As we fantasize about summer, it’s important we prepare our homes for the warmer months ahead. While tasks like prepping the garden and cleaning your windows may have already made your summer must-do list, don’t forget to add AC maintenance. As the temperature outside warms up and humidity increases, our air conditioners work extra hard to keep our homes cool and comfortable. Proper AC maintenance ensures your AC unit is working properly and reduces the risk of costly breakdowns and having to sweat it out inside while you wait for your unit to be repaired. Here are 5 quick steps to make sure your AC is ready for summer.
1. Book a Maintenance Tune-Up
An AC maintenance tune-up is typically done in spring, before the summer hits. A technician will thoroughly inspect, troubleshoot and take care of essential system components to ensure efficiency and prevent potential breakdowns. Preventative HVAC maintenance is just as important as regular maintenance, so if you haven’t had a tune-up yet, put it at the top of your to-do list.
2. Adjust Your Thermostat Settings
The beginning of summer means the start of new family schedules. Make sure to adjust your thermostat settings to account for new routines and summer vacations. This may mean later wake-up times in the morning since there’s no school, summer sports and activities that keep you out of the house, later bedtimes and possibly more time spent inside the home. If you’re going on vacation, make sure to activate your thermostat’s hold or vacation feature to save energy while you’re away from the house.
3. Change Your Air Filter and Check Vents
Regularly changing your air filters is key to a healthy system. In the summer, filters tend to fill up more quickly with debris since the system runs more frequently. Check your air filter each month to see if a change is required. It’s also a good time to ensure your vents are open and unblocked. Check all vents, registers and return air grilles. Move rugs, furniture and any other items away from the vents and grilles to ensure air can flow freely into your home and back into the AC system.
4. Exterior Maintenance
Whenever you’re doing lawn maintenance or cutting the grass, clean off the exterior air conditioner. Grass cleanings, mulch, leaves and other debris can gather on your unit and block the fins that allow the heat to leave the system. On top of this, make sure there are no plants or other items within a two foot radius of the unit. Prune shrubs and branches, pull up vegetation and relocate tools or storage to eliminate any airflow obstructions.
5. Maximize Airflow With Fans
Fans can maximize the cool air that runs through your house, helping to keep your home comfortable without your AC unit having to work too hard. Ceiling fans are a great option. Make sure they’re set to rotate clockwise during the summer so the air flows downward, preventing excess heat from rising into the higher levels of your home. Smaller tabletop fans and floor fans are also effective and can be easily moved from room to room.