Keeping Your Home Cool during the Sweltering, Summer Months

2 Great Ways To Upgrade Your Air Conditioner

by Anthony Graves

During the scalding summer months, you might not give your air conditioner a second thought unless it sputters to a halt. However, you might be able to eliminate some of your common HVAC complaints by adding a few fixtures to your system. Here are two great ways to upgrade your air conditioner so that you can create a more comfortable home:

1: Make It Smart

After your wealthy friends show off their nifty home automation system, you might start shopping for an air conditioner that you can control from the palm of your hand. However, if you are like most people, the steep price tag might be enough to prompt you to kiss the idea goodbye.  

Fortunately, you can transform your old air conditioner into a smart system by installing a single, wall-mounted, computerized thermostat. Smart thermostats use infrared technology and your home Internet connection to track indoor temperatures and connect to your smartphone. In addition to being incredibly convenient, these systems offer these benefits:

  • Save Energy: By interfacing with your phone's GPS system, your smart thermostat can track your location and turn off when you leave home. Instead of paying to cool a home when nobody is around, you can run your air conditioner when it will actually count. Believe it or not, you can even set your system to turn back on when you are a certain distance from home, so that your place is cool when you arrive.
  • Track Errors: When your air conditioner starts having trouble, it isn't always easy to relay the information to repair professionals. Fortunately, smart thermostats can track error codes, so that your HVAC pro can target and resolve issues more efficiently.  
  • More Accurate: If your thermostat is near a door, window, or direct sunlight, it might have a hard time evaluating the average temperature of your entire home. However, some smart thermostats use additional sensors, so that they can adjust the temperature more accurately.

Another benefit to adding a smart thermostat is that they are easy to upgrade in the future. Instead of having to replace your entire air conditioner, you can simply switch out your thermostat with the latest and greatest edition.   

2: Add A Dehumidifier

Depending on where you live, heat might only be a small portion of the problem. In addition to pumping cooled air throughout your home, you might also be wondering how to make your house less humid. Fortunately, you can add dehumidifier units onto your air conditioner that will pull additional moisture out of the air.

Dehumidifiers work by moving air over cooled coils, where the moisture present in the air condenses. The collected water is either routed back outside, or held in a reservoir that the homeowner can dump. In addition to making it easier to do your hair in the morning, adding a dehumidifier might also help in these ways:  

  • Mold Control: Mold thrives in warm, moist environments. Unfortunately, as mold grows, it develops dangerous spores that can become airborne. However, by adding a dehumidifier, you can keep mold to a minimum so that you can keep your family safe.
  • Adjusts "Feels Like" Temperature: Your body relies on sweat to cool itself. Unfortunately, when the air is humid, your internal cooling system is less effective. Consequently, a humid environment makes the temperature feel higher than it really is. For example, in a 75°F room, 0% humidity makes the space feel like 69°F, while 100% humidity would make the exact same room feel like it is 80°F. Fortunately, if you have a dehumidifier, you can control the relative humidity, so that you can run your system less frequently.

Before you shop for a dehumidifier, take the time to research the average annual humidity in your area. Keep in mind that humidity levels over 45-50% are considered high.

Instead of trashing your old air conditioner, carefully consider upgrades that might make your system more efficient. By investing a little bit of money, you might be able to get a few extra years out of that unit. Click here for more information about maximizing your air conditioning system's abilities.