Summer is perfect for spending time outdoors. Barbecues, celebrations, sporting events, and so much more are happening every weekend and you love spending the extra time with family and friends. But when the summer heat of Lufkin, Texas, finally gets the best of you, you deserve a cool haven to come home to. Consistently comfortable homes, however, require more work than just turning on the air conditioning. These keys to summer comfort, ranging from one time tasks to regular habits, will have you never wanting to venture into the heat again.
Seal Your Home
The first step to building a summer sanctuary is to secure your home's perimeter. Your home is encased in something called a thermal envelope that consists of your home's walls, windows, ceilings—basically everything that separates the air inside your home from the air outside. Unfortunately, gaps sometimes form in this thermal envelope, allowing cool air in your home to escape and warm outside air to enter. This quickly warms your home, making you uncomfortable and making it more difficult for your air conditioner to cool things down.
The most troubling thing about leaks in your thermal envelope is that you rarely know they exist until you've already endured too much discomfort and higher utility bills. The most common leaks in a thermal envelope often form around windows, doors, and in unfinished attics and garages. Identify leaks by feeling for drafts and looking for extra dirt and dust in the these areas, then seal them with caulk, weatherstrips, expanding foam (for leaks around plumbing pipes in the attic), or extra insulation.
Conduct HVAC Maintenance
If you haven't already done it this year, now's the time to get professional maintenance on your HVAC system. Your air conditioner can be easy to forget, as long as it's working well, but it's really the center of comfort and efficiency in your home. We recommend that you receive maintenance at least twice a year, preferably in the spring and fall, but if you missed it this spring, now is better than never!
During a maintenance appointment, HVAC technicians will check your system for issues, clean components, and complete necessary repairs. Maintenance ensures that your system is running at its peak performance and can reliably and consistently keep you comfortable. When your maintenance is complete, don't forget to establish a schedule for recurring appointments, so that you can ensure comfort no matter what the season.
With the hot weather of summer comes higher humidity levels. We may not have it as bad as some do in other places, but it's well worth your attention if you want to maintain comfort in your home. High humidity levels can exacerbate mold and mildew growth as well as make air feel warmer than it actually is.
But if high humidity is an issue in your home, don't think you should just get rid of it completely, because low humidity can cause just as many, albeit different, problems. Instead, you need to take control of humidity by keeping your home properly ventilated, especially wet areas like the bathroom.
Check HVAC Size
If you try all these things and still don't feel as comfortable as you'd like, it will be worth your while to have your HVAC system size checked. Air conditioners are not one size fits all, and an HVAC system that isn't properly sized for the needs of your home will either never completely cool your home if it's too small, or it will short-cycle so often that its efficiency will drop and it'll die early if it's too large. Have an HVAC technician check your system to see if it adequately meets the cooling load requirements of your home.
These four keys to comfort will get you on your way to building a cool summer haven. When all else fails, you can always keep yourself cool by drinking plenty of cool drinks, dressing for the weather, and avoiding using your oven. Let us do our part in building your summer haven by calling McWilliams and Son Heating and Air Conditioning at 936-465-9191.
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