May 21, 2024

Home Maintenance

Stay Cool, Alberta: Your Ultimate Air Conditioner Tips Guide

Beat the heat with expert advice and insider tips for perfectly chilled summers.

With Alberta’s summer temperatures rising, our short summers are becoming (almost) as intense as our long winters. Adding central air conditioning to your home is probably on your mind, if not your to-do list.

Before you take the leap, learn what goes into your coolest investment. We’ve got you covered with this ultimate guide to A/C — just for you, Alberta!

Choosing an A/C unit for your Alberta home

A woman rides her bike in Alberta.

Alberta’s unique climate presents some specific considerations when it comes to choosing the right air conditioner. Here are the main factors to weigh in your search for a new air conditioner.  

Efficiency matters

Efficient models give your home a cold-air boost while keeping energy costs under control. Better cooling efficiency keeps your air crisp and comfy, working more quickly than a less efficient unit.  

Lower energy usage is good for the planet, too! Look for the ENERGY STAR symbol when purchasing a new unit to get the best in energy efficiency.  

Alberta climate

Unlike humid regions, Alberta’s semi-arid climate means less worry about moisture removal, focusing more on cooling efficiency. Features that offer extra dehumidification aren't as useful here.  


All air conditioners make some noise from fans as air blows through your home and air ducts. The sound should be close to white noise: expect a steady, low hum.  

Poor quality units or shoddy installation can lead to annoying A/C noises. This could mean issues like leaking refrigerant or damaged components. Keep your environment comfortable and soothing in all ways by getting your air conditioning installed professionally. A heating and cooling pro can make sure your hot summer days stay cool and tranquil.


Consider factors like window size, insulation quality, and ceiling height to determine the ideal cooling capacity for your home.  

Larger homes require air conditioners with higher cooling capacities to effectively cool all the rooms. If your A/C is too small for your home, it will struggle to maintain a comfortable temperature. This leads to uneven cooling and higher energy bills.  

If your A/C is too large, it may cycle on and off frequently. This results in unnecessary wear and tear and reduced efficiency.

Ductwork compatibility

The size and layout of your home impact the design and configuration of the ductwork. Properly sized ducts let cooled air flow efficiently to all areas of your home. Avoid excessive pressure or airflow restrictions by considering your duct system when selecting a new unit.  

Insulation & sealing

The insulation levels and sealing quality of your home directly affect its heat gain and loss. Well-insulated homes with tight seals retain cool air better, requiring less energy for cooling.  

Poorly insulated homes with drafty areas are a recipe for energy waste. Unsealed homes demand a more powerful A/C unit to make up for heat sneaking in through the cracks.


Larger homes often benefit from zoning systems that divide the space into separate areas with individual temperature controls. This saves energy by directing cold where needed most.  

When choosing an air conditioner, consider whether zoning capabilities are necessary to effectively cool your entire home while minimizing energy consumption. Your best bet is to hire a pro air conditioner installer who has experience with larger homes and zone setups.  

Running costs

While efficient air conditioners can cost around 35 cents per hour to run, actual expenses depend on usage and home size.

Thermostat strategies

Set your air conditioner to maintain a constant temperature. You can also invest in a programmable smart thermostat for custom cooling settings.


Most central A/C systems last 12-15 years, with proper upkeep and regular tune-ups.  

Installation time

Installations typically take 8-14 hours, depending on home specifics.

The key to longevity? Maintenance.

A Rümi HVAC pro fixes an exterior air conditioning unit.

To keep your A/C humming along smoothly, follow these maintenance tips:


  • Replace air filters: Check and replace air filters every 1-3 months, or as recommended by the manufacturer. Clean filters ensure proper airflow and prevent dust and debris from building up.
  • Clean outdoor unit: Keep the outdoor condenser unit clean and free of debris such as leaves, grass clippings, and dirt. Use a garden hose to gently rinse off the exterior and remove any buildup that could obstruct airflow.
  • Inspect ductwork: Check visible ductwork for leaks, gaps, or damage. Seal any leaks with duct tape or mastic sealant to prevent cooled air from escaping and improve energy efficiency.
  • Check thermostat: Make sure your thermostat is set to the desired temperature and functioning correctly. Replace the batteries if necessary and consider upgrading to a programmable thermostat for energy savings.
  • Clear vents and registers: Ensure that vents and registers are unobstructed by furniture, curtains, or other objects. Vacuum or dust them regularly to maintain proper airflow throughout your home.

Call in a pro

  • Refrigerant inspection and recharge: A licensed technician can inspect refrigerant levels and recharge the system if necessary. Low refrigerant levels can indicate leaks or other issues that require professional attention.
  • Coil cleaning: Removes dirt, dust, and debris that can impede heat transfer and reduce system efficiency. This service typically involves disassembling the unit and using specialized tools and cleaning agents.
  • Electrical component inspection: Inspect electrical connections, capacitors, and relays for signs of wear or damage. Faulty electrical components can cause system malfunctions or pose safety hazards if not addressed promptly.
  • Fan motor lubrication: Over time, fan motors can become noisy or develop friction. Lubricating fan motors ensures smooth operation and prolongs their lifespan.  
  • Comprehensive system tune-up: Annual maintenance visits by a qualified technician keep your system cooling efficiently. Includes a thorough inspection of all system components, performance testing, and adjustments to optimize efficiency and reliability. A proactive approach helps prevent breakdowns and costly repairs while maximizing the lifespan of your air conditioner.

Staying safe in Alberta heat

An elderly woman holds her forehead with heat exhaustion in her bedroom.

Alberta summers may not be as epic as our winters, but they certainly pack a punch. Extreme heat leads to heat stroke, dehydration and death each year in our province. Your home should be a safe respite away from high temperatures.  

A central A/C unit keeps home air crisp, but here are some other summer safety upgrades that can help you beat the heat:

  • Built-in water filtration: Stay hydrated with refreshing purified water straight from the tap.  
  • Retractable drop-down screens: Block out the sun to maximize your A/C and family comfort.  
  • Natural shade: Tree canopy casts shade on your home, creating cool spots and reducing the amount of energy you need to stay cool.

Signs your air conditioner is having trouble

An inefficient or broken air conditioning is more than just a buzzkill. A malfunctioning unit can mean repair bills, higher energy usage or an impending breakdown.  

Pay attention to signs that your A/C unit is not working as intended. Signs include:

  • Warm air vents
  • Weak airflow
  • Leaks
  • Strange noises
  • Odours
  • Erratic cycling

Any of these issues could be symptoms that your unit needs some love. Call a pro for Air Conditioner Repair to get back on track!

Need help with A/C in Alberta?

For help with air conditioning in Alberta, count on the team at Rümi. We offer a full suite of A/C services:

Psst... You don't have to worry about A/C repairs if you have a home protection plan. Check out our Home Systems Protection Plan or Whole Home Protection Plan for more info.

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