Getting your AC system ready for summer: How to stay cool without going broke

Getting your AC system ready for summer: How to stay cool without going broke

We’ve had some crazy weather across the country this year.  But whether the seasons arrive when we expect them to, or whether they take their own sweet time, one thing is certain:  before you know it, hot temperatures will be here.  Is your home air conditioning system ready for the summer heat?

Now is the time to check out your home air conditioning and ventilation system.  Obviously, you don’t want your AC to conk out right when you need it.  But there’s also this to consider:  A properly maintained AC unit will save you money while keeping you cool and comfortable.

Checklist for keeping your AC at peak efficiency

Change filters monthly

The first step to ensuring that your AC is working at its best is to change the filters regularly.  In the spring and summer, it’s a good idea to change the filters every month.  When dirt and dust build up on the AC filters – which they can do very quickly with daily use – it puts a strain on the system, and may even lead to a breakdown.  Changing the filters often is much cheaper and easier!

Get with the program

In all likelihood, your home has a programmable thermostat.  If you’re not using it, you’re throwing money away.  By making adjustments to suit your schedule, and programming ideal temperatures for only those times when you are at home and awake, you can save big.  Why run your AC when you’re away, or asleep?  Programmable thermostats will bring the temperature back to ideal levels ahead of time, so when you return or wake up, your home is never too hot or too cold.  Learn how to use yours, and watch your energy bill shrink.

Let your window treatments help out

During the summer, it’s a great idea to close curtains, blinds and shades when you leave your house.  Even when you’re home, you might consider closing them in rooms you’re not currently using.  Windows let in a tremendous amount of heat.  Invite in all the sun’s warmth during the winter, but when things heat up, covering windows will keep your home much cooler.  Plus, the strong summer sun can fade carpets and upholstery, so drawing those curtains helps protect your interior.  Window treatments are more than just décor!

Trim, seal and clean

If you have an outdoor unit, be sure to visually inspect it in the springtime.  Remove any leaves or debris that may block air flow.  Seal all air duct properly, and check the drain pipe for blockages.

Don’t neglect maintenance

Keep your AC unit working at peak efficiency by scheduling regular maintenance appointments with an Durham HVAC repair professional.  Did you know that without regular maintenance, your air conditioner can lose about 5% efficiency every year?  Over the life of your unit, that really adds up to a lot of wasted money.  For example, if your AC’s coolant is only 10% lower than it should be, it costs about 20% more to run.  But, if you keep up your system tuned-up, it can keep operating at efficiency levels nearly the same as when you first installed it.  This means that what you spend on the service call is very quickly offset by savings.

Many [of the best] HVAC companies [like ours] offer annual service plans.  This is a great option.  Not only will you get the best deal on service, but you will be reminded when it’s time to service your unit, so you don’t have to think about it.

Regular service ensures comfortable climate at the most economical cost.  What’s more, a properly-serviced air conditioner also works to dehumidify your home at the same time it keeps you cool.

Preventative maintenance can prevent much more costly problems.  Not only can it save you from an AC breakdown that will be expensive to fix, but it also prevents more insidious problems of lowered efficiency.  Restricted airflows, low coolant levels, poor air quality, safety hazards and a shorted life span for your HVAC unit can all be prevented with yearly maintenance.

So, make sure you’re ready to enjoy summer, by making sure your AC is prepared.  The first really hot day is no time to discover that you have an air conditioning problem!