Summer-Proof Your HVAC
Summer is just around the corner and now is the time we all start to think about keeping our homes cool and ready to handle the warmer summer weather. There are a variety of things that you can do around your home to help keep your HVAC system running at its peak this summer.
When you work to make your home and your HVAC work together, you can save money on your bills and help to extend the life of your unit. Here are some great tips to make sure your system is HVAC ready.
Don’t forget that filter!
Checking and changing the air filter in your HVAC unit is one of the first places you should check to keep your system running as best as it can this season. Filters help to prevent any dust or dirt from blocking the cool air from circulating in your home like it should.
There are a variety of air filters on the market - lower budget, allergen reducing, disposable, permanent… the list goes on. If you’re unsure which would be best for your unit, give us a call or check your unit owner’s manual.
Clear the clutter
Now take a little walk outside your home to where your A/C unit it. Examine the unit’s surroundings. It is important to keep the area free from any debris. If there are any branches, plants or other items blocking the area or touching the unit, clear them away. If you have flower beds near the A/C unit, be sure to not grow plants too close to the unit. A good rule of thumb is to keep at least the two feet sounding your HVAC unit clear to avoid any extra debris.
While this piece of maintenance is important during the growing and planting season of summer, it’s also an important year-long proactive treatment. If you choose to wait until spring or summer to clear the unit, any material or debris could become stuck between various parts of the unit and make it difficult to thoroughly clean.
This is one of the simplest and best things you can do to aid in your energy usage. With the many newer technologies now on the market, it’s possible to even customize your cooling schedule when you aren’t home.
For the best energy usage, when you’re not going to be home, we recommend scheduling your unit to turn off or letting the indoor temperature rise a little. Not only will this help you save some money, running a schedule can help prevent your unit from working too hard during the warmest of summer days.
Fans are your friend
Adding a couple of strategically placed fans throughout your home can make a world of different in the way the air in your home feels. Plus there are a lot of options to choose from - ceiling fans, tabletop fans, and floor fans.
If you have ceiling fans, be sure they are set to rotate clockwise during the summer month. This will allow the air to flow downward and prevent excess heat from rising into the upper levels of your home. When the weather cools down again, set your fan to rotate counter clockwise.
Window treatments are more than decoration
While blinds, drapes or curtains can really make a room’s decor and aesthetic, they are more than just decoration. If you have a lot of windows in your home, your inside temperature may rise significantly due to the sun coming through the glass. This causes your air conditioner to kick into overdrive to try to keep up with the rising temperature. Putting in high-quality window treatments on larger, sun-exposed windows prevents the sun from entering the room and raising your inside temperature.
What’s in those vents?
Now that’s one thing we probably don’t want to know! But your HVAC system is only working at its best when there are no obstructions to the flow of air inside the walls of your home. While we are happy to provide professional duct cleaning services, basic cleaning can also help your HVAC system function well.
Simply walk through your home and examine each vent. Clear away any dirt, dust, or debris from the vents. If you see a lot of issues that you aren’t able to clear yourself, give us a call and we’d be happy to offer you a quote on our professional duct cleaning services.
Minimize other heat sources
If possible, avoid using any of your larger appliances during the day as they may generate more heat. Consider using the grill instead of your oven. Hang your laundry outside to dry during the day. Let the sun help you with laundry rather then hinder your home’s comfort. Not only will these simple switches aid in not overworking your A/C unit, you’ll also notice significant energy savings.
Think through an update
If you’ve tried all of the above things and your home is still not cooling as it should, it may be time to consider calling an HVAC company for repairs or an upgraded system. An older A/C unit may actually be costing you more money each year due to loss of cool air and energy use. Newer A/C models are now built with more energy efficiency than ever and can sometimes even lower your energy bills.