How Can I Make My AC Colder? 10 Tips to Improve AC Cooling and Maximize Air Conditioning
The scorching summer heat can make your home feel like an oven. Even with the air conditioner running, you may find rooms that just don’t seem to get as cool as you’d like. When the AC struggles to keep your home comfortable, it’s time to investigate ways to maximize its cooling power.
Fortunately, there are several ways to improve AC cooling and get more chill from your existing system. With a few simple tweaks and maintenance steps, you can beat the summer swelter and keep cool without breaking the bank on costly repairs or replacements.
Diagnose AC Problems Before Making Adjustments
Before trying to make your AC colder, it’s important to ensure there are no underlying problems causing insufficient cooling. Some common issues that hamper AC performance include:
- Dirty air filters – Clogged filters restrict airflow, making the AC work harder to push through less air. Replacing dirty filters can improve cooling efficiency.
- Low refrigerant levels – Leaks and normal wear cause refrigerant to gradually deplete over time. Low levels reduce cooling capacity. Recharging the refrigerant can optimize performance.
- Faulty thermostat – If the thermostat is miscalibrated or malfunctioning, it may prevent the AC from running enough to reach the desired temperature.
- Improper ductwork – Leaky, disconnected, or improperly sized ducts can lead to uneven cooling and wasted cold air. Evaluating ductwork helps maximize air delivery.
- Condensate drain issues – Clogged condensate drains prevent moisture removal, potentially freezing the evaporator coils and reducing cooling.
Diagnosing and addressing any underlying AC problems is the first step toward improving cooling power. Once your HVAC technician gives your system a clean bill of health, you can try these handy tips to make your AC colder.
10 Tips to Make Your AC Colder
Here are 10 helpful ways to improve AC cooling and maximize your air conditioner’s performance:
1. Adjust the Thermostat
One of the easiest ways to make your AC colder is to simply lower the thermostat temperature setting. However, don’t expect instant cooling if you set it significantly lower than your desired temperature. Lowering it just a couple degrees below your ideal temperature gives the AC a head start without overworking it to the point of freezing up. You can also use the thermostat’s programming features to optimize settings for when you are home versus away.
2. Change the Air Filter Regularly
A clean air filter allows air to flow freely through the AC system. Changing filters every 1-3 months helps prevent dirt buildup that restricts airflow. Disposable filters are convenient to swap out. Electrostatic and pleated filters capture more particles, but the increased air resistance means they may need changing more frequently.
3. Adjust Vents and Registers
Strategically directing airflow can help maximize AC cooling. Close vents and registers in unused rooms so more air blows through the occupied spaces.
Point ceiling vents toward interior walls rather than downwards, allowing cooled air to circulate better. Adjust baffles and dampers on vents to control the direction and flow rate. Opening supply registers fully and closing return air vents somewhat pressurizes the room for improved cooling.
4. Run Fan Setting
Using your AC’s fan-only setting circulates air without cooling it further. Letting it run after the AC cycles off removes stagnant air pockets and equalizes temperatures throughout your home. The improved air mixing means cooling restarts at lower ambient temperatures for better efficiency.
5. Cut Down Heat Sources
Reducing heat generation makes it easier for your AC to maintain cooler temperatures. Simple steps like using appliances overnight, turning off unnecessary lights, closing blinds and curtains, and avoiding heat-producing activities when possible give your air conditioner a boost. Giving it less heat to contend with results in colder indoor temperatures.
6. Seal Air Leaks
Gaps around windows, doors, wiring, and plumbing openings allow hot outdoor air to infiltrate, increasing the cooling load. Applying weatherstripping and caulk to seal cracks and openings forces more cooled indoor air to recirculate rather than escaping outside. Stopping air leaks makes AC cooling more effective.
7. Add Insulation
Adequate insulation slows heat transfer into your home, reducing the amount of heat the AC must remove. Adding more insulation to under-insulated attics and walls helps keep cool air in and hot air out. Maximizing insulation minimizes heat gain for enhanced air conditioning.
8. Use a Ceiling Fan
Circulating air with ceiling fans allows you to set your thermostat higher while maintaining comfort. The breeze from a ceiling fan makes 78°F feel more like 72°F. Letting your AC run less frequently saves energy while the improved air movement gives a cooling boost. Just be sure to run fans counterclockwise in summer for downdraft cooling.
9. Maintain the Condenser Unit
For maximum cooling, the outdoor AC condenser needs proper airflow. Keep plants, debris, and structures away from the unit so air can circulate freely. Cleaning the condenser coils prevents blockages that reduce performance. Make sure nothing obstructs air intake through the condenser fan. A well-maintained condenser operates more efficiently.
10. Consider a Professional Tune-up
If your AC still lacks cooling power after trying these DIY tweaks, it may need a professional tune-up. Experienced HVAC technicians have the tools and expertise to clean, adjust, and test your AC for optimal operation. They can identify and correct any performance issues you can’t remedy yourself. Investing in preventive maintenance ensures your AC runs as efficiently as possible year after year.
Beat the Heat With a Colder AC
Don’t resign yourself to sweltering through another hot summer. A few simple adjustments and regular maintenance can help maximize your air conditioner’s cooling capabilities for greater comfort on scorching days. Diagnose any mechanical problems, improve airflow, reduce heat sources, seal leaks, enhance insulation, and keep your AC components clean and functional. With some strategic tweaks, you can make your AC colder and enjoy cool relief from summer’s sizzling temperatures.