Just installing and using an HVAC system or multiple air conditioners in the summer is not going to help keep your house cool. All the ACs that you are using, and their parts, need regular maintenance to work properly.
It is also paramount to keep the natural temperature of your Bay Area house low by avoiding the entry of too much sunlight so that you do not waste energy in cooling a house that is constantly heating up due to external weather conditions.
Sealing any leaks around the house, using alternate sources for ventilation and keeping out the sun will also help in cooling your house and reducing the need for your AC to be running constantly.
1. Maintain your air conditioner
Air conditioner maintenance includes regular inspection and cleaning of indoor and outdoor units, ducts, fans, refrigerant, thermostat and air filters. When all components of your HVAC system are clean and functioning smoothly, your AC can provide efficient cooling and use less energy to do so.
2. Repair air leaks in the ducts
Conditioned air is constantly flowing through the air ducts to reach the rooms. Any leakage in the ducts will result in expensive, conditioned air getting lost to the environment. The AC will thus have to work harder to keep indoor temperature at the desired level, increasing energy consumption and monthly utility bills.
3. Repair air leaks around windows and doors
Caulking and weather stripping are a good way to seal any air leaks around doors and windows which might be allowing cool air to escape the house or hot air to enter. Air tight rooms will ensure that even a little cool air is enough to bring down indoor temperature.
4. Check thermostat settings
Check the settings on your thermostat and set it at a temperature that is not harshly different from outside temperature. Also, if you have a smart thermostat, you can fix a cooling schedule so that your AC uses less energy.
5. Clean and replace air filters
Air filters can collect dirt and debris quickly and are often left unclean. If air filters are blocked, cool air cannot flow through them. It is easy to clean the air filters by yourself. You can replace them every few months and especially before the start of summer.
6. Clean outdoor units
Keeping your outdoor unit clean and free of leaves, twigs, and other debris will ensure smooth air flow and efficient cooling.
7. Utilize fans
Even ceiling fans and stand fans are enough to cool a room. These use less energy too.
8. Keep out the sun
Draw the curtains and blinds to keep direct sunlight from entering the house and heating it up.
9. Add solar films on windows
Solar films can help reduce heat gain, glare, and block ultraviolet rays. This can keep your house cool even without working the AC continuously.
10. Invest in energy efficient systems
The most important investment would be energy efficient systems with high SEER ratings so that you always utilize less energy.