difference in your comfort. One important note regarding ceiling fans, they cool people, not the room. Be sure to only use them when the room is in use.

Keep Heat Emitting Objects

Away from The Thermostat

The thermostat can “feel” the heat from appliances and will respond by running longer than necessary. Household items such as TVs and lamps, for example, should be kept at a good distance as to not influence the temperature your thermostat is reading.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Be sure you set it to automatically raise the thermostat a few degrees when you leave for work in the morning and again when you go to bed at night. You can also set it to cool the house before you get home from work or wake up in the morning. Additionally, with a programmable thermostat you can try out super cooling by purchasing energy when it is cheapest.

Plant Shrubs Near Outdoor Unit

If you do, it will use up to 10 percent less electricity. A tip: Don’t plant so close to the unit that the shrubs block its air flow.

Block the Sun from Windows

Sunlight shining uninhibited into your home can warm a room more than one might imagine, especially during the summers here. Install sun screens or apply sun-blocking film on east- and west-facing windows, and close drapes or blinds on hot, sunny days.

Replace A/C Filter Monthly

Switch to a 1-inch pleated filter, which costs around $5 and will keep more dust and dirt away from your air conditioning unit than a cheaper, flat filter.

Replace Incandescent Light Bulbs With compact fluorescent bulbs

Incandescent gives off more heat than light, and that can make your room feel warmer. CFLs are cool to the touch, use 75 percent less energy and last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

For more do-it-yourself tips, go to rosieonthehouse.com. An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program, heard locally from 10 to 11 a.m. on KNST-AM (790AM) in Tucson and from 8 to 11 a.m. on KGVY-AM (1080AM) and -FM (101.5FM) in Green Valley. Call 888-767-4348 with questions!