A/C efficiency tips for keeping cool in the summer heat

A/C efficiency tips for keeping cool in the summer heat

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - We've seen dangerously high temperatures this summer, and we haven't seen the end of it yet.

That also means you're probably running your air conditioning to its limits. And like any system, that A/C needs a break if you want it to last.

Local A/C companies are getting inundated with service calls to fix units. If your system breaks down Monday night, it could be this time next week before it can get fixed, depending on the company and situation.

"When it gets up to be 100, your air conditioner can still be running, and you may not even realize it," said Roger Norwood, owner of Brunson Heating and Air in Pooler.

He says they've even gotten "false alarm" calls from people who think their A/C is broken. It's just that hot.

"A lot of people's air conditioners are still working fine, it's just not built for 100 degrees," said Norwood.

In fact, in the Savannah area, most air systems are only designed for 93 degree heat.

"So anytime it gets above 93, you're beyond your designed set point," said Norwood. "It starts
encroaching, and you start losing capacity and things like that."

To keep your home efficiently cooled, Norwood says to keep your blinds and doors closed, limit the amount of outside air you let in the house and to avoid adjusting your thermostat when at work.

Turning the thermostat warmer or shutting it off during the day may save a few dollars, but it can actually make things worse when outside temperatures approach 100.

"You need to keep it set at the point that you normally would if you're going to bank on it being that temperature when you get home," Norwood said.

"When temperatures get to the upper 90s, people realize just what that does to a body, particularly to an aging person," said Roger Smith, a program director at Senior Citizens, Inc.

The senior-focused non-profit has seen an increase in demand for fans this year. They collect and supply fans like this to low-income elderly people in the Savannah area. They've already given out 400 so far this year.

"Here at Senior Citizens, Incorporated have always had the mission of helping people age successfully, and in seasons like this, that's even more important," said Smith.
If you're interested in helping out with the fan drive, the folks at Senior Citizens, Inc. say they prefer cash donations. They have relationships with local retailers who sell them the fans at cost, which means they can make that money go even further. You can contact SCI at 912.236.0363.

Also, on those especially hot days, Georgia Power offers a grace period to people who are behind on their energy bill. The utility provider has a policy to not disconnect residential service in any area where the National Weather Service issues a Heat Advisory or Excessive Heat Warning for that day.

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