In order to keep your air conditioning system running smoothly all summer, you’ll want to follow our 6 summer air conditioning maintenance tips.
1. CHANGE THE AIR FILTER
Depending on many factors, such as the size and cleanliness of your home, you will want to replace your HVAC air filter every 30-90 days. Never wait more than 90 days to replace your filter, and try to check it every 30 days.
A dirty air filter can restrict airflow, causing comfort and efficiency problems, such as a frozen evaporator coil. In order to keep your air conditioning clean and energy efficient, remember to regularly check and change your air filter.
For better indoor air quality and air filtration, use air filters with a MERV rating above 7. MERV ratings 1-6 are considered “low efficiency.” Speak with the professionals at Pacific Air Systems for a professional air filtration consultation.
2. UPGRADE YOUR THERMOSTAT
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you could be missing out on a lot of energy savings. A programmable or “smart” thermostat allows you to schedule your comfort without having to manually adjust anything. Recent models allow you to control the thermostat settings right from your smart phone.
3. INSPECT OUTDOOR HEAT PUMP/CONDENSER UNIT
Check the outdoor heat pump/condenser unit every 2-3 months (and after every storm) to ensure that there isn’t anything clogging the coils or blocking airflow in any way. If you have grass clippings, leaves, twigs, and other debris clogging the condenser coils, your air conditioning efficiency and comfort will suffer.
Besides grass clippings, dust, and debris, your outdoor condenser unit could also develop airflow problems from encroaching plants. If you have any plants growing near the cooling fins, cut them back to give your outdoor unit a minimum 2-foot clearance.
If you are thinking about hiding your outdoor HVAC unit, make sure you allow enough room (minimum 2-foot clearance) around the unit to allow proper airflow and technician access.
4. CLEAN THE HEAT PUMP/CONDENSER UNIT
In addition to checking the outdoor heat pump/condenser unit, removing pieces of debris and cutting back encroaching plants, it’s also a good idea to clean the unit or any smaller particles, such as dirt, dust, pollen, grass, and other small debris.
If you scheduled a professional air conditioning tune-up, make sure a full condenser coil cleaning is part of the deal. If not, you will either want to choose a HVAC company that does include this service or you can actually clean the outdoor unit yourself.
- First, turn off power to the unit.
- Remove whatever large debris you can by hand.
- Use your garden hose to wash it down.
Be careful not to use a powerful hose since this can actually bend the condenser coil fins. If you notice bent coil fins, call your local HVAC professional to take a look and straighten all of the condenser fins. Of course, a professional cleaning will be safer and more effective. Learn more here.
5. SCHEDULE A PROFESSIONAL SERVICE APPOINTMENT
You don’t want to come back from a long vacation to a broken HVAC system.
If you have not scheduled your annual air conditioning maintenance appointment, you are missing out on all of the benefits—extended lifespans, increased comfort and efficiency, valid warranties, savings on maintenance and repairs.
Before you pack your bags and leave your home for an extended period of time, make sure you have scheduled a tune-up from a qualified professional. HVAC manufacturers and technicians agree that it’s best to have a qualified professional inspect your system at the very beginning of the change to cooler or warmer weather.
6. DUST AND CLEAN THE HOUSE
Avoid coming home to a dirty house by cleaning before you leave. By dusting and getting rid of other contaminants in the home, you’ll not only thank yourself later, you’ll also be helping increase the efficiency of your air conditioning system.
What are you waiting for? Get a Swifferin’.