The summer is in full effect, which can be great for those who love the warm weather but it also means that your air conditioner will need to work overtime to keep the house cool.
To avoid eventual AC repair down the line and keep your cooling costs low, follow these HVAC maintenance tips and make sure that you don’t get caught with a faulty or broken unit when you need it the most!
“Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory. – George S. Patton
Change the Filters Regularly
How AC units work is that they basically channel and cool air that’s drawn through the air vents before it blows it back out into the room at a much cooler temperature.
However, the real superstars of this process are the filters located in the return air vents. They’re designed to filter out airborne particles like pet dander, dust, and rug fibers so that they don’t contaminate your AC units.
It’s important to regularly replace air filters every three months as part of HVAC maintenance to prevent your AC from working too hard. You might need to replace them even more frequently if you have pets that shed.
Other factors that might cause your AC performance to tank is hot air getting into your house via the ceiling due to floor cracks or a steamy attic.
To help remedy this situation, you have to seal off all air leaks in order to minimize strain on your AC and reduce the risk of having to do air conditioning repair later on.
To do this, you’ll simply have to spray instant foam insulation on the cracks to close them up. If you don’t know where to start or how to do it, simply call a local insulation company to help you out.
Draft coming in through the windows can also affect AC performance for the worst and make it difficult for your cooling unit to do its job.
Check windows for air leaks and if you notice any, seal them up immediately. Keep in mind that caulk can get damaged over time so you’ll need to remove the old caulk with a knife before applying the new one.
Tip: For best results, wait for the window trim to dry before you apply new caulk. Don’t be shy to get in there with the back of a spoon or a finger to smooth in the seam.
One of the preparation steps that homeowners are recommended to make prior to winter is to replace the weatherstripping that’s located on the exterior doors.
Following that line of thought, it can be helpful to follow this process in the summer months too, to prevent hot air from coming in through the doors.
Get a weatherstripping kit at a local hardware or home improvement store. The great thing about these kits is that they typically come with helpful and easy-to-follow instructions on how to use them and how to replace old ones.
Insulate Attic Ducts
Many older homes have air ducts that run through the attic, especially slab-on grade homes. However, a poorly ventilated attic can lead to unbearably hot conditions during the summer as the warm air flows right through the ducts into the rest of the house.
Insulate the ductwork in your attic in order to improve ventilation and avoid air leaks, especially in upstairs rooms. This will help keep the air cool while reducing the amount of strain placed on your AC.
Tip: You can use spray foam for this, as it is great to get rid of condensation and noise vibration as well.
Install a Smart Thermostat
What’s the point of running your air conditioner all day even when no-one’s at home? This can only serve to increase your energy bill at the end of the month and that’s a prospect that none of us want.
So, what can you do about it? Install a smart thermostat that will automatically switch your AC off or turn it down so that it doesn’t draw a lot of power when you’re not at home, and then switch back on when you’re close to returning.
This is all possible thanks to machine learning abilities built into most smart thermostats which often come with apps that you can install on your smartphone to enable remote control.
Add Reflective Solar Film
The sunlight typically comes into the house through the west and south side of the house, which helps to keep your house warm all day.
If like most people you don’t have high-efficiency argon-gas equipped windows, then you’re getting all the heat from the sun to radiate into your home thus forcing your AC to work overtime.
To prevent and minimize this issue, install reflective solar film onto the window glass. If you don’t want to DIY, there are plenty of local contractors that offer this service. This film works by deflecting the sun away from the window in order to cool down the interior of the house.
Is your AC system not cooling your home properly? Contact a pro to repair your unit and enjoy the warmer months!