News stories of record heat are increasingly common, and some sources state that they may soon become a normal occurrence. Cooling your home is a serious priority in most areas of the country. In fact, air conditioners are now found in more than 80 percent of the homes in the U.S., and this is an increase of 20 percent since 1993. Your AC is a true investment, you and understandably want to keep in well-maintained. After all, you may not want to pay for a costly replacement until absolutely necessary. You may also want to prevent breakdowns and ensure peak energy efficiency. By taking a few steps, you can help to prepare your AC for an intense summer season.
Change Your Air Filter
One of the easiest and fastest steps you can take to prepare your AC for summer is also one of the most affordable steps to take. Your air filter is responsible for capturing particles that flow through the air ducts and trapping them before they enter the main air supply. The air filter keeps your system clean and improves indoor air quality. When it is dirty, however, it blocks the passage of air and forces the AC system to work harder than necessary. This creates unnecessary energy usage as well as system strain that leads to costly repairs. Make an effort to change your air filter every month during the peak usage season. It may be helpful to add this to-do item on your calendar so that you do not forget to do it.
Adjust Your Thermostat Settings
Your thermostat may currently be programmed for winter weather, and the settings may have a cooler system to save on heating costs throughout the winter. When you turn on the AC, however, the lower settings will encourage the AC to run more frequently. Adjustment should be made for the season as well as for the longer hours of sunshine. For example, because the sun is heating the home for longer hours during the day, you may not schedule the evening cool down until later in the evening.
Schedule Preventive Maintenance
“Many homeowners fail to complete the important step of scheduling annual maintenance with a licensed and insured HVAC service provider,” said One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning. Through this step, the system’s components can be professionally cleaned and restored to like-new condition. Fluids can be topped off as needed, and hose connections and belts can be checked and adjusted as needed. Replacements or repairs can be scheduled as needed. The end result is that your AC system will be restored to great condition and will be more able to take on the brutal force of summer weather conditions. The risk of a breakdown may be minimal, and the system will operate with energy efficiency for cost savings. Ideally, this service will be completed before the start of the summer season.
Check the Air Ducts
Air ducts are unfortunately rather fragile. They can be damaged by someone walking around in the attic, rodents or pests scratching at them and more. When there is even a small hole in your air ducts, the cooled air from the AC will not entirely make it to the desired destination in the home. This can create an uncomfortable situation of uneven cooling in the home. It also can inflate energy costs, decrease air quality and cause a greater incidence of repair issues. You can inspect your visible air ducts in the attic as a first step. However, it may require professional effort to fully inspect all air ducts in the walls of your home.
In many areas, residents are gearing up for what may be a summer with record-breaking heat. Your AC system will provide you and your loved ones with a source of comfortably cool air throughout the summer. In some cases, this cool air may even be critical for your health and well-being. While you may need the AC to work properly, you do not want to contend with high energy costs or unexpected repair bills. You can easily follow these basic steps to prepare your AC for the summer months. You can hire an HVAC professional to assist with steps that you are unable to do on your own.