Summer is a wonderful time for outdoor activities, but when it’s too hot to handle, we retreat to our homes for some comfort. And what is more comforting than a properly functioning air conditioning system? But the last thing you want during a heatwave is for your AC to break down, leaving you without any respite from the sweltering heat.
Regular AC maintenance is crucial to keeping your system running smoothly, but homeowners can do more than just schedule yearly tune-ups. In this post, we’ll give you some helpful tips to keep your AC unit running trouble-free all summer long!
Change the Air Filters Regularly
Air filters are the unsung heroes of your AC unit. They remove dust, pollutants, and allergens from the air, which protects your health and improves indoor air quality. Over time, the air filter can become clogged with debris, which reduces the airflow, forces the AC to work harder, and can cause expensive repairs. Make sure to replace or clean your air filters once a month and potentially even more frequently during hot and dusty weather.
Finding replacement air filters is easy. Most hardware stores carry a wide variety of AC filters, so you can easily find one that fits your system. You can also buy them online or ask your local HVAC technician to order them for you. It’s important to match the filter size and MERV rating with the specifications for your AC unit, otherwise it won’t be as effective. If you’re not sure what size and rating you need, consult your AC manufacturer or technician.
Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean
Your AC unit’s outdoor condenser is exposed to the elements all year, as well as the dirt, dust, and leaves that pile up. To get the most out of your AC unit, make sure to keep the outdoor unit clean and free of debris.
Trim back any vegetation around the unit to allow for proper airflow with good ventilation. Also, if the outdoor unit is in direct sunlight, install some shading to prevent your AC from overworking and increasing electric bills.
Program Your Thermostat
Programmable thermostats provide greater control over your AC unit’s operation, resulting in a more efficient cooling system. Set the temperature a few degrees higher when you’re out of the house, and program it to turn on in anticipation of your return. You can save up to 10% a year on cooling expenses by turning your thermostat back by 7°-10°F for approximately 8 hours a day.
When it comes to finding the best programmable thermostat, you can use an app to help you get started. Look for a thermostat with an app that allows you to monitor and control your system from anywhere with your phone or tablet.
With this type of integration, you can adjust temperatures based on your location, schedule temperature changes in advance, and even receive notifications when temperatures reach certain levels. This will provide you with greater control over your AC unit and help you save money on energy bills.
Schedule Yearly Maintenance
Yearly maintenance is a crucial step in keeping your AC unit free of problems. Schedule a professional inspection and maintenance checkup every spring or early summer before the height of the heat. A professional technician, such as someone at Donovan & Jorgenson Heating and Cooling, can diagnose problems before they occur, tune-up the system to avoid malfunctions in the future, provide recommendations and catch any potential issues.
Keep Your Home Properly Insulated
Proper insulation can help your home stay cooler during the summer and reduce the workload on your AC. Insulate your attic and walls to prevent hot air from entering your home and seal any leaks around doors and windows. This will help your home retain cool air and make it easier for your AC to maintain a consistent temperature.
It can be difficult to tell if your home needs better insulation. A good way to start is by examining walls and ceilings for signs of drafts, checking for any visible gaps or cracks in the walls and around windows and doors, and looking for areas where heat is radiating from. You may also notice an increase in noise coming from inside your home. If you experience any of these signs, it’s a good indication that you should improve your home insulation.
Do Not Overwork Your AC Unit
Even the most powerful AC unit has limits. Besides, running the unit in extreme temperatures can cause various system malfunctions. For example, a common mistake is to set the thermostat too low.
But setting the thermostat to 68°F doesn’t mean your home will cool down faster or better. Quite the opposite, it puts extra load and pressure on the system, forcing it to work harder to bring the temperature down.
Consider an Upgrade
If your AC unit is more than ten years old, it may be time for an upgrade. Older units are often less energy-efficient, leading to higher bills and increased wear and tear. Plus, newer units come with advanced features such as smart thermostats, improved airflow systems, and more energy-efficient compressors. Although it may seem costly initially, upgrading to a new unit can save you money in the long run.
By following these tips, you can stay cool throughout the season and avoid any AC repair needs easily. Remember, preventive AC maintenance is always better than expensive repairs or replacements down the line. Frequent cleaning, changing filters, and keeping an eye on your AC unit’s performance will ensure longevity and effectiveness, irrespective of the summer heatwaves you face. With these simple AC tips, have the best summer possible and stay cool without any AC worries!