Is Your Home Comfort System Ready to Beat the Heat?
When it comes to getting ready for summer, there are several normal things we all think of: stocking up on food for the grill, making plans for lazy day trips to the beach, or even working out so you’re feeling swimsuit-ready. What you might not consider is finding out whether your air conditioner is up to the task of keeping your home comfortable. But this is just as important a task! No one wants to come home from a day of relaxing outside only to find that the AC broke down and their cool and comfy haven has turned into a humid disaster.
As with most things, the key to having a wonderful, worry-free summer begins with preparation in the spring. By taking the time to get preventative maintenance before the summer heat sets in, you can be certain that it is functioning reliably for the full length of the season.
Give Your AC What It Needs This Summer
There are several steps that your professional AC specialist can take to help set your summer up for success, such as:
Keeping Your Filters Cleaned & Well-Maintained
Your air filters play an important role in keeping unwanted dust, dirt, and debris out of your air – but they do so by holding onto them in the filter. Eventually, these filters will become clogged to the point that it is putting undue strain on your system, causing more wear and tear than necessary while raising your monthly utility bills. Dirty filters also, obviously, are not as effective at cleaning the air! The average air filter should be cleaned around once a month, but your HVAC technician can advise you regarding the needs of your specific model.
Clean Your Outdoor Unit
If your outdoor unit is covered in debris, it will not be as effective at transporting the hot air away from the property’s living areas. This will mean that your system has to work harder to keep the living areas at your desired temperature – again, increasing utility bills, exacerbating wear and tear, and shortening the lifespan of your system.
You can help keep the unit clean between services by:
- Removing leaves, limbs, or other debris by hand
- Sweeping on and around the unit to clear away the dust and dirt
- Using a garden hose (on low) to gently wash away more stubborn dirt
- Never storing personal items on or against the unit for long periods of time
- Keeping a reasonable distance between the unit and things like furniture, plants, or other fixtures on the property
Checking for Air Flow Leaks & Obstructions
Problems in your ductwork such as leaks, obstructions, or gaps can all impact the effectiveness of your unit. When you bring in a professional to examine the system, they should also examine the blower components to be certain they are properly adjusted as well as check walls, windows, and doors for leaks that could be letting in warm air. All of these things can contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of the system as a whole.
Keeping Your Vents Open
Though some households close off vents in an attempt to keep from cooling unused rooms, this is not often an effective strategy. AC systems are actually far more precisely designed systems than most people realize, and closing off vents creates an imbalance of airflow that increases the pressure in the ducts, often leading to leakage and all the problems that come with it. Your system will have to compensate, increasing your energy bills.
Checking the Drain Line
The drain line on your AC system pulls moisture collected from the air away from the various parts that could be damaged by water. If this line becomes clogged, it can either back up into the home and cause significant water damage, or trigger an automatic shut down as a safety precaution. In either case, it is important to address this issue as quickly as possible to avoid lasting damage.
Getting Trusted Annual Maintenance
When it comes down to it, the most effective option is finding a team you trust to perform routine preventative maintenance and inspect the system for problems. Every potential problem listed here can be addressed by a certified technician, who can examine your AC unit and give you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your summer.