Absolute Airflow Heating and Cooling

5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for a Hot Summer

Nov 17, 2023 Family resting on a cream modular couch as the split system above them blows out cool air.

With a warm Melbourne summer just around the corner, you may be thinking about how you’ll cope during heatwaves or those sticky nights. The good news is that you now have more options than ever to prepare your home for summer. 

Most homes that struggle with the summer heat tend to fall into two categories. Either you own an outdated system, or your home currently has no cooling systems in place at all. Regardless of where you sit, the time is now to get on the front foot.

Preparing for the summer heat is not only a matter of your health, well-being, and comfort; it’s also about energy efficiency. Rising temperatures often lead to increased energy usage and bills that force us to choose between enduring the heat or overspending to keep our homes cool.

In this article, we’ll give you some expert tips for preparing your home for a hot summer that won’t require you to choose between a comfortable temperature and affordable bills.

1. Have Your Air Conditioning System Serviced

During hot summer days, your air conditioning system plays a vital role in keeping your home cool and comfortable. This is why it’s so important to keep it in good working order. The last thing you want is for it to break down during a heatwave!

Regular air conditioner maintenance is more than a sensible thing to do; it’s a necessity. Think of it as a health check-up for your HVAC system. Routine checks prevent sudden breakdowns and keep your system operating at its peak performance.

One of the simplest tasks in this maintenance routine is changing or cleaning your air conditioner’s air filters. This task may seem insignificant, but its importance cannot be overstated. Clogged filters tend to restrict airflow in your system and cause it to work harder. This can lead to the need for more frequent repairs, as well as more energy consumption and a rise in your energy bills.

To clean your air filters, locate the air intake, remove the filters, and vacuum or hose them down to remove dust. Some air conditioning systems don’t have reusable filters, so in this case, you’ll need to replace them. We recommend cleaning or replacing your filters every 3 to 6 months, depending on the dustiness of your area.

Reach Out to a Professional

Whether you own split systems, reverse cycle, or an evaporative unit, professional HVAC servicing is generally the best way to maintain any cooling system. These experts have the knowledge, skills, and, most importantly, the technology to detect potential issues that may not be apparent to the untrained eye. Early detection of problems can prevent them from escalating into major, more costly, and time-consuming repairs.

How often should you be booking a professional service? While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, experts generally recommend a maintenance check at least once a year. However, if your system is older or if you’re noticing any unusual noises, odours, or performance drops, it’s always a good idea to call in a professional sooner rather than later.

What if there are too many issues to fix? If this is the case, it may actually be a blessing in disguise. Replacing an outdated cooling unit with a newer and more efficient alternative not only helps to keep the home cool but it also allows you to save money on power bills.   

Looking for a professional to service your air conditioning system in Coolaroo or Craigieburn? Choose Absolute Airflow, your trusted local partner.

2. Upgrade to a Newer, More Efficient System

If your air conditioning system is over 15 years old or sees a lot of heavy use, it may be time to consider upgrading. Over time, air conditioners experience wear and become less efficient. This means not only can your air conditioner less effectively cool your home, but it will also be working harder, costing you more on your energy bill. 

While an inefficient air conditioner is sometimes just in need of a repair or some deep cleaning, there comes a point where the cost of repairs is higher than the cost of installing a newer model. At this point, upgrading your HVAC system is more cost-effective and will save you money on both repairs and electricity bills.

Split Systems or Ducted?

There are many options you can choose from, but if you’re after split systems in Melbourne, two brands that we personally recommend and vouch for are Mitsubishi and Daikin. We’ve been upgrading air conditioners for clients for over 20 years, and we’ve found that these brands are both affordable and great at cooling a range of different spaces.

With everything from whisper-quiet operation to power-saving modes, smart connectivity, and even airflow, new split systems units are almost unrecognisable from the technology available just 5-10 years ago. 

What if I own a larger home? In this case, you are generally best served to invest in multi-split systems or ducted reverse cycle. Of course, there will be cost differences and benefits to each option. Doing some research on the different brands or reaching out to a heating and cooling company are two of the best ways to explore your options and ultimately, find a style that suits your home. 

3. Adjust Ceiling Fans

Despite the growing popularity of air conditioning systems, ceiling fans remain an integral part of many Australian homes. Their simple yet effective operation can create a cooler and more pleasant living environment during scorching summer days.

One of the key benefits of ceiling fans is their energy efficiency. Unlike air conditioning systems, which tend to consume significant amounts of power, ceiling fans require only a fraction of that energy, making them an economical alternative or supplement. This can be particularly beneficial for homeowners looking to reduce energy consumption without compromising comfort.

How Do Ceiling Fans Cool Your Space?

But how exactly do ceiling fans help cool your home? It’s all about the wind-chill effect. As the blades of a ceiling fan rotate, they circulate the air in the room, creating a breeze that accelerates the evaporation of sweat on your skin, making you feel cooler than the actual room temperature. This process is essentially another form of evaporative cooling. On a hot day, the gentle breeze they provide can feel incredibly refreshing.

However, there’s a little trick to maximising this cooling effect. In summer, ensure your ceiling fans are rotating counterclockwise. This pushes the cool air down and helps distribute it evenly across the room, enhancing the evaporative cooling effect and making it more comfortable.

Most ceiling fans have a small switch on their motor to adjust the direction the fan spins. On newer fans with remote controls, this function may be accessible by simply pressing a button. It’s a simple adjustment that can significantly improve the efficiency of your ceiling fan.

However, while ceiling fans are indeed effective at making you feel cooler, it’s important to note they don’t lower the room temperature. They simply improve air circulation and enhance comfort. In extremely hot weather, they work best with other cooling methods, such as air conditioning or proper home insulation.

Man points a remote control at a white, ceiling mounted fan

4. Adjust and Program Your Thermostat

Your thermostat manages the temperature of air your air conditioning system produces, but it can be challenging to know what temperature is ideal. While it’s tempting to set the temperature at 18 degrees on scorching days and leave it be, this will ultimately cost you in the long run. Instead, try to find an optimal setting that doesn’t overwork your HVAC system.

How High Should You Set Your Thermostat?

As a rule of thumb, for every degree you raise the thermostat above 22°C, you could save up to 10% on your cooling costs. If your air conditioning system is working too hard to keep the temperature low, this can also cause breakdowns or damage to the system, which, in most cases, are costly to repair.

In this sense, programmable thermostats are a game-changer. They allow you to preset temperatures for different times of the day, including overnight or when you leave for work. For instance, you can program the thermostat to a higher temperature when you’re out of the house and lower it just before you return. This way, your air conditioner isn’t working overtime during extreme heat when it’s not necessary, helping you save on your energy costs.

However, while using your thermostat in a responsible way can help with household bills and prevent further system damage, it’s still essential to consider your comfort and health first. If you have elderly or sick individuals in your home, or if you’re dealing with days of extreme heat, it’s more important to keep temperatures at a safe and comfortable level–especially during the peak of the summer heat.

If you need help fine-tuning your air conditioning thermostat in Broadmeadows or Coburg, Absolute Airflow is here to assist. Contact us today!

Woman looking too warm adjusting thermostat

5. A Few Extra Tips

Consider Your Landscaping

We often don’t think of our outdoor spaces when considering keeping our houses cool in hot weather. However, incorporating large, shade-providing trees in your landscaping can be a great way to reduce indoor temperature. By providing shade, these trees can significantly reduce the direct sunlight that reaches your home.

When selecting trees for shade, consider their size, shape, and leaf density. Deciduous trees, for example, are an excellent choice as they provide shade in summer and allow sunlight through in winter when they shed their leaves.

Close Blinds To Keep Heat Out

Once the warmer months arrive, simple adjustments to your daily routine can significantly contribute to a cooler home. An easy yet effective technique to combat the summer heat involves controlling how much direct sunlight enters your home. By opening or closing your window coverings, you can significantly increase or reduce heat entering your home.

During the sunniest hours of the day, typically between 10 AM and 4 PM, closing your blinds can prevent the harsh summer sun from warming up your rooms. Dark-coloured or blackout window coverings can be particularly effective at blocking out the sun’s heat, but remember not to rely on colour alone. Material matters, too. Opt for thicker fabrics, as these more effectively reduce not only the sunlight from entering but also create an air buffer between the hot glass of your windows and the cooler air inside.

Seal Gaps For Less Air Transfer

Ensuring your home is well-sealed can make a significant difference in making your house cooler and cost-effective.

Gaps in doors, windows or walls can allow cool air to escape while letting hot air into your living spaces, resulting in your cooling systems working overtime to keep up. This not only increases the air temperature in your home but can also lead to skyrocketing energy bills.

Identifying potential leaks involves carrying out a simple check around your window frames, doors, and vents. Look and use your hand to feel for cracks, gaps, or any signs of damage that may allow air to pass through.

Once identified, sealing these leaks can improve your home’s cooling efficiency. Weatherstripping and caulking are two easily accessible and effective methods for sealing air leaks. Weatherstripping is perfect for movable components like doors and operable windows, while caulk is ideal for stationary cracks and gaps.

Get Air Conditioning Servicing in Melbourne

As the mercury soars, preparing your home for warm weather becomes a necessity. However, despite what many might believe, this isn’t a difficult task. It’s more about being proactive and making informed decisions to keep your living space cool and comfortable while energy-efficient.

Aside from investing in a brand-new system, a well-maintained HVAC unit is your first defence against the hot summer months. Regular maintenance, including changing or cleaning the air filters, ensures the system runs optimally, providing effective cooling while conserving energy.

If you’re looking for professional air conditioning servicing and repairs in Melbourne, get in touch with Absolute Airflow. With 20 years of experience and extensive warranties on all our products and services, you can trust that we’ll provide you with a truly unbeatable result every time.To schedule servicing on your air conditioner or discuss your needs with our team, contact us today on 03 8566 9122.

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