If you own an air conditioner, consider yourself lucky, but you're not out of the woods.

Right off of the tail end of COVID, we get hit with record-breaking heatwave temperatures across the country. (What else could go wrong?) But if you own an air conditioner, consider yourself lucky, but understand that you're not out of the woods. With extreme heat, air conditioners need a little help and care to keep them running efficiently and effectively.

Here are some tips on how to help your AC hold up during a heatwave:

Get by with a little help from a friend

Your AC can find itself working overtime during the hottest hours of the day between noon and 4 p.m. According to KARE11 news in Minnesota, where they are currently battling a massive heatwave, these helpful and simple tips will keep your house nice and cool:

  • Close drapes, blinds, and windows.
  • Open interior doors to improve air circulation.
  • Turn on a ceiling fan. (Note: make sure fan is rotating counterclockwise so cold air is pushing downward)
  • Change air conditioning filters. (Note: filter should be replaced about every 90 days)
  • Install a programmable thermostat that can be adjusted to accommodate you when you're in and out of the house. (Note: placement of your thermostat is key: on the interior wall of a highly-trafficked area is best)
  • Insulate and seal doors and windows. (Note: weather stripping can save more than 20% on cooling and heating bills)

If you can't stand the heat any longer and you're springing for an air conditioner, here are some things to know:

  • ENERGY STAR label is key. The EER is the ratio of the cooling capacity to the power input. The higher the EER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner. 
  • Proper sizing is important. Bigger isn't better when it comes to effectively cooling a certain size room. An air conditioner generally needs 20 Btu for each square foot of living space. 
  • AC unit should be level when installed and placed in an area free of lamps or televisions. 

There's a lot that one can do to try and maximize the effectiveness of an air conditioner, but when in doubt, connect with an HVAC professional. Here's to an exceptionally cool summer!

Do you have an air conditioner? Let us know how thankful you are for it in the comments.