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For the past few days the temperature in my area has been close to or even above the local record high. As the temperature rises, my air conditioner obviously has to work harder and at one point it just could not keep up. I assume that one reason is the fact that the unit sits on top of the apartment building where the black roof absorbs the heat. Also, I live on the top floor and heat rises from the lower apartments.

I know that the air conditioner works by removing moisture from the air and so I try to only run the dishwasher after dusk as well as showering either early in the morning or just before bed to limit the moisture levels during the hottest times. All blinds are kept shut to limit sun entering the apartment as well.

What do you do to maximize your air conditioner's efficiency during this hot summer?

asked Jun 17 '10 at 01:50

teddgcm's gravatar image


  • Close the registers/vents in rooms you aren't using, as well as in all downstairs rooms (in a multi-level living area,) so the air conditioner's cold air is diverted to the rooms/areas you most want/need it.

  • Turn off computers and other heat-emitting electronics when not in use so they're not adding to the workload your air conditioner's up against to cool your place.

  • Turn ceiling fans OFF in unoccupied rooms and ON in rooms that are occupied. A ceiling fan running in an empty room actually contributes heat, rather than dissipating it. More info: http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/using-ceiling-fans-keep-cool-without-ac

  • Consider investing in some insulating curtains to block light, heat and cold and thereby help regulate the room's temperature. We have a large room with a wall of windows and summers used to be awful with all the heat & sunlight baking that room; after investing in some insulating curtains, we can use the room again during the summer, and our air conditioner isn't kicking on and staying on constantly due to the heat streaming up from that room to the air conditioner's thermostat.

answered Jun 17 '10 at 11:00

ageekmom's gravatar image

ageekmom ♦

edited Jun 17 '10 at 11:06

I grew up in hot & humid Iowa. I always used multiple ocilating fans in conjunction with the air conditioner to keep the air moving. It seemed to work well. Good luck, stay cooool.

answered Jun 17 '10 at 01:53

ajrogers's gravatar image


Clean or change the indoor filter as well. There is an indoor suction area that needs to be clean, too. Remove the filter and either replace it or, if it is a washable type, go ahead and clean it out by vacuuming and then washing and drying it thoroughly. If you have the washable type of filter, you can also disinfect it of any type of bacteria by adding a little bit of vinegar to the water, perhaps in the bathtub, and letting it soak for a couple of hours. Just make sure that you thoroughly air dry it before putting back in its place.

answered Jun 17 '10 at 02:52

rocky05's gravatar image


edited Jun 17 '10 at 02:52

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Asked: Jun 17 '10 at 01:50

Seen: 2,898 times

Last updated: Feb 15 '12 at 14:23