The joys of summer, long afternoons, swimming, barbecues, and more fun activities outside are meant to be enjoyed. Summertime comes with heat but it is only good for a while. Too much heat can be extremely uncomfortable and sometimes extremely dangerous. It may disrupt day-to-day activities and even cause loss of sleep!
Thanks to technology, heat waves do not have to be your portion. With great heating and air conditioning systems, you get to have the best of both worlds. You get the right amount of heat and cold at the same time for balance. Given that the summertime you will have your air conditioner overworking, you will need to exercise extra care to keep it performing at peak efficiency. A little bit of HVAC maintenance during the summertime will go a long way. This article will share maintenance tips for your air conditioner when the temperatures outside are extremely high.
Signs to Look Out For Air Conditioner Maintenance
You need to be able to recognize signs when your air conditioner may be ready for a tune-up.
You can put your hand across the air conditioner and feel whether it is releasing cold or warm air. If it is warm, it is an indication that there is a restricted airflow and your AC needs to be checked. An air conditioning service should be your next dial to check out your AC.
Examine the air released and whether it is enough. If some areas of the house are not getting airflow, your AC’s conditioner could be broken and needs to be fixed.
The air from the AC should be odorless like the air you breathe when you step outside. If you smell any other odors, you may want to address the issue before they become smellier.
Take note of the number of cycles your air conditioner runs. Although during the summer, it is expected to turn on more frequently, the cycle should not keep going on and off. If you notice an abnormal cycle, you can contact a HVAC contractor to make a diagnosis and recommend repairs.
Although your AC comes with a refrigerant which may condense at some point, under no circumstances is the liquid supposed to leak. Leaks may also cause water damage to other parts of the AC. If you notice a build-up of ice or any water leaks, your air conditioner needs to be checked and scheduled for an AC repair before it breaks down. Plumbers can check your AC to ensure drainage pipes are properly installed.
You can expect your AC to make some noise when shutting down or during the start up. However, if the sounds are loud, sudden or when your AC is running, it is a sign to be worried and you need to get in touch with a HVAC contractor.
Tips to Maintain Your Air Conditioner
Check the Filter
Your air conditioner comes with a filter installed that traps any pollutants from your home. However, with time, the filter may become clogged depending on your household conditions and fail to perform its functions. In addition, if your air conditioner is blocked, good airflow is interrupted, which prevents the system from functioning efficiently. If you have pets or houseplants, it is advisable to check your filter at least every two weeks, especially during the summertime. This is because you will be using the air conditioner more often; hence, it is important that you keep it dust-free. If you fail to check your filter regularly, you risk experiencing some common problems such as:
High electricity bills – since your filter is full of debris, the blower fan is strained and has to work harder to push air. The strain of pushing air out is likely to wear out the fan and damage the air conditioner.
Inconsistent air circulation – once your fan is straining to push air, some areas of the room may not get the much-needed air as the sensors supposed to regulate the temperature fail to signal the system. Continued use could lead to a breakdown of your air conditioner.
AC overheating – since the fan is struggling to push out air, the system may end up overheating and stop working completely. If you notice your system is overheating, you need to get in touch with HVAC unit repair companies.
More mold or bacteria can develop – the collection of debris in your filter creates more space for moisture and breeds an opportunity to accumulate more mold. The introduction of more pollutants means more trouble for the system and more polluted air for you. If the mold is extreme, you might need mold remediation services.
Clean Your Air Ducts
Debris is a major issue affecting air conditioners. Air ducts tend to collect debris over time, restricting airflow. Some of the reasons you should clean your air ducts include:
Easier breathing – the summertime is full of high temperatures going around, so you want to breathe in a cool fresh breeze. Cleaning your home’s air duct gets rid of the dust particles from your surroundings. Asthmatic people are likely to suffer from unclean air, so it is advisable to get your air ducts cleaned before you are severely affected.
Removes Odors – a build-up of debris over time in your air duct welcomes a combination of different odors in your home. Opening multiple windows or using a bunch of air fresheners does not eliminate bad odors.
Improve your AC’s efficiency – having an air conditioner in your home working more than usual during the summertime generates cool air and distributes it evenly. Dirty air ducts prevent your AC from performing its functions efficiently because air cannot travel freely. Clean air ducts allow the AC to perform optimally and have an easier job cooling your home.
Check the Electrical System
Your HVAC system needs to be checked for wiring occasionally. Wires tend to deteriorate after long-term exposure or overheating at the connecter ends. If you start to notice skyrocketing electricity bills or scorched wires, it is time for a tune-up. An electrician can help inspect their working conditions and ensure things are running smoothly.
Keep off Obstructions
One of the major tips for maintaining your air conditioner is to ensure it is working efficiently. To get the most out of it, ensure your air conditioner is placed in an area where it can circulate air freely. Any furniture or items that can restrict airflow need to be removed for an efficient air conditioner. When vents are obstructed, your air conditioner strains to maintain the proper temperature and may break down sooner than you expected.
Clean Your Condenser Coils
Condenser coils absorb heat and moisture. If your AC cannot absorb heat, it beats the sense of having it in your home. However, given that there is a lot of dust during the summertime, a dirt condenser coil will have trouble transferring heat outside because of the high temperatures and making it less effective. One of the DIY to keep it in a tiptop shape is to spray the coils lightly with water and wipe off any dirt. You can repeat this routine every week since your AC will be overworking during this season and enhance its efficiency while prolonging its lifespan.
Check and Refill refrigerant Levels
If your AC’s refrigerant level is low or is leaking, your ac may fail to perform its functions effectively. An insufficient amount of refrigerant prevents the AC from cooling your home as it normally would. Some of the clues that let you know whether your refrigerant is leaking include:
High monthly electricity bills could be an indication of low refrigerant levels. The AC uses up more energy as it works extra hard to cool your home even without any luck.
If you keep hearing any bubbling sounds or a hiss often, that indicates your refrigerant is leaking.
If you notice a build-up of ice around your AC unit, that is another indication of your refrigerant leaking. The build-up is usually caused by an extremely cold evaporator coil that causes the refrigerant to flow back and freeze.
If you place your hand in front of your AC and feel warm air, your refrigerant levels could be low. Low levels mean that heat is not being absorbed.
If you notice any of these signs, you can contact a professional from one of the local HVAC companies to solve the problem so that you can enjoy cool air during the summertime.
Calibrating your Thermostat
Thermostats are essential in ac systems as they sense the temperature of the air outside and send a signal to the cooling system to initiate a cycle. Therefore, a properly calibrated thermostat is essential, especially in the summertime where you need cool air. To check whether it is functioning properly, use a thermometer and place it a few inches from your thermostat. If there’s a difference in the readings, your thermostat might be broken, and it is time to get a new one. A technician from your local air conditioning services can easily replace your thermostat and ensure it is properly calibrated for the efficient functioning of your ac. Now that you are already aware of what to look out for in your ac and keep it in excellent shape, there are some additional home maintenance tips you can practice to prevent your ac from overheating and extend its lifespan.
Home Maintenance Tips to Keep Your AC Running
Summertime is a hectic time, and your AC might be overwhelmed by doing such an intensive job. Ensure that you supplement with your ceiling fan to blow the air down and even out the temperature in the room.
Keep unoccupied rooms closed, especially those on the lower ground. Your AC blows air and tends to descend to the lowest areas. Closing the doors ensures the AC is not overworked and performs its job efficiently.
Keep your drapes or blinds closed during the day to keep heat from warming the house. Too much heat may overwork your AC and obstruct it from performing its job efficiently.
Use solar screens on your windows. The reflective screens are useful in keeping heat out and allow your AC to function under normal conditions without exerting too much energy to absorb excess heat.
Plant more trees around your house. Trees keep your area cool and prevent your thermostat from overheating when the temperatures are skyrocketing.
Consider switching to LED bulbs for lighting your house. You want to keep the heat at low levels and LED bulbs are perfect as they generate very little heat. It is a win-win situation as you get to maintain your AC while keeping the electricity bills low.
Minimize the use of home appliances that generate a lot of heat, such as washing machines and dishwashers. You can air-dry your clothes or hand-wash your dishes to keep the temperature at a minimum.
Keep lamps and other heat sources away from the thermostat. This keeps the thermostat from overheating and only reads the correct temperature of the room.
Avoid running your AC at high speeds. You don’t want to be overworking and risking a breakdown.
Ensure your exhaust pipes are working perfectly to let hot steam out. Areas such as your bathroom exhaust when you are taking a hot shower should work perfectly to avoid any warm temperatures being stuck in the home.
An air conditioner is a definite must-have in your home, especially during the summer. To ensure you enjoy the cool breeze, a few tips to keep your AC working throughout will help you save on unexpected expenses. You will be surprised at what a few maintenance tips can help you achieve. After all, it is better to catch a problem in its initial stage before it blows up, requiring you to get a hVAC replacement. Make sure you only deal with minor issues you can handle and leave complex matters to the professionals.