HVAC Maintenance: Steps To Staying Cool This Summer
The Houston Area and the Texas Gulf Coast we seem to have two seasons: summer and not so summer. As we head into the “Summer” months, it is best to have your HVAC system ready for the hard work ahead. You will want your system to bring the relief it you so desperately need during the intense heat of a Texas summer.
Regularly scheduled AC maintenance can provide a great start, but if your systems has been switched off, you will want to take a few extra steps to prepare for summer. Here are steps to take to prepare your air conditioning system for the summer.
- – Take a look at your thermostat. Is it outdated? Many of the newer thermostat model are more energy efficient and can reduce your utility bill. Check out programmable thermostats and smart thermostats. Each can offer some great energy saving and convenience opportunities.
- – Do a thorough inspection of your ductwork. Any wear and tear or compromises in its structure can be a source of inefficiency and cooling loss.
- – Inspect your air vents to remove any obstructions that can block airflow. Many times, window coverings and furniture can block airflow.
- – Check your drain line for clogging. Many times the drain is located in the attic where the drain pan can have debris fall into it causing blockages. Algae can also build up if there is standing water. Flushing your drain line with a cup of chlorine bleach followed by gallon of water can keep your drain clean. A clogged drain line can cause an overflow of the drain pan. Since move air conditioning units are installed in the attic, a leak can cause significant damage to ceiling and underlying structures.
- – Change your air filters regularly. The filter should be changed every three months, or as stated on by the manufacturer of the air filter. If you cannot remember when the last time your air filter was changed, change it today. We recommend that you put the installation date on the filter to better manage replacement.
- – Inspect your outdoor HVAC condenser unit. Remove any debris, leaves, weeds that can block or affect performance. Confirm that all electrical panels are connected, tighten if needed. Visually inspect any electrical wiring that you can see. If damaged, schedule a consultation.
- – Conduct a visual inspection of your refrigerant lines. These lines are typically insulated to improve the efficiency of the system. If you see any wear and tear, or insulation is damaged, give us a call.
- – Review the original installation documentation so you know the age of your unit. Air conditioners do have a life span. No matter how well you maintain your HVAC system, it will eventually wear out and perform less than optimally. Consult with our technician team to discuss replacement vs. repair options.
- – Turn your system to cool and adjust your thermostat to a temperature low enough to make your system turn on.
- – Listen to your system outdoors and indoors for any irregular sound. The outdoor condenser should be pulling warm air out of your home, you can hold your hand above it to confirm it is functioning properly.
- – After your system has ran about 15 minutes or more, you should feel the temperature to begin to drop.
Troubleshooting and Energy Tips
As previously stated, you should schedule a maintenance appointment at least once a year to have a professional evaluate your air conditioning system. While conducting the steps above, you run into any problems or concerns, definitely give us a call. Not addressing problem areas can lead to more extensive repair that will cost you more money. Remember to call early. The summer months are extremely busy and you will want to avoid delays in scheduling.
During the heat of the summer, you can reduce your energy consumption by increasing the temperature of your thermostat by just a few degrees.
Stay Cool This Summer
The last thing you want is a hot and humid summer day without air conditioning. When your air conditioning system has been sitting idle for a few months, an AC tune up and maintenance is definitely a necessary step to staying cool this summer.