Temperatures are climbing in Vernon Hills, IL, with summer in full swing. You might have completed your spring cleaning around the house, but is your air conditioner ready for the unrelenting heat of summer? Here’s your checklist for maximum AC efficiency this summer.
1. Change Your HVAC Air Filters
The first step in maintaining your central heating and cooling system is to keep the air flowing freely. Air filters fill up with dust, pet dander and other contaminants, reducing airflow and forcing your AC to work harder, so changing those HVAC filters as needed is important.
Most manufacturers recommend changing the filters every three months at the very least, but keep in mind that this is just an estimate. If you have pets, kids or household members with allergies or respiratory issues, then you need to change your filters more frequently.
2. Prep Your Air Conditioner and Vents for Use
Now is the time to check your outdoor unit and make sure that the area around it is free and clear from shrubs, low-hanging branches, weeds and other clutter. The vents that suck air into the outdoor unit might also have dead leaves and twigs stuck in them, so clear those out as well.
3. Test Your Cooling System
Next, you’ll want make sure that everything is running properly. Set the thermostat to “cool” and adjust the temperature as desired. Let your AC run for a while, and check the condensate lines outside.
If no water is dripping out of the pipe, even after running the AC for several hours, there’s a problem. That water has to go somewhere, and failure to unclog the drain pipe could cause serious damage to your home, so give us a call right away to get it checked out.
4. Give Your HVAC System a Tune-Up
Central air conditioners and heaters can last for 15 years and sometimes more if properly maintained. This means that it’s important to protect your investment with regular preventive maintenance.
5. Clean and Seal Air Ducts
Keeping pests, dust and other contaminants out of your HVAC system is one of the keys to keeping your air conditioner running efficiently for years on end. So, it’s a good idea to clean your air vents and air ducts annually.
You can gently wipe down the air vents that supply cool air to each room in your home. But sealing leaks in the air ducts requires specialized equipment and training. So if you have air leaks in your HVAC ductwork, don’t hesitate to call in the pros.
6. Use Your Thermostat Wisely to Maximize AC Efficiency
Now that your air conditioning system is clean, fine-tuned and tested, the last tip for using your AC efficiently is to use your thermostat strategically. Lots of folks set the thermostat to a nice, cold temperature and leave it that way 24/7. But that isn’t the most efficient way to run your AC.
One way to keep your cooling costs down this summer is to set your thermostat 5 degrees higher when the house is empty during the day and then turn it back down when household members get home from work or school.
Another tip is to raise the thermostat 2 or 3 degrees while everyone is sleeping through the night. You can also increase the temperature setting and then use fans in occupied rooms to increase the cooling effect while using less electricity. A programmable smart thermostat can actually make all these adjustments automatically, so you don’t have to bother with it.
Don’t let summer heat waves ruin the comfort level in your home this year. Follow these tips to keep your AC running smooth all summer long. Contact our team at Ireland Heating & Air Conditioning Co. for all your air conditioning needs.
Image provided by iStock