HVAC Tips for the Summer: General Maintenance & Vacation Prep
Posted by Will Housh on July 18
Summer is a time to spend with friends and family, hanging around the house or traveling to favorite vacation destinations. Between planning fun trips, spending time with the kids on their summer break or making the most out of beautiful, hot summer days, one thing is for sure – HVAC preparation and maintenance often takes a backseat. Luckily, we are here to give you a few general maintenance tips for your HVAC unit to ensure it runs smoothly throughout the summer, as well as specific HVAC tips for prepping your system before leaving on vacation.
Summer HVAC Maintenance Tips
You can feel it when you walk out of your home in the morning. The sun is beating down and the humidity is up. Summer has officially arrived. With the start of summer comes the start of the season for your air conditioner. Make sure your system is ready with a few helpful HVAC tips!
- Check/Change the Air Filter- A blocked air filter can make keeping your home cool difficult. If the filter is clogged with dirt, be sure to change it out. Otherwise, your system will have to work much harder to keep you cool, which can cause higher energy bills. If you have more questions about air filters, check out our article about furnace filters today!
- Clean the Condenser Coil- The condenser coil lets off heat outside in order to cool off the refrigerant. Once it has cooled off, the refrigerant goes back inside and through the evaporator coil, cooling off your home. If the condenser coil becomes dirty, it will not allow your home to cool off properly. In addition, a dirty condenser coil causes your air conditioner to work much harder, raising your energy bills. Since your system has to work harder, its lifespan can be shortened as well. This can result in expensive repairs or having to replace the system sooner than desired. Check out our article on how to clean your air conditioning condenser to see the step by step process.
- Check the Refrigerant Lines- Refrigerant lines are the two copper pipes that connect the outside condensing unit to the inside evaporator coil. The larger one is usually insulated with a black rubbery foam insulation. Refrigerant lines should always be properly insulated. Having refrigerant lines that are insulated will help keep your system running at peak efficiency. If you find that the refrigerant lines need repairs, be sure to get in touch with one of our trusted professionals today and they would be glad to assist you.
- Turn on your System- The best way to find out if there is any issue with your air conditioning system is by turning it on. Be sure to listen for anything that sounds unusual, such as the fan being too loud. Also, set your thermostat to the desired temperature. After about an hour or two, if you do not see the temperature in your home moving toward that temperature, it may be time to contact a trusted professional to determine the issue that is causing your home not to reach the desired temperature.
- Regular Maintenance- The best way to save money on your air conditioning system is to have it regularly serviced by a licensed and trusted professional. You should try to have this maintenance done before the start of summer, as HVAC service appointments fill up quickly and emergency appointments can be expensive. If you need a professional, let us help find you one in your area today!
- Turn up the Temperature- When you are gone during the day, you don’t want your home to be kept as cool as if you were there. This can cause higher energy bills for you. By turning up the temperature a few degrees during the day, such as going from 72 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit, you can save money on your energy bills. If you have pets and are concerned about their comfort and safety, check out the best ways to keep them cool here!
Five HVAC Tips To Prepare Your System For Summer Vacation
The summer is hot and you are going to want to run your air conditioning to keep cool. The last thing you’d want when returning from vacation is to find your AC isn’t working properly! Here are a few helpful tips for prepping your HVAC system before heading out on vacation.
- Raise the Thermostat- While you are out of town, you will not need your system to keep the house at a comfortable temperature. Raising the temperature while you are out of town can save you a lot of money on your energy bill and repairs in the future. In general, it is a good idea to set your thermostat between 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit while you are away. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can program it to have your house at a comfortable temperature the day you return.
- Surge Protection- You never know when you might lose power at your home. If there is a power outage or power surge while you are out of town, your HVAC system could become damaged. Installing a surge protector for your system can help put your mind at ease with the knowledge that your system will not be damaged due to an electrical outage. If you are unsure if your system is protected, click here to speak to a local contractor from our nationwide network who can help you determine if you have the right protection for your system.
- Air Filter Maintenance- While you are away, your system will still be running. Since it will still be running, it is important that your air filter be as clean as possible before you leave for your trip. Having a clean filter will help prevent any malfunctions with your system while you are away.
- Security- While many of us set up timers to turn lights on and off while we are away, we usually do not consider security measures with our HVAC system. Simply putting in sensor lights or an alarm on your system can prove to be a valuable level of protection. In addition, you could gate off or put some fencing around your system that is locked for more protection.
- Routine Maintenance- Before you leave for your trip, it is a good idea to have your HVAC technician come out and do an inspection of your system to see if there are any issues that need to be addressed. Among other things, the tech should check to make sure coils are clean, refrigerant levels are correct, the air filter is clean, electrical connections are tight, and the system is producing the right temperature drop across the evaporator coil. We recommend that you schedule air conditioner maintenance if you are going to be out of town. Even if you will only be gone for a couple of days, having your technician come out and check your system could save you on repairs later. If you do not have a technician that you trust, click here to connect with a quality HVAC contractor in your area!
As you can see, there are a few important ways to keep your HVAC system running at its most efficient while you are out of town. Your vacation should be a time of relaxation, not worries.
By following the simple tips outlined here, you will be able relax this summer, knowing that your air conditioning system will be in good shape.