If your air conditioning system struggles to cool your home in the late afternoon, it's time to take action. Outdoor temperatures tend to be the warmest between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. in most locations. The radiant energy produced by the sun can build up inside the attic especially and wreak havoc on the rest of the home by making hotter. The excessive heat gain forces your air conditioning system to work overtime to remove it. The outdoor unit can also make it hard to keep your home cool if you don't maintain it properly. But with the right tips, you can keep your home comfortable.
Barricade Your Attic Against Heat Gain
Attic heat gain is one of the reasons homes stay hot in the summer. One of the things you might do is add a heat-blocking or absorbing barrier along the ceiling, rafters and walls of the attic.
Radiant, or heat, barriers are unique types of insulation that help attics cool off in the summer and stay warm in the winter. In the summer months, the barriers reflect or push back heat from the sun as it strikes the surfaces of your roof. The barriers come in different materials, but aluminum foil is one of the most common types used today. An HVAC contractor can examine your attic and install the material in the correct places for you.
After you barricade your attic against heat gain from the sun, take steps to improve your outdoor air conditioning unit's performance.
Keep Your Outdoor AC Unit Well Maintained
If you haven't done so this year, clean your cooling system's outdoor unit. Be sure to wash down the condenser coil every spring to prepare it for summer's hot heat. The coil rejects heat from your system, but dirt can build up on its surfaces and prevent heat from leaving it. Also, check the refrigerant levels to ensure that the unit works well during operation. If you can't access the refrigerant lines, have your HVAC contractor do it for you.
Finally, keep the grass around the outdoor unit low and free of flowers and weeds. These objects can block the flow of air through the condenser coil if they grow inside the unit or too high around it. You may want to do this every time you mow your lawn so that you don't forget to do so.
For more information about cooling down your hot attic or maintaining your outdoor unit, contact companies like Jackson Heating & Cooling.