According to the National Weather Service, Des Moines broke a 124-year-old record high temperature when it reached a blistering 101 degrees this June. The previous record high was 94 degrees.
Our hot and humid summers in Iowa are already brutal on ACs, but these record-breaking temperatures are taking things to a whole new level. We wouldn’t be surprised if you told us that your air conditioner had taken a beating due to the heat.
In the wake of this summer’s extreme heat, you’re probably wondering how you can prepare your AC for future heat waves. Fortunately, you have many options to help you stay as comfortable as possible and keep your energy bill under control.
Six of the best ways to prepare your AC for Iowa heatwaves include:
Let’s explore each of these steps further to help you prepare for any future heatwaves in Iowa.
Need a Des Moines HVAC technician to help you prep your AC for summer? Contact Golden Rule Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for AC maintenance or repair services. Our knowledgeable techs are some of the best in the Des Moines area, and we’re committed to doing what’s best for our customers.
Schedule annual maintenance
One of the best ways to prepare your AC for extreme weather is to stay on top of annual maintenance and schedule regular tune-ups. Expert HVAC technicians can spot potential issues before they become expensive repairs or your AC stops working on the hottest day of summer. During an annual maintenance visit, a technician will also make adjustments and clean the internal parts of your AC to ensure that it runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Address any issues as quickly as possible
It’s also a good idea to call a Des Moines HVAC professional if you notice any strange sounds coming from or problems with your AC. We list some common AC issues that you should never ignore below:
Your AC is making a grinding noise:
This issue means a motor is possibly wearing down and might overheat soon. In this case, you should turn off your AC and contact an HVAC professional right away.
Your AC is making a clicking noise:
Clicking can mean your AC’s capacitors are failing because of the excessive heat. When capacitors fail, the AC motors stop working.
Your house feels hotter than usual:
You might have an AC that’s starting to fail. Don’t keep pushing the thermostat lower to compensate, which will result in further stress on the AC’s components. It’s trying to tell you it’s getting close to going kaput, so get the emergency technicians in right away.
Certain areas of your home are warmer than others:
If you notice that some rooms are hotter than usual when the AC is running, the air conditioner might be losing cooling power and is on its way to failing.
Replace filters if they’re clogged or dirty.
If your AC filters are clogged or dirty, you should swap them out for new ones right away. Also, be prepared to change them every month or two during the summer months, especially if you run your AC often or have furry friends at home.
Clean filters can lower your AC’s energy consumption by up to 15%. That means you’ll keep more money in your pocket and have a more comfortable home during these hot Iowa summers.
Set a home cooling schedule.
If you have a programmable thermostat in your Iowa home, set a cooling schedule to prevent your AC from running on full blast while you and your family are away at work or school. Consider programming the schedule for your AC to kick on an hour or two before you anticipate being home and to shut off shortly after you go to bed.
No programmable thermostat? You may want to think about installing one to improve your AC’s efficiency and reduce your bills.
Unfortunately, even the best air conditioner has its limits. If it’s more than 100 degrees outside, it can only do so much to cool your home. Keeping your thermostat set to the highest temperature possible while still staying comfortable will help reduce your electric bill and decrease excessive wear and tear on your AC.
Invest in duct sealing or repair services.
If you have tears or holes in your ductwork, your cooled air may escape before it reaches its intended destination within your home, resulting in inadequate cooling in the summer.
In fact, according to Energy Star, about 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through the duct system of a typical house is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. Air duct repairs and sealing can improve the functioning of your HVAC system and make your home more comfortable, even during some of the worst heatwaves in Iowa history.
Consider replacing your AC.
The typical lifespan of a central air conditioner is about 15 to 20 years. However, even if your air conditioner is only ten years old, you could save 20% to 40% of your cooling energy costs if you choose to replace it with a newer, higher-efficiency model.
So, how can you tell if you need a new AC? Consider the following factors:
Your AC’s age:
If your air conditioner is at least 15 years old, you should start thinking about replacing it, even if it still seems to be working the way it should. An air conditioner that’s 20 years old is in grave danger of a breakdown at any time.
High monthly energy bill:
An increase in your regular cooling bills over the last few years is a good sign that your AC isn’t as efficient as it used to be and is getting close to the end of its life.
Any single repair that would cost half the price of replacing the system is not worth doing. If the cumulative price for repairs in one year is $500 or more, that's also too much, and you should have a new system put in instead.
If you want a professional opinion about replacing the air conditioning system, call an HVAC technician in the Des Moines area. They can help you determine if you need a new air conditioner and guide you towards the best new system to have installed.
Need a reliable HVAC technician near Des Moines?
Call Golden Rule Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today to schedule service. We apply the golden rule to everything we do by treating others as we’d like to be treated. That means you can trust us to provide fair and honest pricing for AC maintenance and repairs to keep you cool all summer long.