04 Jul First Summer With Central Air: 12 Useful HVAC Tips If Your New To Your Air Conditioning System
When the summertime arrives, it can get quite uncomfortable, even inside your home.
Thankfully, having central air conditioning can make your house nice and chill, but what if you’re new to having a central AC system?
Read on for 12 helpful and useful HVAC tips that will ensure your air conditioning system is working to its maximum capacity for a cool and comfy summer.
1. Change the Air Filter
Swapping out your air filter is probably the easiest of all HVAC tips to keep your air conditioning running smoothly. Dust and debris can clog the filter, so it’s always a good idea to change it out every month.
Write a reminder on your calendar so you’ll always know when it’s time for a new filter. Most filters are fairly inexpensive, and some may last for up to six months, so read the packaging carefully.
If you don’t change the filter on a regular basis, it can become clogged and damage the unit. This simple tip is one of the best things you can do to maintain your HVAC system.
2. Keep Vents Open
You might get a little chilly and be tempted to close the air vents in certain rooms. Some people opt to close vents in order to save money since it feels like you’re keeping rooms cool that you never use.
Ideally, all vents should be left open since it can cause your system to work harder in order to maintain a consistent temperature. Never block air registers or vents with furniture or other objects.
If you don’t want or need to keep certain rooms cool, you may be able to change your system so that it only cools certain zones. Talk to an HVAC system expert about this. They can check to see if your home can be changed to a zone-specific system.
3. HVAC Tips: Check the Ductwork
The ductwork is a series of tubes that carries conditioned air throughout your home. Since you can’t see them, it often goes overlooked.
If you’ve noticed that your home always seems dusty, has a musty smell, or you’re feeling uneven temperatures, it could be time to have the ductwork cleaned. Over time, moisture and dust can build up inside the ducts and cause them to clog.
Leaks in the ductwork are another common reason temperatures are not as cool as they should be. Have an HVAC technician check your ductwork for leaks and make any necessary repairs.
4. Don’t Forget the Outside
You can ensure that your air conditioning unit is working its best by checking around the outside unit. Over time, grasses and plants can grow around it and cause serious problems.
Make sure all plants are at least three feet away from the outdoor unit. Clean it regularly by gently rinsing it with a hose to keep debris from clogging it.
This also applies to snow and ice. As long as you keep a close eye on the outdoor cooling unit, it should run cleanly and smoothly without any issues.
5. Upgrade Your Thermostat
Today’s modern thermostats give you more flexibility than ever before, and that’s a great thing for your air conditioner. Use a programmable thermostat to keep temperatures even and to turn the unit on and off whenever you desire.
A smart thermostat offers even more control by using an app so you can adjust the temperature remotely. These thermostats also “learn” your habits and will adjust temps to suit your personal preference.
Both programmable and smart thermostats are a great way to save on energy costs since they do the work for you. Use them to your advantage so you can save money and enjoy a cooler, more comfortable home.
6. Get Regular Tune-ups
As the seasons change, your HVAC system has to adjust to the changes in temperature. Find a local technician you trust and have them perform regular maintenance checks.
A regular system tune-up is affordable and it’s a great way to keep your entire system running optimally. The technician can pinpoint any problems and make the recommendations for repair.
Often, a tune-up of your system will help to prevent serious problems before they start. It’s one of the best lines of defense against costly repairs you might have to deal with later on.
7. Clean Your Bathroom Fans
The fans in your bathrooms work hard, and they can easily accumulate dirt and dust over time. With regular cleanings, you can ensure that all venting stays clear and open.
When the bathroom vents are clogged, your entire air conditioning system may have to work harder. Remove the vent covers and wash them gently with soap and water.
Clean the fan blades inside the unit, then reattach the cover. Always do this when the power is off so you don’t cause any injury to yourself or damage to the fans.
8. Check for Drafts
Drafty windows and doors are like throwing money away. When cold air escapes, your HVAC system is having to work harder to keep your home cool.
Look for light peeking through windows and doors. If you see a gap, seal them using weather stripping as soon as possible.
If you don’t have weather stripping, you can simply roll a towel up and place it in front of the cracks or gaps. This simple fix will seal the cold air in and prevent unnecessary drafts. You’ll likely notice that your home feels cooler almost instantly.
9. Keep the Sun Out
During the summer, the sun is at its peak, and bright light can easily get into your home. When you leave windows uncovered, you’re letting hot sunlight go directly into the house.
Try a good set of high-quality blinds or light-blocking curtains to create a darker space. Just by dimming the light in your home, you’ll reduce indoor temperatures significantly.
If you love to keep your window blinds up or curtains open, at least shut them when you’re gone for the day. You should notice that you’re coming home to a much cooler place when you keep the sunlight out.
10. Upgrade Your System
If you have an older HVAC unit, it may be nearing the end of its life. Systems that are ten years of age or older might be due for a replacement.
Perform a “wellness check” of your system to ensure that everything is working as it should. It could be a matter of a simple refrigerant refill, or it could be something more serious like you need a new condenser.
Modern HVAC systems are much more energy-efficient than those that were installed in the past. Talk to your local technician and find out what kinds of systems are available and get a few estimates for the cost to upgrade.
11. Use Ceiling Fans to Your Advantage
Ceiling fans are a great way to keep your home cooler without using a ton of energy. If you don’t have ceiling fans, consider installing them in the rooms you use the most.
Make sure you have the fan set to circulate the air in a counter-clockwise motion during the summer months. This will pull the hot air upward and create a cool downflow of air.
The bedroom and living room are both excellent places to use a ceiling fan. The fans can reduce temperatures by a fairly significant amount so you can give your air conditioning system a break.
12. Keep Things Clean
A clean air conditioning system is a well-running system. Dust and debris can wreak havoc on the condenser and the coils of your AC unit.
Remove all leaves and twigs from your outdoor unit and clean the coils and condenser regularly. A dirty air conditioning system has to work much harder to function and can cause these parts to break much sooner than they should.
Just like your ductwork and air filter, these elements should always be kept as clean as possible. A simple monthly check and cleaning can ensure that your air conditioning unit is running smoothly.
Stay Cool This Summer in Seattle, WA
Even if you’re brand-new to having an air conditioning system, these HVAC tips will make your summer a comfortable one. With regular cleanings and maintenance, you can enjoy your cool home in confidence.
Use a ceiling fan and programmable or smart thermostat to reduce your energy bills. Cover windows and close any gaps around windows and doors with insulation, and you should enjoy a much cooler space.