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Dealing with the Summer Heat

Summer in Maryland and Virginia means hot temperatures and high humidity. It's the time of year when your HVAC system works the hardest, especially your air conditioner. Unfortunately, even with the best maintenance, air conditioners can break down. If this happens to you, what do you do?

Don't let a dysfunctional AC spoil your summer. Keep reading for what you can do if your AC stops working.

Signs of a Struggling AC

It's important to recognize the signs of an AC struggling before it totally breaks down. Knowing the warning signs of an impending breakdown can help you know when to call in repair work. Often, swift repair work before catastrophic failure in your system can save money on repairs and reduce the overall wear on your system.

Signs that your AC is struggling include:

  • Weak airflow from vents and registers
  • Warm air coming out of vents instead of cool air
  • Strange noises coming out of the indoor or outdoor unit
  • Unusual odors

If you detect any of these, it's time to call an HVAC specialist to come and investigate.

Tips for Keeping Your Home Cool

If your AC is not working well or stops working entirely, there are some steps that you can take to stay cool. First, make sure to keep your blinds or curtains closed during the day to keep the sun from heating your home. Blackout curtains can help you improve your window insulation and keep your rooms even darker, making them feel significantly cooler.

Second, turn off unnecessary appliances and lights to reduce the heat your home generates. If you can, avoid extensive cooking or using your oven, as these can cause a significant increase in your home’s temperature in a short period.

Third, use fans to circulate the cool air that is still available. Ceiling fans or box fans can make a room feel up to 10 degrees cooler, which can help you stay comfortable. Using fans at night to bring in cool air from outside is also a great idea and can help you deal with the heat if your AC is out for several days.

Finally, if you are in a situation where your home is overheating (over 80°), you should leave for somewhere cooler. During the day, you can go to a shopping mall, a public library, or a friend’s house. At night, do your best to open your house up and flush out as much of the hot air as possible, making sure to shut things up again in the morning when the outside temperatures start to climb.

When to Call for AC Repair

If your AC is showing signs of struggle or if it has stopped working entirely, it's time to call an HVAC specialist. Don't try to fix the AC yourself, as you may cause more damage. When you call an HVAC specialist, they will determine if your AC has an easy fix or if it requires more extensive repairs. In some cases, you may need to replace your AC.

Don't hesitate to call for AC repair; the longer you wait, the more damage your AC may incur.

Do You Have an AC Emergency on Your Hands?

Sometimes, an AC repair cannot wait, but how do you know when it is appropriate to call for emergency HVAC repairs? If your AC is leaking refrigerant, it can create a dangerous situation, and you should turn off your system and call for service immediately. If your AC emits a burning smell, you should immediately turn off your system and call for service. Additionally, if you are experiencing extremely high temperatures or have a family member with a medical condition, you should consider the repair an emergency.

Don't let a broken air conditioner ruin your summer. Stay cool and comfortable by recognizing the signs of a struggling AC and taking action when needed. Contact Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to schedule AC repair and maintenance service.