Summer is almost here! There are lots of fun things to look forward to in the summer; picnics and camping, swimming, baseball games, and air shows. But if you’re like most people, you’re going to spend most of your time indoors. Humidity, rising temperatures, and frequent use of your HVAC system during the summer can take a toll on your indoor environment. Here’s how you can help minimize the damage and enjoy more comfortable conditions for your family and yourself this summer.
Before maintaining your HVAC, you need to understand it
To prepare for the summer months, you need to understand your HVAC system first. If you don’t know what makes your system work, then how will you be able to know how to keep it running in tip-top shape? Understanding how your HVAC works are crucial, but it isn’t complicated.
1 Check your filters
Air filters are an important component of your home’s heating and cooling system. They help keep the air in your home clean, which can reduce allergens and dust that may affect your family. Changing or cleaning these filters is something that should be done regularly, especially during the summer months when it’s hotter outside.
Before you turn on your HVAC system for the summer, check to make sure all the air filters are changed. Depending on how often you use your HVAC system, you may need to change the filter every 30 days to every three months.
There are a few different types of air filters that you can use in your HVAC system, but there are two main options – fiberglass and electronic air cleaners. Fiberglass filters have a cellulose material that improves the quality of air in your home, but they need to be replaced often because they get dirty easily. Electronic air cleaners use a specialized filter and a fan to draw dust out of the air in your home and into a reusable filter.
2 Change your HVAC unit’s batteries
Check the manual that came with your unit or online to determine if you’ll need new batteries this season. Batteries should be replaced every two years as part of routine maintenance and can be purchased at most hardware stores.
Changing batteries is an easy job, especially if you have a digital thermostat. The only tools you’ll need are a screwdriver for opening battery compartments and a new set of batteries (usually four AA or AAA batteries).
In addition, check the display on your thermostat to make sure the temperature reading is not flickering or dimming. If it is, replace the batteries immediately. The last thing you want to do is to get used to a lower temperature than what is actually being delivered by your unit.
3 Have your ductwork cleaned and inspected
One way to help give your HVAC system a break is by scheduling a duct cleaning and inspection. A professional service provider can remove dust, dirt, and debris from within the air ducts of your home. Not only will this prevent dust build-up in your air vents throughout the house, but it also helps ensure that your HVAC system is running at optimal performance levels.
If you have a forced-air heating system, make sure the system is properly balanced when the ducts are cleaned. It’s also recommended that you have an energy audit conducted by an HVAC technician to be sure that all of the ductwork is in good condition before it’s cleaned.
4 Have the blower motor and belt inspected and replaced if needed
The blower motor is one of the most important parts of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor pulls air from the return ducts in your home and forces it throughout the system. The blower motor is controlled by a belt that connects to the fan inside the unit to turn it on.
Have this belt inspected annually, as well as the entire system, for signs of wear or damage. If you have a faulty blower motor, it could cause your cooling and heating bills to increase drastically. If there are any issues, replace them immediately to avoid further damage.
5 Schedule a tune-up with a professional HVAC contractor
The best time to schedule an HVAC tune-up is during the early spring months. This gives your system plenty of time to be ready for the summer heat but is still enough time before the cold temperatures of winter.
Tuning up your heating and cooling system can help reduce your energy costs and provide you with a more comfortable environment in your home this summer. The professionals will test the operation of your unit and clean it, which helps it run more efficiently.
A tune-up can also help increase the life expectancy of your cooling system and improve its performance, keeping you cooler during the hottest days of summer.
Tune-ups vary in cost depending on how old your unit is, how complex it is and whether it must be cleaned after testing.
The last thing you want is for something to happen during the summer months when the weather is especially warm outside. Not only will it be uncomfortable inside your home or business, but you will probably have to pay out of pocket for repairs if you put it off until later on in the season. A small investment now could save you from paying much higher costs later on down the road.