If you’re a homeowner, you know that each season brings its own set of maintenance concerns when in comes to your HVAC system. Before the sweltering heat sets in, be sure to tackle this list in order to summer proof your HVAC and prevent any costly damage.
Change your Air Filter
The first way to prepare your home’s HVAC system for summertime is to check your filter and replace it if necessary. If you have a disposable filter, they typically need to be changed 3-4 times per year. They may need to be changed as frequently as once a month under certain conditions. This depends on many factors such as:
- Pets in the home
- Quality of filter
- Your AC fan being set to ‘on’ at all times
- Dirt and dust near the return vents
- Contaminants in the air
If you have a more permanent filter, or a washable filter, make sure it’s cleaned around once a month to keep things working efficiently. Once you’ve got a fresh or newly cleaned air filter, your HVAC won’t have any debris blocking or restricting the cold air from circulating freely throughout your home.
Keep the Outside AC Unit Clean
Examine your outdoor HVAC unit on a regular basis. You want to make sure the entire area is clear of debris such as sticks, leaves, vines, etc. If there is anything blocking the area or touching your air conditioner, clear it away as soon as possible.
Keeping your outside unit clean is a year-round job. If you wait until summertime to clean the unit and its surroundings, material that has been collecting in the unit all year long may already be lodged between different parts of the unit’s interior, making it difficult to thoroughly clean. A good rule of thumb is to have an open space of around two feet surrounding your outdoor HVAC unit.
Clean Out Your Vents
Your HVAC unit can only work at its best if the vents in which the air travels are clear of debris. You can call a professional, but if you wish to try it yourself first, there is an easy way to check to make sure there are no blockages in the vents.
First, examine each register (vent) in your home closely. Clear out any dust or debris by using your hands or a hose attachment on a vacuum. Then, make sure all of the vents are open in each room. By keeping your vents open, it can help the cold air disperse evenly throughout the square footage of your home.
This is basic maintenance that can improve the function of your air conditioner, but if any issues remain, don’t hesitate to call a professional to find the deeper problem.
Maximize Airflow With Fans
By using fans in your home, whether it be ceiling fans, tabletop fans or floor fans, the breeze can make a noticeable difference in the comfort and feel of the air inside.
Make sure all of the ceiling fans in your home are rotating clockwise during the warmer months. By doing so, the air will flow downward which prevents heat from rising and makes your air conditioner have to work a little bit less. When the weather cools, don’t forget to set your ceiling fan to rotate counterclockwise.
By having smaller fans throughout your rooms, in addition to ceiling fans, you can maximize the cool air that runs throughout your home. Smaller tabletop fans and floor fans can easily be moved to the room you’re in, and they cool extremely effectively.
When to Upgrade Your HVAC Unit
If you’ve tried all of these tips and your HVAC unit is still not cooling your home as it once did, it may be time to invest in an new HVAC unit. An older unit can actually cost you more money each year due to the energy used, cooling loss and excess waste. Air conditioners are always improving and are being made more energy efficient than ever which can help lower your home’s energy bills.
A typical split system air conditioner last about 20 years. Choosing a new HVAC system is something that can be done with the help of a professional. A new system will certainly offer improved efficiency, and likely provide significant comfort improvements as well.
Be prepared this summer when it comes to your HVAC system. If you take the time to do simple, routine maintenance, you can keep your HVAC unit running more efficiently. If you’re seeking potential savings and a cooler home, contact us at Reddi today for more information on how we can help.