HVAC Summer Maintenance and Tune-up Tips
The onset of every summer announces itself with soaring temperatures and humidity levels, forcing homeowners throughout the country to fire up their air conditioners to crank out cool air and keep their living spaces comfortable. Due to such a heightened use, it's critical to have your HVAC system maintained and tuned up before summer to enhance the health and performance of your system every summer.
This guide highlights summer HVAC maintenance hints to help you keep your A/C unit in top shape this season. Instead of risking costly breakdowns and enduring sweltering indoor heat as you wait for professional help, it's good to be proactive with HVAC maintenance. This will minimize the chances of malfunctions and discomfort in the middle of summer heat.
What is Done During HVAC Maintenance?
As summer temperatures soar across the country, the last thing you want is to be caught off-guard without a functional HVAC system. During HVAC maintenance, your technician will typically carry out the following:
- Air filter replacement: Depending on the frequency of use, your AC's air filter must be replaced after 1-3 months. In most cases, homeowners don't think about their air filter once summer has passed, so it's always best to replace it at the onset of every summer.
- Wiring checks: It's important to regularly check your HVAC system's wiring to ensure it is safe and working correctly. After turning off the system and opening the access panel, check out any wires that look blackened or burned. If that's the case, it's time to call a professional electrician and get them replaced.
- Thermostat upgrade: Your home probably has a programmable thermostat for scheduling when the cooling equipment comes on to control energy costs. Depending on your needs and preference, you can consider a Wi-Fi model to access the thermostat remotely and regulate your home's temperature levels through an internet connection.
- Condenser unit fan check: The outside condenser unit is continually exposed to the elements, meaning that the fan can get damaged due to debris. If you notice any issues with the fan, be sure to have it replaced.
- Condenser unit cleaning: Exterior dirt, leaves, and other debris can get into the condenser unit and reduce airflow. This forces your system to work harder, costing you more money. Switch off the system, remove any debris on the unit, and wash it gently with a garden hose.
Additionally, your air ducts may need to be cleaned to improve air quality in your home and enhance energy efficiency.
How do I Prepare my HVAC for Summer?
HVAC maintenance and tune-ups are typically performed in spring before the first day of cooling operation each year. During the maintenance tune-up, your technician will thoroughly assess, troubleshoot, and care for vital system components. This ensures efficient performance of the HVAC system and prevents breakdowns over the scorching summer months. Preventive HVAC maintenance is a critical investment in your system that will reward you immensely down the line!
Does HVAC Require Annual Maintenance?
Everything from dirty coils to clogged filters can lead to problems down the line, so it's important to stay on top of your maintenance plans year after year. The easiest way to maintain your HVAC system is to set up a plan that you will follow every year. Let a professional inspect your HVAC system once a year and make the necessary repairs if need be. And if you have a standard furnace and central AC system, each of these units must be maintained every year. For a heat pump system that runs year-round, you'll want to schedule maintenance services once every six months.
What is the Best Setting for AC in Summer?
Summertime comes with many changes to household schedules, especially if you have kids out of school or plan to travel during these months. With your cooling system running most of the time, it's essential to adjust your thermostat settings appropriately to account for your new schedules and any vacations that you may plan for.
Consider your household's overall summer schedule changes and program your thermostat around them. For example, you can set later wake-up times in the mornings because there's no bus for kids to catch. With your family members at home all day, you could adjust setbacks for extended occupancy hours instead of a vacant house from 8 am to 5 pm. Additionally, set up the thermostat for summer activities that keep you and your family members out of the home for extended periods, meaning later bedtimes.
When traveling, activate your programmable thermostat's vacation or hold features to deliver energy savings. By upgrading to a smart thermostat, you can eliminate human error and save more money on cooling costs while away from home.
What are the 4 Phases of Planned Maintenance HVAC?
If you have a single HVAC unit that cools and heats your home, you should schedule maintenance checks twice a year, typically in spring and fall. This reduces the four phases of planned HVAC maintenance to just two (Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter). You'll basically carry out your planned maintenance before switching over from one use to another. But if you have a separate AC system and furnace, simply schedule AC maintenance in the spring and furnace maintenance in the fall.
How do I Check my AC for Summer?
When temperatures begin to rise in summer, you want to be sure your air conditioners are working properly. So, before summer sets in, you must dedicate a few hours to test it beforehand. Otherwise, you could be in for a rude shock.
If the sound of testing your own HVAC system scares the daylights out of you, don't worry. There are a few basic tests that you can carry out on your own to ensure your system is in a functional state. Otherwise, more complex inspections or major repairs should be left to the professionals. Ready to get started? Here are a few steps to check your AC for summer:
- Turn The System On: Begin by turning your thermostat from "off" or "heat" mode to "cool." This switches your system into air conditioning mode. Now, lower the thermostat temperature a few degrees below the prevailing room temperature to trigger the system to kick on. Find a nearby air vent and hover your hand over it to ensure cool air is blowing out. If nothing comes out, you may have an issue on hand, and it's critical to have it addressed before the sweltering heat settles in.
- Check the Airflow: Once the AC system is on, you should feel the breeze flowing out of the vents. If the airflow seems limited or totally restricted, the issue could be a clogged filter or a damaged air duct.
- Read the Temperature: Locate your system's air vent and return vent. Carefully tape a thermometer on the return vent and let it sit for roughly five minutes. Read and note down the temperature reading and then transfer the thermometer to a vent or air duct. Let the system run for approximately ten minutes and take another reading. If the system is running efficiently, the temperature of the air getting out of the duct or vent should be about 15° - 20° cooler. If that's not the case, you could be low on refrigerant, which calls for a prompt replacement.
Get Expert HVAC Maintenance Before Summer Settles In!
Working with a trusted HVAC professional can help you take care of your air conditioning this summer. At AdvantaClean, we offer quality HVAC maintenance, tune-ups, and emergency assistance whenever your cooling system fails to deliver. Our certified HVAC technicians will visit quickly to perform needed maintenance and repair services to keep you cool. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!