Temperatures are already starting to soar in many parts of the country, which means you’ve probably had to turn on your air conditioner at least a few times. AC service isn’t always cheap here in the U.S., as air conditioners use around 5% of all electricity produced in the nation and cost more than $11 billion to homeowners every year. Maintaining your HVAC system is key, as it ensures everything runs effectively. Otherwise, you could be paying more than necessary on your monthly bills or in costly HVAC repairs! Here are five HVAC maintenance tips that’ll keep costs low and your family cool this summer.
- Get a programmable thermostat
You’ve probably heard it before, but it bears repeating: a programmable thermostat is by far the best way to save money and stay comfortable. You can program the temperature of your home to fit your schedule, which means you won’t waste money on cooling your home while you’re at work or make your system work harder than necessary to accommodate constantly changing temperature preferences. This “set it and forget it” kind of system will allow you to feel cool and comfortable when you need it most without adding a substantial amount to your monthly bills. There are even “smart” thermostats you can control from your mobile device!
- Shade your unit
It’s important to keep your AC unit clear of debris, but there are certain types of coverage that are actually beneficial for your cooling system. A well-placed tree or awning can offer shade for your unit, which will help it operate more efficiently and cut down on energy consumption. Just be careful of any branches or leaves that may fall on the unit and remove them promptly.
- Clean vents and filters
A clogged air filter or closed vent can have a drastic impact on how well your HVAC system works. You need to change your air filters on a monthly basis (or sometimes more often, if they become clogged with pollen or other dirt). Not only can this keep air flow from circulating but it can also result in poor quality air and even increased respiratory issues for your family. You should also ensure that all vents in your home are open and clean. If they were closed during a cleaning session or become especially dirty, a given room might be noticeably warmer or dustier. With any of these conditions, your system can’t work to full capacity and will use more energy trying to do so. That translates into higher monthly bills and even additional problems, so cleaning and replacing these components is an essential part of maintaining your HVAC system.
- Don’t set the temp too low
It may sound counter-intuitive, but be careful not to set your thermostat temperature lower than necessary. Some people are under the impression that the lower you set the temperature, the faster your home will cool down. In reality, your home will cool down at the same rate no matter what the final temperature is. What actually ends up happening is that homeowners will realize their home is too cold and will have to adjust the temperature a second time to compensate. This makes your system work harder than necessary and can end up costing you more on your bills. Therefore, be conservative with temperature changes and be patient with your system. Give it a little time before adjusting it further.
- Get regular maintenance checks
One of the most important pieces of maintaining your HVAC system is scheduling professional check-ups at least once a year. Typically, it’s best to get HVAC service performed in spring or fall, since these are the most temperate seasons and will allow you time to have repairs or replacement performed without being stuck in the bitter cold or scorching hot without heating or cooling. And if you see signs that something is amiss with your HVAC, don’t wait to schedule service. Make sure to take care of it right away to reduce the risk of higher bills or total breakdown.
If you’re a bit behind on maintaining your HVAC system, it’s not too late to schedule a maintenance check, repairs, or new installation. To find out more, contact Cundiff Heating and Air today.