Summer is the time of the year to enjoy the warm weather and relax. However, HVAC systems can experience heavy use during this period in time. As temperatures rise, your air conditioner has to work harder to keep your home cool and comfortable.
To avoid breakdowns, high energy costs, and poor indoor air quality, it’s important to schedule regular maintenance during this season.
Here are 13 important HVAC summer tips to help keep your system running smoothly.
1. Focus on your system’s air filter
The air filter is one of the most important components of your HVAC system, as it traps dust, dirt, pollen, and many other contaminants from the air that circulates throughout your home.
A dirty or clogged filter can reduce unit airflow, efficiency, and performance, as well as cause health issues for you and your family.
To help prevent this, check your air filter once per month at a minimum, and replace or clean it as needed. Depending on the type of filter you have, you may need to do this more often if you have pets, smoke, or live in a dusty area.
2. Keep outdoor areas clear
Your outdoor unit is routinely exposed to dust, debris, leaves, branches, and all sorts of other objects that could block the airflow and or damage the components.
To protect your unit from these hazards, you should keep at least two feet of clearance around it and remove any vegetation or clutter that may interfere with its operation.
It’s also a great idea to have your HVAC unit inspected regularly by a professional for any signs of wear and tear, such as bent fins, loose wires, or leaks.
3. Use a programmable thermostat
Next on our list of summer HVAC tips is having a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat is a smart device that allows you to adjust the temperature settings of your HVAC system according to your schedule and preferences.
By using a programmable thermostat, you can save energy and money by setting your unit to run at a higher temperature when you’re away from home.
You can also use a smart thermostat that lets you control your HVAC system remotely from your smartphone or tablet.
4. Maximize airflow with fans
Another effective tip to keep your home cool and comfortable in the summer (while also taking a load off of your HVAC system) is to use fans to supplement your air conditioning unit.
Fans can help circulate the air throughout your house and create a breeze that makes you feel cooler, even though the temperature stays the same. You can use ceiling fans, floor fans, or window fans to improve the airflow in your house.
However, remember to turn off the fans when you leave the room, as they will increase your energy bill and may burn out after some time.
5. Use window treatments
HVAC summer tips also include using window treatments. The sun’s rays can heat your home significantly in the summer months, especially if you have large windows or glass doors that face south or west.
To reduce solar heat gain and keep your home cooler, consider using window treatments like shades, blinds, curtains, or drapes to block out the sun during the day. Reflective or blackout curtains are most effective at absorbing and reflecting the heat from the sun.
6. Clear out your vents
Your vents are the outlets that deliver the cool air from your HVAC system to each room in your house. If they’re blocked by furniture, rugs, curtains, or any other objects, they can restrict airflow and reduce the cooling efficiency of your HVAC system.
To ensure optimal airflow and comfort in your home, you should clear out any obstructions from your vents and make sure they’re open and clean.
Keep an eye out for small children’s toys, as well as pet toys, as they have a knack for falling into vents and becoming stuck.
7. Reduce heat from other appliances
Your HVAC system is not the only source of heat in your home. Other appliances such as ovens, stoves, dryers, dishwashers, computers, and TVs can also generate heat and make your home warmer in the summer.
To minimize this effect, another summer HVAC tip is to avoid using these appliances during the hottest hours of the day or use them sparingly. You can also switch to energy-efficient appliances that produce less heat and consume less electricity.
8. Update your unit
If your HVAC system is old and outdated, inefficient, or inconsistent, it may be time to update it with a newer model or system.
A new HVAC system can offer better performance, comfort, efficiency, and reliability than an old system. A new HVAC system can also save you money on repairs and energy bills in the long run.
When choosing a new HVAC system for your home, you should look for one that has a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating, which indicates how much cooling output it provides per unit of electricity consumed.
9. Give the condenser shade
One of the best HVAC tips for summer to ensure your HVAC system works efficiently and isn’t being overworked is providing shade for your outdoor condenser. When your condenser is in direct sunlight for long periods, it will get hot. The hotter the condenser gets, the harder it will have to work.
Keep in mind, however, that you want to avoid blocking off the airflow to the condenser by covering it too closely. You only want to shade the system, not cover it completely.
10. Leave doors and windows shut
The more stable the temperature in your home, the less work your HVAC system will have to do. During the hot summer months, you should do your best to keep windows and doors that lead outside closed.
The more frequently you open and close windows and doors in your house, the more hot air you let in (and the more cold air you let out). This will cause your HVAC system to work much harder to cool down your home than it normally would.
This will lead to higher energy bills, unnecessary wear and tear on your system, and the temperature of your house being inconsistent.
11. Plant trees
A great and natural summer HVAC tip is to simply plant trees. Your property outside of your house has a big impact on the temperature inside your house. Materials like rock, asphalt, and concrete absorb and radiate a lot of heat, which will transfer to your house.
By planting trees around the hot areas of your house, you’ll eventually have a natural source of shade to help cool your house down and help keep your HVAC system from being overworked.
12. Seal or replace doors and windows
Even the smallest of leaks around doors and windows in your house can add up to large spikes in your energy bills over time.
Small gaps let the cold air out (and the hot air in). This, again, forces your air conditioning unit to work much harder than usual, leading to expensive and frequent repairs.
Have your doors and windows weatherized or replace them altogether if necessary. We recommend hiring a trained professional to do your door and window installs to ensure a proper seal and fit.
13. Schedule maintenance
Stay ahead of the game and schedule some HVAC summer maintenance before the summer weather hits. It’s a good idea to have your HVAC system looked at in the springtime before the intense weather rolls out.
This will keep your HVAC system running smoothly and help avoid any breakdowns during the intense heat.
Trust Autumn Air for HVAC maintenance
By following these HVAC summer tips, you can ensure your HVAC system is ready for the summer and the high temperatures that accompany it.
With proper due diligence, you can enjoy a cool and comfortable home on a consistent basis. You can also prevent costly and highly inconvenient breakdowns, improve your indoor air quality, and lower your environmental impact.
Remember to schedule regular maintenance for your HVAC system with a professional technician here at Autumn Air to keep it in optimal condition and extend its lifespan. With over 20 years in the HVAC industry here in Avondale, we have all of the necessary knowledge to help keep your home cool this summer season.
Have any questions about our summer HVAC tips? Contact Autumn Air for more information, or to get your HVAC system maintenance started today.