Summer in California is no joke. As the sunny season approaches, make sure your HVAC system is ready to keep you cool in the sizzling heat, minus the huge energy bills and even damage to your unit.
Having an air conditioner running 24/7 in the hottest months of the year makes complete sense; that’s why it’s so important to make sure your unit is in top shape. Now is the time to start thinking about what you can do to keep your air conditioning unit, or HVAC, at its peak.
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Here are a few simple steps you can take to prepare your AC unit for the hottest season of the year.
1. Check the AC Filter
Replacing your AC filter is one of the most effective and fastest maintenance tasks you can do for your air conditioning system, as long as you remember to do it. Depending on your system, you may need to use a disposable type filter or a permanent one. With a disposable filter, you need to replace your air filter at least once a month. Other types of filters need to be thoroughly cleaned roughly once a month for the unit to function correctly. You may need to clean or replace your filters more frequently if you have pets or smokers in your home.
Make sure to replace the air filter on a regular basis to keep your home fresh and clear any dust or dirt, restricting the cool air from circulating freely throughout your home, which also helps your unit work efficiently and doesn’t spike up your utility bills.
2. Clear Your Outdoor Area
Make sure the area surrounding your HVAC outside your home is clear and free from debris. If there are any plants, branches, or other items that block the area or touch your air conditioner, you need to clear it away.
Become proactive to clean everything away and prevent collected material from interfering between different parts of the HVAC interior, making it difficult to thoroughly and completely clean.
A good rule of thumb is to have an open space of around two feet surrounding your HVAC to avoid debris getting inside of the machine in the first place.
3. Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable Thermostats allow you to customize your air conditioning schedule even when you aren’t home.
Depending on the weather and preferences, you can adjust the temperature inside of your house and even schedule your unit to turn off or let the indoor temperature rise a little if you are leaving the house. This helps you save money and prevents your air conditioner from working too hard during the warmest months, thus enhancing the lifespan of your unit.
4. Maximize AirFlow With Fans
Fans are a great investment and make a big difference in the comfort and feel of the air inside. You can explore different options according to your design needs: ceiling fans, tabletop fans, and floor fans.
If you own a ceiling fan, a great tip is to pay attention to the rotational direction. Ceiling fans should rotate clockwise during the summer so the air can flow downward, preventing excess heat from rising into the higher levels of your home and making your air conditioner work harder.
When the weather begins to cool off again, you can reverse your ceiling fan to spin in the other direction.
Smaller tabletop fans and floor fans are conveniently moved around the rooms of your home and are effective cooling systems.
Don’t forget to enjoy the outdoor air when the weather is nice outside and keep a window open.
5. Go For Blinds or Drapes
The heat of the sun easily penetrates through the glass windows making your air conditioner work harder to cool the space.
One way to handle this is to invest in blinds or drapes that cover large sun-exposed areas, preventing the afternoon buildup of heat and lowering your energy bills.
6. Clean Your Air Duct System
Cleaning your air ducts is one of the healthiest HVAC maintenance decisions you can make. Over time, the walls of your furnace and air conditioning system become laden with particles of dust, allergens, and other debris. Some of these contaminants may cause allergic reactions others significantly decrease the efficiency of your heating or cooling system.
When air ducts become overloaded with debris and dust particles, the HVAC system has to work harder to bypass clogged air ducts, which translates into higher energy bills.
The key to the continued and efficient operation of your heating and cooling system is periodic cleaning and maintenance. Keeping your air ducts clean will help your system operate at its peak energy efficiency and safe operation.
7. Consider Updating Your Unit
If you’ve tried all of these tips and your HVAC unit is still not sufficiently cooling your home, it may be time to invest in an upgraded system. An older unit may actually be costing you more money due to cooling loss and excess waste. Newer air conditioners are more reliable and energy-efficient solutions.
Choosing a new HVAC system is something that you can do with the help of our professional team.
Find out more about how we can help you prepare your HVAC system for summer—call us at (818) 403-3775 for reliable AC maintenance in California!