Summertime means more than just the end of the school year—it means high temperatures and a time of year when heating and air conditioning systems are put under increased strain. This, unfortunately, leads to air conditioning system failures and expensive emergency repairs.
Dealing with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system failures is a major hassle. Rather than waiting for the HVAC system to break, it’s preferable to perform some preventative HVAC maintenance to summer-proof the system. How can you make your heating and air conditioning system summer-proof so it doesn’t fail?
Here are a few heating and air conditioning system basics to help you prepare your HVAC system for the summer heat:
1: Check Your HVAC System’s Filters
One of the factors that contributes to overtaxing your heating and air conditioning system is clogged HVAC system filters. Over time, the filters to the air ducts in your home (and to the interior air handler unit) will become clogged with accumulated dirt and dust from the inside of the home.
Checking these filters regularly is a must for HVAC maintenance. Because of how frequently air conditioning systems are used in the summer, it’s important to check your air filters at least once a month. If the filters are clogged with dirt, they should be replaced as soon as possible.
One warning sign that your air duct filters may need immediate replacement is if the covers over the filters themselves are caked in dirt. This kind of accumulation is common when the filters behind the cover are already clogged.
By keeping your filters clean and free of obstructions, you can reduce the strain on your HVAC system—helping to prevent large, inconvenient and expensive repairs..
2: Check That Your HVAC System is Rated for Your Home’s Size
One of the most common reasons air conditioning systems fail in the summer is that they aren’t rated for the building they’re being used for. It’s not uncommon for an HVAC system’s air handler to be significantly less powerful than the home actually requires. For example, if a home has 20,000 cubic feet of space, and the HVAC system’s air handler is only rated for 10,000 cubic feet, the air conditioning system will be vastly overloaded during the summer.
At best, this means the system will struggle to keep the house cool—increasing its energy draw even as it fails to keep the home cool.
So, one key strategy for summer-proofing your heating and air conditioning system is to upgrade it to match the needs of your home.
3: Update Your Home’s Insulation
Upgrading your home’s insulation can help to reduce the strain on your HVAC system. In fact, this is a great way to save on heating and air conditioning system costs throughout the whole year—not just during summer.
How does updating your home’s insulation help reduce the strain on your HVAC system? While insulation does keep warm air in, it also helps to keep hot summer air out. This allows your home to maintain a comfortable temperature more easily, reducing the workload on your air conditioning system in the summer.
Some common insulation upgrades include:
- Replacing doors and door frames with models that have a stronger seal;
- Upgrading windows to double-layered panes or UV-blocking models;
- Removing old insulation to replace it with new insulation; and
- Checking air ducts and plugging leaks or adding insulation to them.
The replacement of old insulation with new is typically the most expensive of these upgrades to make, but may be necessary for older homes or homes where water has seeped into the walls. It is a big job because it often involves the partial demolition of a home’s walls so the space behind can be accessed.
Checking air ducts can help find holes that could cause cold air to funnel into the attic space rather than into your home. Closing these holes reduces the total space your A/C system is trying to cool—minimizing energy consumption and strain.
4: Have a Professional Inspect Your Air Conditioning System
There are many sensitive components in your HVAC system that need to be thoroughly inspected. From condenser coils, to refrigerant lines, to fan blades, to the fins on the exterior condenser/compressor unit, the list of delicate components that could cause an air conditioning unit’s failure is extensive.
Heating and air conditioning systems tend to vary in design depending on the building and the manufacturer. In fact, many HVAC system manufacturers require professionals to have a certification specific to their product lines that allows them to make repairs without voiding the warranty.
So, it’s important to have a professional HVAC maintenance tech conduct an inspection of the air conditioning unit and make necessary repairs. An experienced tech with a license from your HVAC system’s manufacturer can identify critical issues and make repairs using the appropriate materials and techniques to keep your system running smoothly.
How can you find a licensed HVAC maintenance tech? One way is to use on-demand home maintenance services. With Homee On Demand, for example, you upload a few pictures of your HVAC system and a brief description of the problem, and your request is sent out to a network of thousands of pros who specialize in all many different HVAC system types.
These are just a few ways you can summer-proof your heating and air conditioning system. For more help preparing your home for summer, reach out to the HOMEE team today.