Let’s face it, the last thing you want is for a 100-degree day to get infinitely worse for you because your AC unit froze or otherwise malfunctioned. The summer is supposed to be the most relaxing and fun time of the year and that ceases to be true if you are stuck drowning in a pool of your own sweat because you were too stubborn to take the necessary steps to keep your cooling unit in top shape throughout the year and into the summer months when you need it most.
After all, you cannot have much fun if you are stuck in a home that feels like the steam room at your local gym.
So what can be done to best ensure that your HVAC system is operating at its highest possible level in the summer and avoid a situation like the above?
Here is a checklist that should be adhered to by any reputable HVAC company:
1. Get an accurate assessment of your air conditioner.
Run your cooling system several times throughout the day as a means of testing it so you can make sure it is currently working properly. If there are no issues on the surface, then at least you now it is likely you do not need any major repairs.
However, if the unit does not turn on or cannot maintain the temperature of your choosing for a lengthy period of time, then unfortunately you are going to need an HVAC company to take a deep look and potentially make wide-sweeping repairs.
It is possible the system itself is the issue or there is a problem with the thermostat, but either way, this absolutely must be rectified to avoid the possibility of being unable to escape the heat of sweltering summer days inside your home.
2. Replace your air filter.
This may not seem like a big deal on the surface, but it can make a huge difference on the effectiveness of your HVAC unit. Realistically, your air filter should be replaced every month, but this becomes undeniably essential during summer months. The hotter the temperature gets, the more you are going to use your cooling unit, so the more important it becomes to ensure that there is absolutely nothing obstructing the airflow.
Not only should you change your filter every month and possibly more if necessary during the summer, but you would be doing yourself an enormous favor if you upgraded to a HEPA air filter for a much higher level of air filter quality.
3. Have annual maintenance performed on your unit.
In addition to replacing your air filter every month, you really should be in the habit of having your unit inspected by professionals at least once every year. Think of your cooling unit the way you think of your body in the sense that everybody acknowledges the value of getting a yearly physical. Well, an annual HVAC inspection is the equivalent of a yearly physical for your unit.
Most reputable HVAC companies will offer extremely thorough maintenance checks on your system that should be able to detect even the most minor issues. Much like an annual physical for your body, these thorough maintenance checks can also help uncover problems in their infancy so that they can be taken care of before they turn into major issues.
As an added bonus, getting a tune up will allow HVAC professionals to rig your system to expel the least amount of energy needed to cool your home so that the cooling process becomes as inexpensive and efficient as possible.
4. Clean your indoor air conditioner.
The first step here is to wipe down the outside of the unit and get rid of any debris that is hanging on or around said unit. If anything is lying on top of the system, make sure to remove that as well. The key with removing anything around the unit is ensuring that absolutely nothing is in the way of the cooling mechanism so that there will not be any obstruction of the cool air coming out. Likewise, if anything is on top of the unit, it could push down on it and potentially cause an issue for the air being pushed out.
In addition, you should use a vacuum to clear out all registers and air vents. While it is possible to run the vacuum yourself, you may want to be extra cautious and have professionals do this to clear out the vents and registers just to guarantee the job gets done correctly and efficiently.
5. Clean your outdoor air conditioner.
Any outdoor unit is going to be particularly susceptible to the elements and its surrounding environment, so ensure that your outdoor unit is clean and in working order. It’s recommended that this step be taken care of by an HVAC professional. Improper maintenance could lead to clogs or even more damage, causing you more problems then when you started this project.
Much like with your indoor unit, while it is possible to perform this cleaning yourself, it is best to leave this job to HVAC professionals because that way you know the work is performed properly and your AC unit will be working all summer long.