Smarter: Why Your Air Conditioner Isn’t Cooling Enough
The heat this summer has been brutal, and so this week I’m examining the reasons your AC might not be running as efficiently as it can. Other topics covered in this issue: a cleaning hack that made one of our writers sick, and does permethrin-treated clothing prevent tick bites?
Also, if you’re an EV owner, I want to hear from you! Let me know about the things you wished you had known before purchasing your EV in this very short questionnaire.
THE BIG STORY:‘You’re Hot, Then You’re Cold’
A few days ago, I suggested to my boyfriend that given how hot our apartment was, wouldn’t it be great if we could sleep on the rooftop and enjoy the breeze?
He was not as starry-eyed about the proposal. What about mosquitoes? Or safety concerns? And surely I was joking, right?
Yeah, that was a joke, I said, not telling him that he was living with a person who had entertained similar ideas about sleeping on a fire escape and who once dangled her arms outside of an open window at night while she slept just so she could be a little bit cooler.
As much as I would like my rooftop fantasy to be true, right now I’m making do with the heat the same way most people probably are, with fans and an AC. I’m also doing everything I can to make sure I’m optimizing my air conditioning. If you feel like your room isn’t cooling down enough even with a window AC, here are some tips you can try.
HOW ARE YOU SURVIVING THE HEAT?
I have a window AC, but what about you? Click below to participate in our poll.
Some of the most excruciating parts of summer are getting into a car that has been baking in the sun for hours. So what are some ways to get your car air conditioning to cool down faster?
🚗 Don’t run your car’s AC before you go.
The AC works much better when you’re actually driving because the faster the engine turns, the faster the AC compressor runs, which allows the system to cool more effectively.
💨 Open your windows.
When you start driving, turn on the AC and open all the windows for 10 to 20 seconds to let the hot air out.
🧊 Set your AC to the lowest temperature.
The air is typically cooled to 38 degrees in a standard AC system. If you set the temperature higher, you’re forcing the system to reheat the cooled air, which is more fuel-consuming. So to make your car air conditioning more efficient, set it to the lowest temperature and adjust your fans if it feels too cold.
Read more of our tips on how to cool your car most effectively while burning less fuel.
Which type of washing machine uses less water, a front-load washer (one that opens from the front) or a top-loader?
(The answer’s at the end.)
THE GOOD STUFF
Why this Pine-Sol cleaning hack is a baaaad idea.
THE SHORT ANSWER
Is permethrin-treated clothing good at warding off ticks? Yes, but it’s not without health risks.
MUST-READS OF THE WEEK
Um, because it’s absolutely delicious?
I need to buy some hot dogs, toilet paper, and a room with an ocean view.
And all of them are under 100 calories.
Is it worth it to switch?
ONE LAST THING
Well, that’s one sharp chef’s knife.
The answer is a front-load washer. It uses, on average, around 10 gallons of water per load, less than high-efficiency top-loaders (13 gallons per load) and much less than top-load agitators (20 gallons per load).
Front-load washers have some other clear advantages going on for them: They’re often gentler on fabrics and quieter than top-load washers. On the other hand, they’re more prone to getting mold and mildew. But if you’re torn between choosing a front-loader vs. a top-loader for cleaning efficiency, here’s our verdict.
"Summer is my frenemy."