As the summer heats up, we rely more and more on our air conditioners to keep our homes cool. It is recommended that you have an HVAC technician complete regular maintenance on your system two times a year. Once before you switch on the air conditioning, and once before you turn on the heat is a great time for a check-up. However, you can help to ensure that your HVAC system runs smoothly in between visits by doing a few things on your own. Following are a few air conditioning maintenance tips to help assure you get the best performance from your HVAC system.
- Trim Plants – The outdoor portion of your HVAC system is usually a grey box that sits somewhere next to the house. When cooling air, this needs to be able to blow out old, hot air and bring in new air. Make sure there are no plants in the way of air flow. If they are touching the unit, they could potentially inhibit airflow. Simply trim back the branches with a pair of hedge trimmers, and check periodically to make sure they didn’t grow back.
- Clean Condenser Unit – Every so often, it is important to check the outdoor condenser unit for debris, such as leaves or fallen tree limbs. These things can also inhibit air flow.
- Keep Vents Open – Some homeowners want to save money on their heating and cooling bill by blocking off rooms that are not in use. They might close the vent in the guest room, thinking that it will help cool the rest of the house more efficiently. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Blocking the vents by closing them, or by covering them with furniture only creates problems for your HVAC system. In a traditional system, air is being forced through the ducts on a one-way path. If a vent is closed or covered, the air has no where to exit, and then creates a bit of a traffic jam. The jam causes the system to work even harder, and that decreases its efficiency. If you are interested in zone heating and cooling for spaces that you don’t use all the time, give 360 Air Tech a call.
- Change Filters – One of the easiest and most important things you can do to keep your HVAC system running efficiently is to change the filter regularly. The filter helps to remove irritants from the air that you would otherwise breathe in. You can subscribe to have filters delivered on a schedule. This way you don’t have to keep track of when to change the filter. A new filter arrives in the mail, and you know it’s time to change it. Not only does the filter involve air quality, it also involves efficiency. If a filter is not changed enough, it becomes clogged and air cannot move through it efficiently. This can make the whole system have to work harder to push through the clog.
- Smart Thermostat – upgrading to a smart thermostat might seem more like a tech fad than an essential for your HVAC system. However, they are helpful in the name of efficiency. Smart thermostats can be controlled remotely from a smartphone which is convenient if you go away on vacation. But they do more than that. They are constantly collecting data to learn your habits, your likes, and your dislikes. If you turn the temperature up before you leave for work in the summer, the thermostat will learn this habit and do it for you. And it will bring the temperature down a few degrees just before you get home. How is this more efficient than you doing it manually? Because it can adjust the temperature at an optimal rate. If you get home at 4:30 every day and change the temperature from 76 to 73, your HVAC system is going to bring the temperature down as fast as possible. So, you changed the temperature at 4:30, and by 4:40 it is 73 degrees. The system worked quickly – not efficiently. If you have a smart thermostat, it learns that you want the temperature to be 73 degrees when you get home. So, it will start bringing the temperature down at a slower, more efficient rate, and you walk in the door into a comfortable room. If you are interested in upgrading to a smart thermostat, 360 Air Tech help you choose the one that is right for you. Give us a call today!
We hope these air conditioning maintenance tips help you save money and extend the life of your HVAC unit. Don’t forget to join our 360 HVAC Maintenance Savings Club to get exclusive benefits on service and maintenance of your heating and air conditioning system. Call us at (757) 630-7678 today!