You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

13 Ways to Brace Yourself for One of the Hottest Summers on Record

Reader's Digest Logo By Lisa Marie Conklin of Reader's Digest | Slide 1 of 13: Don't wait for the sizzling days of summer to check your air conditioning; have it checked now to avoid a long and hot delay, waiting for service. 'The number one problem we find with air conditioners in the summer is keeping the air filter clean,' says Richard Ciresi, franchisee of the <a href='https://goo.gl/CXNW9v'>Aire Serv in Louisville</a>, Kentucky. 'A dirty, old air filter will force your system to breathe harder than it should, decreasing efficiency and comfort, and increasing your energy bills and carbon footprint.' If you want to run your A/C more efficiently and effectively don't overheat your house with other appliances, says Ciresi. 'Use heat-generating appliances like ovens, washers, dryers, and dishwashers in the evening. If you use these appliances in the middle of the day when it's hottest outside, your cooling system will have to work even harder to cool your home. And don't place lamps or heat-generating appliances near your thermostat as it will not be able to accurately determine the room temperature and may not run as efficiently as possible.' Ceiling fans are great addition and can help <a href='http://www.rd.com/advice/saving-money/air-conditioning-costs/1'>reduce A/C costs</a>. Remember to switch the blades to a counterclockwise position for the summer months and only run them when someone is in the room. 'Running the fan doesn't lower the temperature, but it does increase evaporation from your skin to help you feel cooler,' says Ciresi.

A/C checkup

Don't wait for the sizzling days of summer to check your air conditioning; have it checked now to avoid a long and hot delay, waiting for service. 'The number one problem we find with air conditioners in the summer is keeping the air filter clean,' says Richard Ciresi, franchisee of the Aire Serv in Louisville, Kentucky. 'A dirty, old air filter will force your system to breathe harder than it should, decreasing efficiency and comfort, and increasing your energy bills and carbon footprint.' If you want to run your A/C more efficiently and effectively don't overheat your house with other appliances, says Ciresi. 'Use heat-generating appliances like ovens, washers, dryers, and dishwashers in the evening. If you use these appliances in the middle of the day when it's hottest outside, your cooling system will have to work even harder to cool your home. And don't place lamps or heat-generating appliances near your thermostat as it will not be able to accurately determine the room temperature and may not run as efficiently as possible.' Ceiling fans are great addition and can help reduce A/C costs. Remember to switch the blades to a counterclockwise position for the summer months and only run them when someone is in the room. 'Running the fan doesn't lower the temperature, but it does increase evaporation from your skin to help you feel cooler,' says Ciresi.
© GSPhotography/Shutterstock

More from Reader's Digest

Reader's Digest
Reader's Digest
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon