Summers in Central Florida can really put air conditioning units to the test. With an average high temperature from June through August of 92 degrees F, you don’t want your A/C going out in the middle of the sweltering heat.
Another concern when the thermometer starts to rise is higher electricity bills. If your HVAC unit isn’t in top shape, your energy costs can be higher than they need to be, especially in the summer when units are usually working overtime.
Preparing your air conditioning unit before those 90+ degree days hit, can make a big difference in your comfort and costs during the hottest time of the year. Air Tech of Central Florida spends much of the Spring season performing pre-summer HVAC maintenance for our customers to ensure everything runs smoothly there are no unexpected breakdowns.
Read on for our seven best tips to prepare your air conditioner for a long-hot summer of efficient cooling.
Keep Your A/C Running Smoothly by Doing These 7 Things
Most people wouldn’t think of taking their car on a long road trip without making sure it was tuned up and in good condition first. Preparing your air conditioner for the summer months is really no different. Your A/C unit is about to kick into its highest demand days, so you want to make sure it’s in great condition with these tips.
Clean the Coils on the Outside Unit
During the winter months, dirt, dust, leaves, and debris can collect on your exterior unit. When the coils are dirty, the unit has to work harder to cool your home and it can end up running sluggishly.
For units that are only slightly dirty, you can disconnect the power and use a hose to spray down the unit exterior. For heavily soiled units, you may need to purchase a commercial cleaner for A/C units.
Change the Air Filter
This is the easiest form of HVAC maintenance, but many homeowners don’t do it often enough. On average, the HVAC air filter should be changed every three months. A filter that’s dirty can block airflow and cause the evaporation coil to ice up, which can lead to a shutdown.
Keeping your air filters clean or replaced regularly can lower your unit’s energy consumption 5-15% (DOE)
Routinely changing your air filter also helps lower your energy costs.
Clean the Condensation Line
The condensation line is a white PVC pipe located near your outdoor unit. It transports the condensate away from your A/C unit. You want to ensure your unit is draining properly, otherwise you could end up with that excess moisture backing up in to your system or into your house. That could lead to an expensive repair bill.
Clogged condensation lines can also breed mold growth, which can mean problems for air quality.
Clean the Compressor Fins
The compressor fins on your outside unit help move heat away from the air conditioner and allow the heat to disperse more quickly. Dirty or bent fins can cause your air conditioner to have a harder time removing heat and to run less efficiently.
When cleaning these, you want to use a soft brush and be very careful because they bend quite easily.
Install a Smart Thermostat
Right before the high cooling bills of summer arrive is a great time to install a smart thermostat. It allows you more control over your home’s HVAC system and can significantly reduce your home energy bill. According to Nest, you can save on average 15% on energy costs.
A smart thermostat will allow you to automate settings for the optimum comfort and energy efficiency and even control your thermostat remotely from your mobile device.
Check Ductwork for Leaks
Leaks in your ductwork can mean your system is working overtime, but you’re barely getting cool. Beyond higher energy costs, ducts that are leaking just 20% can mean your system is working 50% harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
Look for ductwork leaks in these areas:
- Joints of ductwork connections
- Around air handler unit
- Near vents
Clean Indoor Vents
Vents that have gotten clogged with pet hair, dust or dirt can reduce the efficiency of your A/C unit. You also want to make sure vents are open and not blocked by furniture, which can impede proper airflow and reduce efficiency and comfort.
If vents are closed, dirty, or blocked, air won’t refresh fast enough for proper heat exchange. When less heat is run through the condenser coil, ice formation can occur, making it harder for the condenser to release the heat. This can cause higher than usual humidity, a home that just won’t get cool enough, and eventually, compressor damage.
Sign Up for Our 21-Point HVAC Maintenance Plan
If you want to keep your HVAC unit running efficiently all year long without any hassles, sign up for Air Tech of Central Florida’s affordable Annual Maintenance Plan. We cover 21 important inspection points to keep your unit running at peak efficiency and to prevent unexpected breakdowns.
Sign up today by calling 407-696-9876 or contacting us online.