With the arrival of warmer temperatures and the sun shining more intensely, it’s time to consider preparing your HVAC system for the upcoming summer months. The right preparation and maintenance can go a long way toward keeping your home cool and comfortable. It can even help keep energy bills in check! From checking your air filters to scheduling a maintenance appointment, these simple steps can ensure your HVAC system is in tip-top shape and ready for anything this summer brings.
Clean Your System
One of the most essential steps in preparing your HVAC system for hot weather is to clean it thoroughly. Over time, dirt, dust, and debris accumulate in the system, reducing efficiency and potentially causing breakdowns. In addition, dirty HVAC systems can circulate contaminants, allergens, and other harmful particles throughout your home, which can have adverse health effects. Cleaning your HVAC system ensures that it runs efficiently, effectively, and safely to improve indoor air quality.
The process of cleaning an HVAC system typically involves several steps. A professional HVAC technician will start by turning off the power to the system and removing the access panels to inspect the interior components of the system. They will then clean the blower assembly, evaporator coil, and condenser coil with a combination of brushes, compressed air, and cleaning solutions. These components are often the areas where the most dirt and debris accumulate and affect airflow. The technician will also clean the drain pan, drain line, and condensate pump, which can become clogged with dirt and debris, leading to water damage and mold growth.
Replacing filters is another critical aspect of cleaning your HVAC system. Filters are designed to trap particles that circulate in your home’s air, such as dust, pollen, and pet dander, preventing them from entering your HVAC system. Over time, filters become clogged with these particles. A dirty filter reduces your HVAC system’s airflow and efficiency, which is why it is crucial that you replace your filters regularly. Most experts recommend changing them at least every three months or more often if you have pets or allergies.
Check the Thermostat
The thermostat is the device that controls your air conditioner. A malfunctioning thermostat can lead to higher energy bills and an uncomfortable living environment. A professional HVAC technician can check and calibrate your thermostat to ensure it’s operating correctly. This involves testing the thermostat’s accuracy by comparing its readings to the actual temperature in your home. If there is a discrepancy, the technician may need to recalibrate the thermostat or replace it entirely.
If you don’t already have a programmable or smart thermostat, now is a great time to consider upgrading to one. Programmable thermostats offer several benefits that include convenience, comfort, and energy savings. A smart thermostat can learn your habits and activities and adjust the temperature automatically to keep you comfortable while still reducing energy usage. You can also control your HVAC system remotely with some types of programmable or smart thermostats, which means that you can quickly adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere you are.
Inspect Your Ductwork
The ductwork in your home carries cool air from your air conditioning unit to the various spaces in your home. Ductwork can develop leaks over time, causing several potentially serious problems.
First, leaking ductwork can lower the efficiency of your home’s HVAC system. The air conditioner will have to work harder to keep your home comfortable, and that increases not only your energy bills but also the risk of excess wear and tear in the AC unit. Second, leaky ductwork can affect the air quality in your home. Dirty ducts contain not just dust but pollutants, mold, and other particulates and allergens, increasing the risk of allergy symptoms and respiratory issues. Finally, leaky ductwork can cause uneven cooling throughout your home, leading to hot and cold spots and making your home uncomfortable during the summer months.
A professional HVAC technician can inspect your ductwork to ensure no physical damage. Specialized equipment, such as a dust blaster, is typically used to pressurize the duct and identify leaks. If a leak is discovered, the HVAC technician will address the issue to prevent its recurrence. This might involve sealing gaps or holes in the ductwork or replacing damaged sections entirely. Additionally, they may insulate your ductwork to prevent future leaks and improve the efficiency of your HVAC system.
Check Refrigerant Levels
The refrigerant is a vital component of your HVAC system, and its levels can be affected by various factors such as leaks or improper installation. A professional technician can check the refrigerant levels using specialized tools and equipment to ensure that the levels are optimal. They can also identify and repair any leaks in the system, preventing further damage and improving energy efficiency.
If the technician finds that the refrigerant levels are low, they will recharge the system with the appropriate amount of refrigerant. This process involves adding refrigerant to the system to bring it back to the manufacturer’s recommended level. It’s important to note that adding too much or too little refrigerant can result in poor system performance and potential damage.
Inspect Outdoor Unit
The outdoor unit, also known as the condenser, is responsible for releasing heat from your home into the outdoor air. A dirty or malfunctioning outdoor unit will force your AC unit to work harder to maintain the proper temperature.
An HVAC technician can inspect the outdoor unit during the maintenance visit. To do this, the technician will turn off the power to the unit, usually done by pulling out the disconnect box or flipping the power switch on the associated electrical panel. Next, any vegetation or debris, such as weeds, grass clippings, twigs, and dirt, accumulated around the unit will be removed to reduce the risk of overheating.
Once the debris has been removed, the technician will inspect the unit for signs of damage. They will examine the fins for bending or damage, which can interfere with airflow. They will also check for signs of corrosion and rust on the exterior of the unit, which can indicate a refrigerant leak. Finally, they’ll check the electrical connections to ensure no signs of fraying or other issues.
Next, the technician will remove the outer casing, allowing them to access the internal components. Specialized tools are needed to clean these parts, including the coils and fins.
While it’s smart to look over your AC unit periodically to spot early signs of potential problems and remove debris from the outer unit, getting a professional to perform essential inspections and routine maintenance at least once a year is recommended.
Get in Touch With Professionals Today!
Are you in need of dependable air conditioning, heating, or indoor air quality services in the Greater East Valley area? At Honest Air Conditioning, we can provide the solutions you need. Our team of skilled technicians offers expert installations, repairs, and maintenance services for all your HVAC requirements. Call Honest Air Conditioning today to learn more about our services.