All You Need to Know about AC Repair

Posted by Will Housh on June 9

Summer weather has hit throughout the country – at some point this season, you may need AC repair. When a cooling system is on the fritz, it can be a concerning time for homeowners – we’re here to make your life a little easier!

HVAC.com has some very comprehensive resources available to aid homeowners like you in times of AC repair crisis. Using the resources below, you can work to protect your cooling system from breakdown, better understand what types of AC repairs you may face, know what to do in emergency situations, and know how to find a trusted AC repair company when you need them.

Prevent AC Repair with Maintenance

The best way to prevent an air conditioning system problem is to properly maintain your unit. You’ll find this information helpful in your mission:

“AC maintenance prevents the need for AC repairs. Maintaining your system properly means you’ll be less likely to experience breakdowns during cooling season. Protect your system and prevent expensive repair bills!

  • Clean off your unit. Keeping your exterior air conditioner condenser unit free and clear of obstructions allows air to flow through the system correctly. This eliminates stress and keeps the system working properly. Clear away vegetation and clean off debris – follow these simple AC cleaning instructions.
  • Clean indoor vents and registers. As air circulates through the home, dust and dirt can stick to your vents and registers. This not only makes your home dirtier, but diminishes your indoor air quality. Follow these vent cleaning instructions to do so easily!
  • Change your air filter. Air filters need changed every 30 to 90 days, depending on the type of filter you have. It’s a wise idea to get on a regular schedule – note filter changes on your calendar, and make a note to check them every month during the summer, when your system runs ‘round the clock. Follow these filter change instructions to get the job done.
  • Keep pests out. When critters get in to your home’s HVAC system, they can cause great destruction. Their presence and leftovers have a negative impact on your indoor air quality. Pest-proof your AC components to keep them out! “

Common AC Repairs

Should you experience a system breakdown, know that there are a few common causes of summer AC repairs. Below you’ll find a few of the most common ones AC repair technicians face each day throughout the warmer months. Having a better understanding of the troubles your system may face can help you feel more at ease with the AC repair process, and better comprehend the information given to you by your technician.

Home AC Repair: Refrigerant Leak

“Air conditioners contain refrigerant, which allows the system to run efficiently, releasing heat from the air to cool it. Air conditioners are charged with refrigerant upon installation; a poor charge or a refrigerant leak can cause the system’s refrigerant level to fall below the proper amount. To remedy this, the home AC repair which is performed is a refrigerant recharge, accompanied by fixing the leak if that was the source causing low refrigerant levels.

It is important that the technician performing your home AC repair charge your cooling system with the proper amount of refrigerant. The manufacturer will specify this amount – correct refrigerant charge allows your cooling system to perform efficiently and accurately.

Home AC Repair: Drainage Issues

An air conditioner’s cooling process produces condensation, which normally flows away from the equipment, causing no problem. If there is a clog in the condensate drain lines or drip pan, or if outdoor humidity levels are high, moisture may back up into your air conditioner. Excess condensation will increase indoor humidity levels and hinder the air conditioner’s performance. It could also cause damage to your air conditioner’s components.

To correct this issue, your home AC repair technician will inspect all condensate lines and the drip pan. The lines will be cleared of clogs, and may be treated for algae growth to prevent future clogs. If air conditioner components have been damaged, your technician will provide you with an estimate to repair this equipment.

Home AC Repair: Broken Compressor Fan

Your air conditioner’s outside unit is home to the compressor, fan, and condenser coils. These components work to release heat from the air, transferring it out of your home to produce a cool indoor climate. When the outdoor fan isn’t working correctly, the heat transfer process is hindered. Not only will this prevent your air conditioner from adequately cooling your home, a broken fan can cause the system’s compressor to overheat. An overheated compressor could trigger the air conditioner’s safety controls, turning your air conditioner off; overheating can also cause damage to the compressor itself, requiring home AC repair or compressor replacement.

A qualified home AC repair specialist will diagnose the issue preventing the outdoor fan from working properly. Your fan will be repaired or replaced if necessary, and the outdoor unit will be inspected to assess whether the issue has caused further system damage.

Home AC Repair: Frozen Condenser Coils

If your air conditioner’s condenser coils, which are located in the outdoor unit, freeze up, your system will not run properly. Poor airflow through your cooling system can cause ice to form on the coils. Obstructions are typically the cause – such as dirty air filters or blocked return air ducts. Low refrigerant could also be the cause, requiring a refrigerant charge. A home AC repair technician can diagnose the issue behind your frozen coils, resolve it, and safely thaw your coils to restore cooling in your home.”

Emergency AC Repairs

AC breakdowns don’t always happen at convenient times. When your cooling system goes out in the middle of a hot day or night, it can be easy to panic – but stay calm! If you need AC repair after hours or in a hurry, there are a few steps you should take first – then call for local air conditioning repair.

Step 1: Try Air Conditioner Troubleshooting

Did you know that sometimes, what we assume to be a serious emergency air conditioner repair can actually be solved with some simple troubleshooting?

Cooling system issues may seem like an emergency, especially if you aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of HVAC equipment. Cooling system troubleshooting steps can be performed by most any homeowner – sometimes, your emergency air conditioner repairs may be solved with the flip of a switch or a filter change.

Before calling a technician for emergency air conditioner repairs, check out our Air Conditioner Troubleshooting Guide. These fixes could restore cooling sooner and save you an expensive emergency repair bill.

Step 2: Shut Down Your System

If your air conditioner isn’t cooling, or is experiencing another performance issue, shut it off. Don’t continue to operate a malfunctioning air conditioner, as that may worsen the problem at hand. This is one reason we do preventative maintenance checks pre-season – a technician identifies and corrects problems, so you don’t run your system with faulty components, causing more damage.

Shut your air conditioner down when performance issues arise. These include lack of cooling, no airflow, sudden system noises, or even outrageous energy bills. Shutting the system down will prevent further damage. Operating your system with performance issues could exacerbate the problem, even wrecking your system beyond repair.”

Finding Local AC Repair Contractors

A local AC repair contractor is your best bet for quality, timely cooling system repairs. If you don’t already have one you have worked with before and trust, finding a new HVAC technician can be trying. Luckily, a few reliable options exist for recommendations.

HVAC.com Online Contractor Directory

HVAC.com is your one-stop shop for finding local air conditioner repair. Our free online contractor directory is home to HVAC contractor listings from across the U.S. Just type in your ZIP code to find HVAC pros in your area. You can even narrow down search results, which will help you find contractors with specific qualifications or who service certain brands.

HVAC.com is the top heating and air conditioning resource site in the world! As you search for a contractor, check out our Resource Center and the HVAC.com Blog to find answers to any heating, air conditioning, or indoor air quality question. Learn about the types of systems used in homes and businesses, how to vet contractors, and more which will best prepare you for working with the pros you’ll find through our directory.

Air Conditioning Contractors of America

A search for “AC unit repair near me” may lead you to Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). ACCA is the leading trade organization for heating and cooling professionals. ACCA represents HVAC pros throughout the country, providing technical, legal, and marketing resources for small businesses. They also work to develop industry standards that govern heating, ventilation, and air conditioning work throughout the country.

Home and business owners may search ACCA’s member database to discover local air conditioner repair contractors in their area. The ACCA Find a Contractor is free! Use it to identify local HVAC professionals serving specific market segments, performing all types of heating, cooling, indoor air quality, and building performance work.

Personal Recommendations

Aside from the resources above, your friends and family are a great resource. Ask them, “Do you know where I can find AC unit repair near me?” If they’ve used a local professional for HVAC work before, you’ll get a trusted, personal account of the experience – good or bad.

Turning to a source you know and trust is a solution many can rely on. Online review sites can be full of negative or glowing experiences – you don’t know who’s telling the truth on Yelp, you don’t know who they are! Your neighbor, coworker, or family member is someone you’ve built a relationship with. You trust their opinions on many subjects – local air conditioner repair is no different.”

HVAC.com is here to help you with all your AC repair needs. Study our comprehensive online resources to learn all about AC repair, and search our Contractor Directory to locate an AC repair company close to you!


Source: HVAC.com

Frequently Asked HVAC Questions

Posted by Will Housh on June 7

Not everyone is as familiar with heating and cooling as we are at HVAC.com – that’s OK! Industry professionals don’t expect it – that’s what we are here for!

Whenever you have HVAC questions, you can always contact us or a local heating and air conditioning pro. Or, check the HVAC.com Resource Center for in-depth information on most any HVAC question you can come up with! Our Resource Center has the answers you need for HVAC questions on most any topic, so dig in!

Maybe you just have a few simple questions, or aren’t ready to dive into the Resource Center? Below, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked HVAC questions – you’ll find easy answers to your need-to-know questions.

HVAC Question: What’s the best way to find a contractor?

Answer: We may be partial, but the HVAC.com Contractor Directory is the perfect place to start! We’ve built a comprehensive directory of heating and cooling professionals throughout the country. You can easily search by your ZIP code for the heating and air conditioning service companies operating in your area. Our Certified Contractors program sets excelling contractors out from the crowd – look for the Certified Contractor seal for our recommendation!

HVAC Question: It’s hot out and my air conditioner won’t turn on, what do I do?

Answer: Many times, an air conditioner that won’t turn on can be resolved with some simple troubleshooting by you. Power sources are commonly the problem, so check them all. Switches on the condenser and air handler, thermostat batteries, and circuit breakers. Next, make sure your thermostat is set appropriately – it should be set to COOL mode, and the temperature a few degrees lower than the current room temperature. If these troubleshooting tasks don’t restore cool air, call in the pros.

HVAC Question: How can I save energy without investing in new systems?

Answer: A programmable thermostat is a simple, easy, and affordable HVAC upgrade that truly makes a difference in energy savings! Programmable thermostats, when used properly, can help you save up to $180 per year, says ENERGY STAR. Human error or apathy causes a lot of energy waste – a programmable thermostat eliminates that excuse, automatically adjusting household temperatures! When set with optimal temperatures and setbacks of 8 hours or more at one time, a programmable thermostat is sure to show the energy savings you desire. An HVAC pro can walk you through equipment options and provide the skilled installation needed so you can start using it right away!

For all your HVAC questions, locate trustworthy local professionals through the HVAC.com Contractor Directory. Search by your ZIP code for Certified Contractors who serve homeowners in your area!


Source: HVAC.com

Top HVAC Companies Across the Country

Posted by Will Housh on June 6

There are over 105,000 HVAC companies in the United States – that’s a lot of choices for homeowners to select from! In most cities and towns across the country, there are multiple heating and air conditioning companies which serve the same area.

HVAC.com makes it simple for homeowners to connect with leading HVAC companies. Our online Contractor Directory brings you the best in the business – find business and contact information for heating and air conditioning companies throughout the country!

How do you know which company delivers quality, and won’t let you down? We recommend choosing an HVAC.com Certified Contractor for your heating and cooling needs. HVAC.com is operated by industry experts – we know the business, and know how to assess heating and cooling companies for quality workmanship and industry expertise. All Certified Contractors have been thoroughly evaluated, and have met and exceeded our standards. When working with a Certified Contractor, you can expect to receive trustworthy guidance and advice, elite workmanship, and an admirable customer service experience.

HVAC.com’s Contractor Directory has detailed listings for qualified heating, cooling, and indoor air quality professionals serving all 50 U.S. states:

MO Missouri
NE Nebraska
NV Nevada
NH New Hampshire
NJ New Jersey
NM New Mexico
NY New York
NC North Carolina
ND North Dakota
OH Ohio
OK Oklahoma
OR Oregon
PA Pennsylvania
RI Rhode Island
SC South Carolina
SD South Dakota
TN Tennessee
TX Texas
UT Utah
VT Vermont
VA Virginia
WA Washington
WV West Virginia
WI Wisconsin
WY Wyoming
MT Montana

Ready to find heating and air conditioning companies that serve your area? Check out HVAC.com’s Contractor Directory today. Search the directory by ZIP code to identify local HVAC companies who can assist you with your heating, cooling, and indoor air quality needs, including installation, repairs, and maintenance.


Source: HVAC.com

HVAC Maintenance Tip: Keep Equipment Clear

Posted by Will Housh on June 1

When it comes to HVAC maintenance, how you maintain the areas surrounding your equipment can be just as important as the maintenance of the actual systems. Poor maintenance in the immediate areas surrounding your air conditioner or furnace could decrease system efficiency, damage components, and even put your family in danger. Follow these HVAC maintenance tips to protect your heating and cooling equipment.

  • Keep the exterior condenser unit or heat pump clear of items. You should leave a clearance of at least two feet surrounding the unit. This will facilitate proper airflow, and allow access to the unit should repairs be required. Never install an enclosure directly against the unit. Outdoor items should never be stored surrounding the unit.
  • Local building codes require gas furnaces and other gas appliances maintain a clearance from the floor and surrounding walls. Space should be left for many reasons: allow HVAC maintenance technicians access to the system, to improve airflow to the system, and to prevent combustible byproducts from building up in the surrounding area, which could lead to a fire. Furnace manufacturers note in their equipment installation guides how much clearance is necessary surrounding their system.
  • Never store items directly next to your furnace. This can limit airflow to the unit, which decreases energy efficiency and cause damage to the system.
  • Certain items should never be stored near a furnace, because they can cause a fire or combust. Combustible materials such as paint or gasoline should be kept in an entirely separate area. Clothing and other fabrics stored near a furnace can catch fire and limit airflow. Cat litter boxes should not be kept in furnace rooms, as ammonia fumes can cause corrosion of the furnace’s heat exchanger. Cleaning solutions should be stored outside the furnace room, in sealed containers.

HVAC.com is your resources for HVAC maintenance tips and tricks. Need professional assistance or to schedule annual preventative maintenance for your heating, cooling, and indoor air quality systems? Search our online Contractor Directory to find a local HVAC maintenance technician who can keep your systems running smoothly and efficiently.


Source: HVAC.com

Use HVAC.com to Find an HVAC Installer in Arizona

Posted by Will Housh on May 31

Arizona’s seven million residents are served by a vast selection of HVAC installers in Arizona who provide the cooling and heating services the state demands. If you don’t already have a trusted contractor, it can be difficult to know who to call – HVAC.com solves that problem for you, through our extensive online contractor directory.

HVAC Companies in Arizona Know the State’s Comfort Needs

When you think Arizona, many think of blistering heat. While it’s true areas of the state experience temps steadily in the 120s, the climate really ranges depending on elevation. Most of the state enjoys a mild winter, but homes and businesses still require a reliable heating system when temperatures do drop.

HVAC companies in Arizona are experienced in developing comfortable indoor climates for homeowners and business owners throughout the state. Working with a skilled professional is your best bet for achieving the indoor comfort you desire, which you can rely upon year-round.

Use HVAC.com to Locate HVAC Installers in Arizona

The HVAC.com contractor directory is a comprehensive, easy-to-use list of local professional HVAC installers in Arizona. We’ve compiled this online directory to make it easier for homeowners and business owners to find reliable HVAC companies in Arizona quickly, when they are in need of heating and cooling services.

Using the HVAC.com contractor directory, you can find HVAC installers in Arizona who serve cities such as:

Certified Contractor HVAC Companies in Arizona

As you browse our online directory of HVAC companies in Arizona, you will see the Certified Contractor seal next to some of the company listings in your search results. This seal tells you that we have pre-screened this company, and they have met our approval. Certified Contractors incorporate industry best practices to deliver quality work for their customers, backed by a superior customer service experience. If you’re not sure which HVAC installer in Arizona to call, we recommend you start with a Certified Contractor.

Find HVAC Installers in Arizona Now

Visit HVAC.com’s Contractor Directory to find HVAC installers in Arizona who serve your area. Search by ZIP code to see local HVAC companies in Arizona who provide the heating, cooling, and indoor air quality services you need.


Source: HVAC.com

HVAC Maintenance Tip: Improve System Airflow

Posted by Will Housh on May 30

Restricted airflow is a major problem for heating and cooling systems. Without proper airflow through the system, equipment can become overheated, stressed and forced to consume excessive energy, and it may not be possible to deliver the conditioned air you need in the home.

HVAC Maintenance Steps to Improve Airflow

Homeowners should perform HVAC maintenance monthly to ensure their systems have access to adequate airflow – it’ll improve your comfort and system efficiency. Here’s what to do:

  • Inspect your air filter, changing it if needed. Most air filters should be changed about every 3 months, but during periods of heavy system use, such as summer and winter months, they may become clogged with contaminants sooner and require changing more frequently. Each month, take a look at your filter – if it’s covered in grey contamination, install a fresh one or clean your replaceable filter. Also, it’s best not to use air filters with a MERV rating of 13 or higher (such as HEPA filters) in residential HVAC systems – these powerful filters may actually restrict airflow through the system. A filter rated MERV 8 to 12 is ideal for superior contaminant removal in residential environments. For added contaminant control and air quality improvement, consider installing a whole home air purification system.
  • Check all vents and grilles inside the home. No furniture, rugs, or other items should be placed on top or in front of them. All vent louvers should be set to open – if you wish to close off unused areas to save energy, installing a zoning system is a smarter solution. Your home’s HVAC system was designed to work optimally with all vents open – closing them can cause air to back up in the system, damaging HVAC components as well as ducting.
  • During summer months, ensure your exterior condenser or heat pump has not become clogged with contaminants. It’s easy for grass clippings to blow up against and cover the fins of the unit, which will restrict air from moving through it. Vegetation growing around the unit can also cause airflow issues. Never store items around your cooling system components. If you wish to build a surround to disguise your equipment, leave proper clearance surrounding the unit to allow for air movement – at least 2 feet.

Duct system issues and ventilation problems may also stand in the way of your HVAC systems receiving adequate airflow. These are best handled by qualified HVAC maintenance professionals who can diagnose airflow issues and perform needed repairs or equipment installations.

Find an HVAC Maintenance Technician Today

HVAC.com’s Contractor Directory is your go-to source for finding local HVAC maintenance pros who will provide expert airflow solutions. Search your ZIP code to find a pro near you now!


Source: HVAC.com

Summer HVAC Maintenance: Smart Thermostat Settings

Posted by Will Housh on May 25

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to set your programmable thermostat with your summer temperature cooling schedules. Taking a little time now to pre-program your setbacks will allow your thermostat to effortlessly adjust comfort levels in the home as needed all season long.

About Programmable Thermostats

If you don’t already have one, upgrading to a programmable model can be done cost-effectively, and will make a huge difference in your home HVAC energy consumption, when used properly. When used correctly, a programmable thermostat could save you approximately $180 each year, according to ENERGY STAR.

There are many options available when purchasing a programmable thermostat, but you’ll have 3 basic scheduling capabilities to choose from: 7-day, 5+2 day, and 5-1-1 day. These options reference the ability to set different programs every day, for the weekdays versus weekend days, or for the weekdays, Saturday, and Sunday. Most programmable models, regardless of type, allow for 4 temperature adjustments each day – lets learn how to set them optimally.

HVAC Maintenance: Programming Your Thermostat

For many households, this is what a typical schedule will look like.

  • Your first temperature adjustment of the day will be in the morning, when the household starts waking up. Program temperatures to adjust about 15 minutes before you wake up for optimal efficiency and comfort.
  • When the home will be vacated for the day, set temperatures to rise 10 to 15 degrees. Doing so for periods of 8 hours or more can save you 1 percent in energy costs for every degree you set your stat back.
  • About 15 minutes before you’re due home, set the thermostat to return indoor temperatures to your preferred occupied settings.
  • When you go to sleep is another perfect time to set temperatures back as much as you’re comfortable. About 15 minutes after bedtime, set temperatures to rise.

Find HVAC Maintenance Technicians on HVAC.com

Need the help of an HVAC maintenance technician to upgrade or repair your programmable thermostat? Search the HVAC.com Contractor Directory to find qualified, Certified Contractors in your area today.


Source: HVAC.com

Find HVAC Companies in New York

Posted by Will Housh on May 24

The lights of the Big Apple, the natural beauty of Upstate – New York is a diverse and wonderful state. Whether you like the hustle and bustle of the big city, or the calm and seclusion of the woods, New York has something to offer residents with all preferences. About nine million people already call the state home, and dwell in a range of abodes, from country cabins to high-rise condos.

No matter where in New York you’ve made your home, at some point, you’ll need an HVAC installer in New York to keep your home feeling comfortable.

New York Climate

New York City is an urban heat island, with warmer overnight temperatures than the less dense surrounding areas. Outside the city, the majority of the state experiences a humid continental climate. Winter temperatures in inland New York are bitter, averaging below freezing during January and February; along the Atlantic coast, temperatures are milder.

HVAC Installers in New York

There are many HVAC installers in New York, serving residents and business owners throughout the state. Locating one when you’re in need of heating or cooling help can be a challenge – there are so many HVAC companies in New York to choose from, how do you find the right one to meet your needs?

HVAC.com’s extensive online contractor directory is your solution for finding an HVAC installer in New York. Search by your ZIP code, or enter keywords specific to what services you need, or your equipment, and find a list of HVAC companies in New York that can help you!

Through the HVAC.com Contractor Directory, you can locate HVAC installers in New York cities including:

HVAC.com Certified Contractors

When browsing HVAC companies in New York that serve your area, look for the Certified Contractor seal. HVAC.com awards the Certified Contractor designation to HVAC installers in New York who have been pre-screened and met our high standards. We evaluate contractors based on industry knowledge and best practices as well a customer service – we want you to have an easy and rewarding experience when working with the contractors you find through our directory. The Certified Contractor seal makes it easier for you to find pros you can trust.

Get Started Finding HVAC Companies in New York

Ready to find an HVAC installer in New York State serving your area? Visit the HVAC.com Contractor Directory now to start your search.


Source: HVAC.com

HVAC Maintenance Tip: Clearing Condensate Lines

Posted by Will Housh on May 23

Summer is here, and your cooling system will be working heavily to keep your home comfortable over the next few months. The cooling process creates condensation – normally, this exits your system and home without any issues. Occasionally, issues with your drip pan or condensate drain lines may cause water to back up into your home or HVAC equipment.

Spotting HVAC Maintenance Condensation Issues

Water on the floor nearby your air handling unit/evaporator coil is a sign there is a problem with your cooling system’s condensation drain lines. The system will have a drip pan, which is typically located to the bottom of the unit. The drip pan connects to the condensate drain line, which carries water out of the home.

When the drip pan becomes full or clogged, or the condensate line is clogged, water can spill over the drip pan’s edges, onto the floor surrounding the unit. Another sign your condensate lines may be clogged is if no moisture is exiting outdoors.

Musty odors and increasing humidity inside your home are additional signs of a condensate drain system issue. If left untreated, this simple HVAC maintenance issue could lead to serious water damage inside your home.

What Causes this Problem?

Due to the moisture produced by the cooling process combined with airborne contaminants, mold and algae can form in the drip pan. The growth can clog the drip pan, or even rinse into the condensate drain lines causing a clog in the piping.

HVAC Maintenance: Clear Condensate Line Clogs

If you spot any of the tell-tale signs of a condensate line or drip pan clog, the average homeowner is more than capable of clearing simple clogs if confident. To clean your drip pan and condensate lines, follow these steps:

  1. Shut off power to your HVAC system. Turn it off at the thermostat as well as the breaker.
  2. Locate the drip pan, which is typically positioned underneath the interior air handling unit. You may need to remove a sheet metal panel to access it.
  3. If water is present in the drip pan, a clog is likely present in the line. Using a wet/dry vacuum or rags, remove all water from the drip pan.
  4. Remove the drip pan and clean away all mold, algae, and contamination with a mild soap.
  5. Using your wet/dry vacuum, remove clogs from the condensate drain line. At the exterior exit of the line, using your hand create a seal around the line and the vacuum hose. Run the vacuum for one minute, then inspect the canister for clogs. If the vacuum does not clear the clog, you may be able to run a flexible rubber tube through the lines to manually remove the clog. If you cannot free the clog or are not comfortable with these steps, call an HVAC maintenance professional.
  6. Clean the drain lines at the access point. This is usually a T-shaped vent which has a PVC cover. Remove the cover to access the drain. Using distilled vinegar or hot water with a mild dish soap, you can flush out the drain. Leave your solution to soak for 30 minutes, then rinse the lines with clean water. Someone should watch the exterior condensate line exit to ensure water moves through the lines freely.

Find an HVAC Maintenance Pro in Your Area

Not every homeowner is comfortable performing the necessary steps to clear condensate drain line clogs – that’s ok! An HVAC maintenance technician is happy to do it for you, and can provide other solutions to prevent mold and algae growth that cause line clogs.

Use the HVAC.com Contractor Directory to find a local HVAC maintenance professional in your area now!


Source: HVAC.com

Your Summer HVAC Maintenance Guide

Posted by Will Housh on May 18

Just like any critical piece of equipment, your heating and cooling systems require regular HVAC maintenance to keep them running properly. Home and business owners should stay on top of maintenance tasks year-round to improve system performance and efficiency.

Don’t know exactly what to do as far as HVAC maintenance goes? We’ve put together a summer guide that details the exact steps you should take throughout the warmest part of the year to keep your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump, or other HVAC equipment operating smoothly. We’ll start in May and take you through the end of August with the necessary steps.

May

  • Start your air conditioner. Even if the outdoor temperatures aren’t quite hot enough to use the cooling system yet, it’s smart to fire up your system ahead of the season. You’ll be able to identify system start-up issues and other performance issues, such as a lack of cool air or frequent cycling, and have them repaired prior to rising temperatures. This way, your system issues will be resolved before you need to use your air conditioner or heat pump, and you won’t be stuck waiting for repairs when the first hot day of the year rolls around.
  • Set your programmable thermostat schedules for cooling season. Create temperature schedules that fit the occupancy schedules of your home or business. Programmable thermostats may allow for different schedules each day, for the week and weekend, or for the week and each day of the weekend, depending on the model, and typically accommodate up to four temperature adjustments daily. Remember, setting temperatures back 10 to 15 degrees for periods of 8 hours or more can save you one percent on energy costs for every degree you set your thermostat back. Perfect times for setbacks are overnight or during hours your home or business will be unoccupied. Set temperatures to adjust to occupied comfort levels about 15 minutes before the dwelling or building will be occupied to avoid discomfort without wasting energy. During occupied hours, keep everyone comfortable while conserving energy. Keeping the thermostat’s temperature at 78 degrees is optimal for energy efficiency when people are indoors, and will help them stay cool without consuming excessive energy.
  • Check your air filter. During periods of heavy cooling system use, the filter should be inspected monthly to make sure it has not become full of contaminants. You may find it necessary to replace it sooner than the 3-month mark during these times, so have a replacement ready just in case.
  • Inspect all registers and return air grilles in your home to ensure they have not been blocked or shut. These vents should never be blocked, as doing so will restrict airflow through your HVAC systems, which could create performance issues and system overheating. Move all carpets and rugs, furniture, and other items away from vents. Check to see that vent louvers are open; if you wish to shut off cooling to unused areas of your home or building, never close more than 20 percent of the structure’s HVAC vents. If you have many unused areas, consider investing in a zoning system which will allow you to reduce energy waste while facilitating proper HVAC system performance – work with a trusted HVAC contractor to design and install zoning solutions for your home or business.
  • Inspect your exterior cooling equipment. Gently brush away any grass clippings and debris which have gathered on the unit. Trim away vegetation that has grown around the unit. Never store outdoor furniture or other items in the area immediately surrounding the unit.
  • Inspect your cooling system’s drip pan and condensate drain lines for clogs. If these components become clogged with mold or algae growth, condensation from the cooling process cannot exit your home or building properly. This can cause the cooling system to malfunction, or water to back up indoors, causing water damage. If water has backed up, clear clogs within the drip pan or condensate drain lines. Turn off power to the system for safety before doing so. Use a wet/dry vacuum to clear water from the drip pan, or use rags to soak it up. Clean the drip pan using a mild soap. Clear clogs from the condensate drain lines using your wet/dry vacuum.

June

  • Check your air filter. During periods of heavy cooling system use, the filter should be inspected monthly to make sure it has not become full of contaminants. You may find it necessary to replace it sooner than the 3-month mark during these times, so have a replacement ready just in case.
  • Inspect all registers and return air grilles in your home to ensure they have not been blocked or shut. These vents should never be blocked, as doing so will restrict airflow through your HVAC systems, which could create performance issues and system overheating. Move all carpets and rugs, furniture, and other items away from vents. Check to see that vent louvers are open; if you wish to shut off cooling to unused areas of your home or building, never close more than 20 percent of the structure’s HVAC vents. If you have many unused areas, consider investing in a zoning system which will allow you to reduce energy waste while facilitating proper HVAC system performance – work with a trusted HVAC contractor to design and install zoning solutions for your home or business. Inspect your exterior cooling equipment. Gently brush away any grass clippings and debris which have gathered on the unit. Trim away vegetation that has grown around the unit. Never store outdoor furniture or other items in the area immediately surrounding the unit.
  • Inspect your cooling system’s drip pan and condensate drain lines for clogs. If these components become clogged with mold or algae growth, condensation from the cooling process cannot exit your home or building properly. This can cause the cooling system to malfunction, or water to back up indoors, causing water damage. If water has backed up, clear clogs within the drip pan or condensate drain lines. Turn off power to the system for safety before doing so. Use a wet/dry vacuum to clear water from the drip pan, or use rags to soak it up. Clean the drip pan using a mild soap. Clear clogs from the condensate drain lines using your wet/dry vacuum.

July

  • Change your air filter. If you have a disposable filter, remove the old one and insert a clean replacement. If your filter is reusable, wash it according to the manufacturer’s directions and allow it to dry entirely before reinserting it into the filter compartment.
  • Inspect all registers and return air grilles in your home to ensure they have not been blocked or shut. These vents should never be blocked, as doing so will restrict airflow through your HVAC systems, which could create performance issues and system overheating. Move all carpets and rugs, furniture, and other items away from vents. Check to see that vent louvers are open; if you wish to shut off cooling to unused areas of your home or building, never close more than 20 percent of the structure’s HVAC vents. If you have many unused areas, consider investing in a zoning system which will allow you to reduce energy waste while facilitating proper HVAC system performance – work with a trusted HVAC contractor to design and install zoning solutions for your home or business.
  • Inspect your exterior cooling equipment. Gently brush away any grass clippings and debris which have gathered on the unit. Trim away vegetation that has grown around the unit. Never store outdoor furniture or other items in the area immediately surrounding the unit.
  • Inspect your cooling system’s drip pan and condensate drain lines for clogs. If these components become clogged with mold or algae growth, condensation from the cooling process cannot exit your home or building properly. This can cause the cooling system to malfunction, or water to back up indoors, causing water damage.
  • If water has backed up, clear clogs within the drip pan or condensate drain lines. Turn off power to the system for safety before doing so. Use a wet/dry vacuum to clear water from the drip pan, or use rags to soak it up. Clean the drip pan using a mild soap. Clear clogs from the condensate drain lines using your wet/dry vacuum.

August

  • Check your air filter. During periods of heavy cooling system use, the filter should be inspected monthly to make sure it has not become full of contaminants. You may find it necessary to replace it sooner than the 3-month mark during these times, so have a replacement ready just in case.
  • Inspect all registers and return air grilles in your home to ensure they have not been blocked or shut. These vents should never be blocked, as doing so will restrict airflow through your HVAC systems, which could create performance issues and system overheating. Move all carpets and rugs, furniture, and other items away from vents. Check to see that vent louvers are open; if you wish to shut off cooling to unused areas of your home or building, never close more than 20 percent of the structure’s HVAC vents. If you have many unused areas, consider investing in a zoning system which will allow you to reduce energy waste while facilitating proper HVAC system performance – work with a trusted HVAC contractor to design and install zoning solutions for your home or business.
  • Inspect your exterior cooling equipment. Gently brush away any grass clippings and debris which have gathered on the unit. Trim away vegetation that has grown around the unit. Never store outdoor furniture or other items in the area immediately surrounding the unit.
  • Inspect your cooling system’s drip pan and condensate drain lines for clogs. If these components become clogged with mold or algae growth, condensation from the cooling process cannot exit your home or building properly. This can cause the cooling system to malfunction, or water to back up indoors, causing water damage. If water has backed up, clear clogs within the drip pan or condensate drain lines. Turn off power to the system for safety before doing so. Use a wet/dry vacuum to clear water from the drip pan, or use rags to soak it up. Clean the drip pan using a mild soap. Clear clogs from the condensate drain lines using your wet/dry vacuum.

Have more questions and don’t have an HVAC contractor to call? Find a local cooling contractor serving your area by searching the HVAC.com Contractor Directory.


Source: HVAC.com