Air Conditioner Efficiency Helps You Survive Summer

Summer seems to come sooner and sooner every year here in the Portland, OR area, and with it comes high temperatures and higher humidity. We’re accustomed to paying higher energy bills during the summer months, as a result of running the air conditioner more often. To a certain extent, such bills are inevitable. But just because you’re paying more for running the system more often, doesn’t mean you have to pay more than you should. By improving your air conditioner’s efficiency levels now, you can cut down on those bills during the summer and put your system under less strain to boot. Here are a few tips to help you out.


Thermostats contain few moving parts and thus can last for many years without difficulty. However, if yours is more than ten years old, there’s a downside to such longevity: it means you’re missing out on some of the exciting advancements in the field of late. Specifically, “smart” thermostats and thermostats connected to the worldwide web via WiFi allow you to govern your energy expenditure more wisely. For example, today’s thermostats can analyze your cooling habits and make micro-adjustments to improve efficiency, while other thermostats can note changing conditions near your house and alter the settings to compensate properly. The results could end up saving you quite a bit of money.


Zone control systems work in conjunction with an existing centralized heating and air system, and are especially recommended for larger homes or houses that struggle to maintain a consistent temperature. It divides the ducts into sections, using a series of shutters to control the flow of air in each section. That allows you to set different temperatures in different sections of the home and – by extension – run the cool air only in those parts of the home that are being occupied. That can spare your air conditioner a great deal of wear and tear, as well as lowering monthly bills.


Hot air tends to rise and can become trapped in your attic in most cases. During the summer, getting rid of that hot air can help your AC out tremendously. The solution is an attic fan installed in the upper reaches of your home. It can help vent that hot air and reduce the load on your AC, ensuring that your home stays comfortable without breaking the bank.


Sometimes, conditioned air can be diverted through a breach or a crack in the ductwork itself, or unconditioned air can be pulled in. Either way, it spells bad news for your system, which won’t be able to work as efficiently under the strain and will raise the bills accordingly.  Trained air conditioning technicians can spot the signs of a duct breach and perform expert duct sealing services to correct the issue.

If any of these upgrades or repairs sound like a good fit from your Portland, OR home, then call on the friendly pros of Western Heating & Cooling to set up an appointment.