10 Summer Maintenance Tips for HVAC use in the Inland Empire
After such a mild spring, summer is here and your air conditioning in the Inland Empire may need to be serviced to keep it running well throughout our hot summer months. To avoid costly repairs or the replacement of your home’s air conditioning in the Inland Empire, follow the simple list below to help keep your AC working well throughout the hot summer months! These tips can help lower your energy usage during the brutally hot summers!
1. Keeping your air conditioner free from debris should be a priority year-round to prevent damage from mold, mildew, rust, and pests. With summer temperatures climbing quickly, it is important to keep it clean so it can run at its best. Clear the area around your unit, making sure that the slab is clear from leaves, grass clippings, and other debris. A shop vac can help you clean more deeply but use it carefully so that you do not damage the parts of your AC. Make sure your air conditioner has a 24” clearance from all shrubbery, bushes, or other plants.
2. Use a damp cloth to wipe the exterior parts down. Dust the vents down well. Wipe down the lines that run along your AC and check the insulation for damage. If you see any areas where insulation is damaged, consider calling a professional to see if it should be repaired or replaced. Also, inspect the wiring. Look for signs of wear. If you see something of concern, call an HVAC repair company in the Inland Empire to address the problem.
3. Inspect the concrete pad or stands that your AC sits on. If the pad is sinking and pulling lines tight, that can cause damage to them. If the platform or stands on a roof-mounted system are rusting or damaged, they may need to be replaced.
4. Adjust your thermostat accordingly for summer usage. Generally, our daily schedules shift during the summer, especially if there are children at home during the day or vacation. Make sure to turn off your air conditioner when you are on vacation, and consider increasing the setting to a higher temperature to save on energy while you are home. If your thermostat uses batteries, check to make sure they are not corroded or old, and replace if necessary. Installing a smart thermostat is an excellent idea because it can “learn” your patterns, and suggest changes to help you save money. You can also adjust it from your smartphone or tablet, so if you want to adjust the thermostat while you are away, you can. Also, check the position of your thermostat, and consider moving it if it is near a sunny window or near drafts, which can affect its efficiency.
5. If you do not have drapes on your windows, consider installing them, especially on the sunny side of your home. Keep curtains closed during the hottest part of the day. This can help you set your thermostat a bit higher so that you use less energy. Sunbeams become heat very quickly inside your home and can increase the amount of time you have to use your air conditioner.
6. This may sound counterintuitive, but do not close vents in rooms you do not use. Closing vents entirely can cause strain on your air conditioning system in the Inland Empire, because installers use specialized equipment to determine the flow of air through the duct systems. Closing vents can cause air to be pushed back down the ducting system, which puts a strain on your unit. A technician can come and pressure test your system to make sure the air is flowing efficiently.
7. One of the biggest and easiest things you can do to extend the life and efficiency of your air conditioner is to replace the filter regularly. Check your filter monthly, and replace when you observe it going from white to grey. Purchase a good quality pleated filter, since they work the hardest to trap dust, mold, mildew, and pet dander. Some will help remove household toxins from cleaning products and cooking gases as well.
8. If your air conditioner is older than 10 years, it might be time to replace it and install a new air conditioning system in the Inland Empire. There have been a lot of significant changes in air conditioning technology, and a new HVAC system can save you quite a bit of money on your monthly bills. Some units come with an Energy Star rating, and you may qualify for a tax break by installing one, which can help offset the cost of a new air conditioner. A new system can add up to a 20-40% savings for you depending on size and efficiency rating.
9. Call a professional air conditioning service in the Inland Empire and schedule a yearly maintenance check of the components of your air conditioner that only an expert can do.
- Check for leaks, crushed or leaking ducting, pressure test your system and adjust the flow so that it runs as efficient as possible.
- Check the level of Freon in your unit and add more if necessary.
- Inspect the coils, fan, refrigeration lines, and wiring
- Clean and lubricate the interior parts.
10. Schedule a duct cleaning as well. Ducts can accumulate not only dust, but allergens dust mites and their waste, and toxins, too. It is not uncommon for animals and insects to get inside of ducts and build nests, which can harbor disease and allergens. A technician can evaluate your ducts to see if they need cleaning, and they will check for damaged or leaking ducting as well.
Remember, lack of maintenance can create total equipment failure, and maintaining your HVAC unit by taking good care of it will increase its longevity and having that professional inspection can help fix small problems before they become costly repairs or even replacement of your whole system. Your HVAC is an important part of the comfort of your home, so taking care of it is a great idea!