By: Griff Housemeyer
As summer begins in earnest, so does the work your air conditioner has to put in to keep your home comfortable. There are a few things you can do to ensure your AC has the best environment and setup possible to run smoothly. Follow each of these five HVAC tips for summer and you’ll be on the way to preventing future costly repairs. You’ll also have a more comfortable and efficient setup for your home’s air. In the end, most of the things you can personally do for your system revolves around the V in HVAC: ventilation. By ensuring the best ventilation in your home, you allow the heating and cooling elements to focus on their main job: temperature control.
- Change your air filter regularly
- Clean up around your outdoor unit
Depending on where your outdoor AC unit (called the condenser) is, there’s a good chance it can get crowded by shrubs, weeds, or trees. While you may want to aesthetically hide it behind plants, it is detrimental to the efficiency of the unit. For that reason, take some time to clear out the area around your outdoor unit so that it has room to breathe. It needs about 2-3 feet of space around and above it to be able to most effectively circulate air. If it doesn’t have room to breathe, it will inevitably work harder to process the air around it, resulting in a quicker breakdown.
- Know the difference between your fan being AUTO or ON.
We go into more detail on this in our blog post here. The important thing to know is there is not a right answer for all homes at all times. If you are home consistently and most concerned about air quality, you may want to have your fan set to ON. Conversely, if you aren’t home as much and want lower utility bills, AUTO may be the better setting for you. Read more in our blog post and consider what might be best for your personal situation.
- Consider a duct cleaning if you haven’t had one in five years
Overtime the particulates that your air filter doesn’t catch will build up in your ductwork. This is normal but can become problematic for air health after many years. We normally suggest having your ducts cleaned when you move into a new home or if it has been over five years since having it done in your current home. This is especially true if you are more prone to indoor allergies like dust. You can learn more about our duct cleaning service and its benefits here.
- Don’t push your thermostat too low
When it’s hot and you want your house cooled fast, it can be tempting to continually push your thermostat lower and lower until you’re down into the 60s. Unfortunately, putting the temperature lower does not cool your home faster. Instead, it will actually put more strain on your system, which could have negative effects. If you want your house to be 72 degrees, set it at 72 and be patient. Setting it at 70 won’t get you there any faster.
We always remind homeowners about this because it’s the single most important thing you can do for your whole HVAC system. When your air filter is clogged, it chokes the air movement within the furnace (similar to what we just talked about with the outdoor unit). Air needs to move smoothly and efficiently through your HVAC system to keep it running as it should. While the furnace generally has heating connotations, it is always working to blow the air through your home, whether hot or cold. So it is just as important to change your air filter regularly during the summer as it is in the winter. Depending on the type of air filter, we recommend changing it every 1-2 months. Of all our HVAC tips, this is the most important one.
Knowing these five HVAC tips will keep your system running smoother. They’re quick and easy things that you as the homeowner can do to help care for you system. There may be times where the system inevitably has other problems, and in those moments, trust Homesense Heating & Cooling to be your HVAC expert. We’ll always provide honest assessments, present multiple options, and give our expert advice. When you choose us, you’ll feel confident in your decision and comfortable in your home.