11 TIPS TO KEEP YOUR A/C HEALTHY IN SUMMER
Blogs by Breezie
March 26th, 2021
Beach vacations, barbecues, pool parties—who doesn’t love summer? But the quickest way to rain on your fun in the sun is to have your air conditioner fail when temperatures are at their highest. Take good care of your A/C unit throughout the year with the following tips to ensure you have a nice, cool home to relax in after all your outdoor activities.
1. TIP #1 – KEEP IT MAINTAINED AND 5 REASONS WHY!
Those who live in very cold or hot climates know how important HVAC systems are, but many people forget that the maintenance to keep them running well is just as important. We understand that seasonal checkups may seem expensive, but here are seven reasons why they are worth the money in the long run.
I am a mother of 3 beautiful children. I have a lot on my plate as it is with school, work, household, soccer practice, ballet practice, etc. The last thing I want to worry about is my HVAC unit. I need to make sure that unit is working efficiency 24/7! So, I called my Field Manager Cody at my company AIR4U to schedule my yearly maintenance.
2. Catch Problems
Almost nothing is worse than an unexpected high expense. These units can be awfully expensive and if it is not in your budget, it can take a huge amount of your money, like it did to me. I once had come home after a long day at Soccer practice and noticed the house hot! My poor plants!
3. Indoor Climate
4. Dangerous Issues
Many things can go wrong with your unit. If you are like me, I didn’t even know we needed to change filters or have ducts cleaned, much less that they need to be maintained in the summer and winter! I just knew there was an off and on button. Here is a fun YouTube video on not letting your system go bad.
I do recommend having your yearly maintenance to prevent future difficulties, especially in the Arizona heat!
5. Quiet System
I have my HVAC unit on the roof, thank God, because if you are someone who has it in the bedroom, there can be so much noise when the unit is on! Though most systems make at least some noise when they are in use, regular check-ups on the HVAC unit can ensure the unit is not making excessive noise. I highly recommend contacting us at AIR4U at (888) 702-4748 Ext 1, to schedule an appointment to get a professional out to your home today! We offer the best prices and service!!
If you are like me and don’t have the time, knowledge, or patience to do your own maintenance, we offer several maintenance plans options where we can come and do it for you.
2. TIP #2 – CLEAN AND CHANGE YOUR FILTERS REGULARLY
When the filter is dirty, the blower fan in the HVAC system must work harder to push air. When it is working harder it is drawing more energy, leading to higher bills. It is also more likely to wear out from the strain. The difficulty in moving air also means that your living areas may not get all the air they need.
I have told my mom that this will make her house uncomfortable and use more energy which will make her electrical bill more expensive. Who wants to pay more on their electric bill?! Here is a link on what happens when you don’t change the filters.
Because the heated or cooled air can’t travel out of the furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner as easily, the system runs the risk of overheating or freezing up. You will be paying for the same amount of energy or using the same amount of gas or oil, but there will be no commensurate change in indoor temperature.
The additional material on the air filter itself can provide a space for moisture to gather, encouraging the growth of mold and bacteria colonies. Not only do these form an even stronger barrier to circulating air, but if they colonize the wrong side of the filter, they can begin to introduce more pollutants and allergens into the indoor air. And if they get into the HVAC system and form colonies there, it could spell a lot of trouble for the entire system.
Because air does not circulate as quickly, particulates can settle in ducts and on household surfaces when they would usually be carried into the system and filtered. It is a lot simpler to change your air filter than it is to schedule a duct cleaning, but dirty ducts can result in an ongoing drain to your system efficiency and a long-term source of pollutants in your air supply.
Taking proper care of your filters is probably the easiest and most effective thing you can do to keep your A/C unit healthy. Take note of the kind of filter that is best for your air conditioner and adhere to the appropriate guidelines for cleaning or changing it.
Vacuum and rinse reusable filters in between your maintenance visits and replace them every few years for optimum air quality. If you use disposable filters, write the date on the filter when you replace it, and make checking your filters a habit by grouping the chore with any other regular monthly occurrence, such as paying your rent or credit card bill.
As a HVAC dispatcher, I hear it all the time how people did not change their air filter and it caused their system to freeze up which then led to a $1,000 repair bill. Why spend $1,000 on a repair when you could have spent $10 on a new air filter? Besides, we have great online promotions all the time that you can use to save you money!
3. MAKE SURE THE AREA SURROUNDING AN OUTDOOR UNIT IS CLEAR
Debris, plants, tall grasses, and weeds can all block airflow, preventing your A/C from working properly or most efficiently. Keep the surrounding area neatly maintained to ensure nothing interferes with the system’s ability to function.
4. AVOID OPENING AND CLOSING YOUR DOORS AND WINDOWS TOO MUCH
While it may be nice to enjoy a summer breeze, the way an A/C unit works is by sensing the ambient air temperature and cycling on and off to get the air to match the settings you selected. If you are constantly opening and closing windows and doors, the temperature inside your home rises or falls accordingly, and your system must work harder to consistently adjust.
If the weather is nice enough to simply open the house to outside to let in all that beautiful fresh air, make sure to also turn off your A/C so it doesn’t try cooling the space in vain!
5. SEAL ANY OPENINGS THAT MAY LET COLD AIR ESCAPE
A tire with a slow leak constantly needs more air and the same principle applies to cooling your home. If your walls, doors, or windows have any cracks or gaps that allow air to escape, your A/C must pump more cool air to compensate for the air that is escaping through those faults. Make sure you apply caulking, weather stripping, and insulation as needed to prevent cool air loss.
6. LET THE UNIT REST WHILE YOU’RE NOT HOME
There has been debate around whether it’s better to keep your A/C at a consistent temperature all the time or to set it to a higher temperature while you’re not home. The answer is that you save the most money and energy if you maintain a consistent temperature while you’re home but let your system rest while you’re away.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that you leave your thermostat at 78°F when at home and turn it up several degrees warmer when the house is empty. If you are lousy at remembering to adjust it each time you leave and return, consider investing in a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts according to the times and settings you select.
7. UTILIZE YOUR CEILING FANS
Using fans may allow you to set your thermostat a degree or two warmers than you may have been able to stand otherwise—especially if you rotate the blades clockwise, which directs airflow downward and prevents hotter air from rising and signaling the A/C unit to kick on.
8. INSPECT AND CLEAN VENTS REGULARLY
Keeping your vents clean ensures that no dust or debris is preventing air from freely flowing out. If you keep vents open in rooms, keep the doors to those rooms closed so the room reaches the desired temperature sooner since the area to cool is smaller.
9. INVEST IN WINDOW TINTS OR FILMS
Tinting your windows or installing a film can help keep your home cooler by tempering the effects of the sun. If your home is less affected by sun shining in, you can keep your thermostat set a degree or two higher, and your system won’t have to work as hard to account for fluctuations due to sunlight creeping in.
10. INDULGE IN COOL BEVERAGES AND DRINKS
Stay hydrated with plenty of water, and choose healthy, chilled snacks, such as fresh fruit or veggies and hummus. Not only do these options cool you from the inside out, but they also allow you to avoid using the oven, which radiates heat for your A/C unit to work against.
11. PROTECT YOUR SYSTEM AND BUDGET WITH A HOME WARRANTY
As much as you can take care of your unit with all the preventative tips listed here, an A/C system can still quit working for several reasons completely out of your control. The best way to protect yourself—and especially your budget—is to purchase a home warranty.