As the weather warms and plants go from spring blooms to the full lushness of summer, it’s a great time to get out and spend some time outdoors in nature. However, when you get back home from your adventures, it’s natural to want to leave the heat outside where it belongs. Reaching for the thermostat and starting up the air conditioner is the easiest way to stay cool at home, but can you trust that your system will make it through the dog days of the season? With the appropriate summer HVAC maintenance, you can rest easy.
What do you need to do to ensure that you can enjoy reliable cooling until it’s finally time to switch off the AC and fire up the furnace again? Four things in particular will help you out the most. Let’s look at each of them in detail.
Get Your AC Tuned Up Before the Height of Summer Starts
Suppose your air conditioner has been mostly switched off since the cooler temperatures of last autumn arrived. In that case, you should consider speaking to a licensed HVAC service provider for preventative maintenance before the height of summer arrives. You should strongly consider an AC tune-up at the start of the season regardless. Unless you’ve already had it serviced recently, there are many potential benefits to doing this ahead of time. Here’s why it’s essential for summer HVAC maintenance:
- Identifies any problems that need fixing before they become issues, such as low refrigerant levels or leaking pipes.
- Cleans all the parts, indoors and out, which are often inaccessible to homeowners.
- Gives your AC a clean bill of health while ensuring it uses less energy.
These three reasons alone make it a worthwhile investment, especially when you consider it could save you money on electric bills throughout the season.
Consider Upgrading Your Thermostat to a Smarter Version
Speaking of saving money on energy, have you thought about doing some “maintenance” on your thermostat? Many homeowners continue to use older thermostats that have very few features. The average thermostat you can pick up in a hardware store has only the most rudimentary functionality. Today’s “smart” thermostats can be an excellent, convenient option for homeowners who want greater control over their cooling and energy use.
Upgrading to a newer thermostat, such as the Nest or a similar device, can give you access to a “learning” system that knows when you’ll be home and runs the AC accordingly. When you’re away, it uses the AC less, then pushes the temperature back down as your usual arrival time approaches. Consider a smart thermostat as a potential upgrade in your maintenance plans.
Keep The Outdoor Unit Free From Lawn Debris and Plants
While a contractor will clean the functioning components of the unit, it’s up to you to make sure that the yard area around the outdoor part of the AC is safe for its operation. For example, keep leaves, branches, and other yard debris from piling up on top of or around the unit. Such obstructions can make it harder for the unit to cool appropriately. Likewise, keep trees and shrubs trimmed back from the unit. When cutting the grass, be careful to see that you aren’t ejecting clippings into the fins of the exterior unit. Cleaning these fins is easy to do but taking care ahead of time will save you the effort.
Don’t Forget to Keep Your Filter Fresh, Too
Finally, the same task you should concern yourself with all year round remains important in the summer. We’re talking about filter changes, of course. With an increase in allergens and the soupy humidity of summer, your filter will play an even more critical role in keeping the air quality in your home at acceptable levels. Avoid the troubles of mold and mildew while also protecting your air conditioner from unnecessary dust build-ups. Purchase quality filters that fit your unit and replace them every one to two months depending on circumstances unique to your home, such as smoking, pet ownership, and so on.
Finding Help and More Tips For Summer HVAC Maintenance
While some of these steps are up to you, such as yard maintenance and filter changes, knowing who to call for help with other matters is important, too. Do you know how to choose an HVAC maintenance provider, or what kinds of questions you should? Choosing a business that you can trust for both quality service and valuable, cost-effective pricing is essential — especially if the worst happens and a breakdown occurs for some reason.
As you invest your time in summer HVAC maintenance, don’t overlook the value of adding a professional’s insight into the mix. Take advantage of the warming weather and make sure your HVAC system is ready to run.