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5 Tips for Surviving the Summer Heat Wave in Vancouver

After a long winter, most folks look forward to summer—long evenings in the yard, the sun on your skin. Sometimes, though, summer’s high temperatures can get pretty uncomfortable. In the summer of 2021, Washington hit record-high temperatures. And in the future, summer temperatures in the Pacific Northwest are expected to remain well above historical averages.
What does that mean for you? Well, if you haven’t updated your home cooling system in a while, it could mean a whole lot of discomfort when the temperatures hit triple digits. Air conditioner installation in Vancouver could mean the difference between dreading or enjoying your summer more. Here’s our guide to surviving the summer heat waves.

1. AC

First things first—do you have air conditioning? Until recently, summers in the Pacific Northwest have been fairly moderate. Now, though, keeping your home temperate in the summer is more than just a luxury. It could mean the difference between a good night’s sleep and restless, sweaty tossing and turning. Today’s home air conditioning systems are lightyears beyond the clunky window units you may have relied on during previous heatwaves. Residential air conditioning systems can now heat as well as cool, meaning they can provide a constant and consistent level of comfort in your home all year.
If you’ve been putting off this important upgrade to your home, contact a professional like Entek about air conditioner installation in Vancouver as soon as possible. Professional installation comes with professional guarantees and superior products. Plus, once you’ve gotten a free estimate, you may realize that year-round comfort is more affordable than you thought.

2. Help Your AC Keep Its Cool

If you’ve already had air conditioning installed, congratulations! You’re on your way to a summer full of comfort and relaxation. It’s important to remember, though, that when the temperature skyrockets, your air conditioner has to work harder to keep your house cool. You can help your system stay frosty by making a few easy adjustments. First, give your AC unit a little shade. If any part of your HVAC system lives outdoors, giving it some shade during the day will help it cool your home with less effort.
It’s also a good idea to look around your cooling system and clear it of any grass, weeds, or bushes that might have sprung up during the rainy months. Debris around your vents can make it more difficult for the system to expel warm air.
Lastly, make sure your thermostat is free to do its job. That means keeping anything that produces heat away from your thermostat. Televisions, direct sunlight, and lamps can all cause your thermostat to think it’s warmer than it really is. Keep your energy bill down by keeping the area around your thermostat clear.

3. Routine Maintenance

There’s a lot you can do to maintain your air conditioner on your own. Changing the air filter, for instance, is an easy way to improve air quality and efficiency. It’s quite easy to change an air filter. Keep in mind that in the summer months when your system is working hard (and when occasional forest fires damage the air quality outdoors), you should check your air filter every 30 days. You can also check the health of your air conditioner just by running it. Are there any leaks or funny smells? If so, you’ll want to check your ducts for any obvious signs of damage.

4. Professional Maintenance

There are some bits of maintenance that you may not want to do on your own. While inspecting your ducts is a task you can do yourself, you may need a professional to have those ducts cleaned. If you’ve had your HVAC system for a while and you’ve never had your ducts cleaned, they could be really dirty. Your air filter can only trap so much of the airborne material coming through your ductwork. Ducts can become home to dust mites, rodents, and insects when your system is not in use. Having them professionally cleaned is a must.
You’ll also want to consider preventative care for your HVAC system. Scheduling an appointment for professional assessment and maintenance before it gets too hot will help you avoid the summer rush. An HVAC professional can help diagnose and repair the weak areas of your HVAC system before they become a full-blown emergency. The last thing you want is to realize there’s a problem with your air conditioner when you’re frantically trying to cope with an extreme heatwave.
An HVAC professional can check for and replace dirty filters, coils, or fans. They can also check your energy consumption to make sure your unit is working as efficiently as possible. Leaks around your ductwork, doors, and windows could mean that you’re paying to cool the whole neighborhood. An HVAC professional will know exactly what to look for to make sure that’s not the case.

5. Consider an Upgrade

If you know your cooling system is on its last legs, don’t prolong your misery. Older models need to work much harder to cool your home, which may mean that you’re spending more on utilities than you need to. There are federal and state tax credits, rebates, and incentives to encourage homeowners to upgrade to more efficient systems. Professional HVAC companies are familiar with these incentives and can help you figure out how to take advantage of them.
Even if you’re not in the market for an upgrade, consider investing in a programmable thermostat. With these thermostats, you can program your air conditioner to rest when you know you’ll be away from home. Not great with programming things? No problem. Most smart thermostat models can connect to your phone. That way, your thermostat knows automatically when you’re not in the house.
This summer, a little preparation can mean that you’re cool, calm, and comfortable when that heatwave hits. Whether you’re in the market for an air conditioner, an HVAC upgrade, or simply routine maintenance—get in touch with a group of HVAC professionals like the ones at Entek in Vancouver and start your summer off right.

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