The weather has been very mild this summer, with temperatures well below the usual upper 90s of the Washington/Baltimore region in mid-July. But I would guess that the heat will be coming soon. So, here are some do-it-yourself tips to make your cooling system more efficient, in case that extreme summer heat returns to the area:
1) Check up on your outdoor AC unit to make sure that nothing is blocking its airflow. Sometimes overgrown plants and tree limbs can obstruct the systems ventilation. Trim the shrubbery so that the AC unit has a couple feet of breathing room. Clearing dirt from the vents and filters of the outdoor unit will help, too.
2) Make sure that the ducts inside your home are sealed and insulated to prevent leakage of the cool air. Energy and coolness are wasted when cool air escapes from the ducts in the wrong places.
Following these tips will help you save on energy costs while keeping your home comfortable. For more tips, check out this article by Consumer Reports.