While the summer months might bring a break for most of us, it's the hardest-working time of year for your HVAC equipment's cooling components. To help keep your AC running all summer, we've compiled some easy tasks that every homeowner can do to prepare their air conditioner for summer. Ready to save money and feel more comfortable? Keep reading to learn how to get your AC ready for summer.
The last thing you want is your air conditioner to break down in the middle of a heat wave. If your air conditioner has been dormant for most of the year, you shouldn't expect it to work at total capacity with the flick of a switch.
Understanding how the average central air conditioning system works will help you make a summer preparation plan.
The cooling process starts inside the home with the evaporator. This part of the system absorbs heat, converts it to gas, and sends it to the compressor, located in its outdoor unit. The compressor and the condenser work together to cast away heat so the cooling properties can work effectively.
The goal of preparing your A/C for summer is to minimize strain on these components. You can save money on energy bills by reducing the heat energy the air conditioner needs to dissipate.
If you haven't gotten to your spring cleaning yet, it's not too late. Eliminating dust, debris, and anything else that obstructs cool airflow in your home will help your air conditioner get ready for summer.
Regularly replacing air filters is an easy and inexpensive DIY maintenance task that should be a priority for every homeowner. Dirty air filters challenge your HVAC equipment in the summer months because they restrict airflow, forcing the system to work harder. Check and replace your air filters at least once a month or as needed.
In addition to replacing your air filter, you should also clean any visible debris from the vents throughout your home. Make it a habit to dust your vents once or twice a week to keep them flowing openly.
After changing your air filters, you'll need to show your outdoor unit some love before you can enjoy your summer fun. The area around your unit should be clear of debris, like dead leaves and twigs. This will ensure that air can flow freely and prevent any potential problems.
If you've covered your outdoor AC unit with a blanket or lid for the winter season, make sure you remove it before switching on the cold air. Failure to do so can be an expensive and uncomfortable mistake.
Investing in energy-efficient windows, putting up blackout curtains, and adequately sealing doors and windows can help keep your house cool when the summer sun is high in the sky.
These steps will also help your A/C unit run more efficiently, saving you money on your utility bills.
If you're interested in fully upgrading your windows, look for options that have been treated with low emission coatings. Low-e windows reflect UV rays and infrared energy without blocking natural light.
For a more cost-effective alternative, you can apply stick-on reflective film to deflect the sun.
Smart thermostats are great because they customize your habits and adjust temperatures when you're not home or when the outdoor temperatures drop.
These steps require an upfront investment, but they can save you money and extend the life of your HVAC equipment by reducing your cooling needs.
At this point, you're well aware of DIY tasks that go a long way towards optimizing your AC for summer. To ensure all your bases are covered, you'll want to consult your local HVAC specialists.
An annual professional tune-up is the best way to ensure your system runs efficiently and effectively. The HVAC technician will clean the system, test all components, and diagnose necessary repairs.
By following a few simple tips and tricks, you can reduce the strain on your air conditioning system and save money in the process. However, if you want the best results for keeping cool this summer, it's best to partner with a professional HVAC technician who knows the ins and outs of home heating and cooling. Have you done anything to improve the efficiency of your AC unit?