Winter is finally beginning to melt away across much of the United States. Those areas that are still seeing miserably frigid temperatures can rest assured that spring will soon arrive to thaw out the world around them as well. Here in Florida, though, bone-numbing cold isn’t exactly a problem. Warm, sunny days are year-round occurrences in this corner of the nation. It’s simply a question of just how warm and humid it’s going to be each month. Still, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow appropriate pre-summer air conditioning maintenance protocol.
Keeping Your Air Conditioning System in Top-Notch Condition
Florida is a wonderful place to live thanks to the perpetually pleasant weather. Of course, the constant heat and humidity make air conditioning a constant concern. The experts at Air & Energy fully understand just how important a properly working HVAC system is not only during the summer months but all year long. Whether you’re looking for emergency air conditioning repairs or thinking of having ductless air conditioning installed in a new addition to your home, we’re your go-to specialists.
Getting Ready for Summer
No matter which type of HVAC system you have, keeping it in optimal condition is essential. Doing so will help keep your home comfortable during the hottest, most humid months of summer while reducing the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns. It’ll also go a long way toward reducing AC repair costs in the long run and may extend the life of the entire system. Keep in mind the following pre-summer maintenance tips as winter comes to a close and spring gets underway.
1) Change the AC Filters
It’s important to change the AC filters regularly. At least once every 90 days is recommended. As fate would have it, each season lasts approximately 90 days. Setting up a reminder to change the filters on the first official day of each season is an easy way to remember this task. If you have allergies or multiple indoor pets, it’s best to change the filters every 30 to 45 days. This may seem too simple to really make a difference, but it’s one of the best ways to improve AC efficiency and prolong the life of the system.
2) Clear the Outside Unit
Leaves, palm fronds, branches, and other debris often build upon exterior AC units. At the same time, shrubs and other greenery you may have planted around your home can become overgrown and block the unit. Both these issues will block the air intake and take a toll on the unit’s components. In turn, the system won’t work as well as it should and may burn out long before its time. When you change the AC filters, go ahead and check the outdoor unit for debris and overgrowth. Clear away any issues you find.
3) Have the Ductwork Cleaned
AC filters help trap dirt and allergens, but they can’t do it all on their own. Over time, dust, pollen, pet dander, and other particles accumulate in the ductwork as well. When the buildup is left to accumulate, it can cause numerous problems. These include poor indoor air quality, which can exacerbate allergies, asthma, and other respiratory issues. Clogged ductwork will also cause your air conditioning to work less efficiently and effectively than it should and leave you dusting, vacuuming, and sweeping far more often. While air quality experts recommend having the ductwork cleaned at least once every three years or so, having it done annually isn’t a bad idea.
4) Schedule an Inspection
All homeowners should have their air conditioning and heating systems inspected by a professional twice each year, preferably once in the spring and again in the fall. Technicians take a look at all the components of the system to make sure they’re in condition. They also perform routine maintenance tasks, such as cleaning the outdoor and indoor units, lubricating moving parts, examining electrical connections, testing the system, and calibrating the thermostat. These inspections give technicians a chance to find potential issues and repair them, so they won’t cause unexpected breakdowns later on. They also help make the system last longer.
5) Consider the Age of Your System
Air conditioning systems lose efficiency over time even with ongoing care and routine maintenance. After 10 years or so, they’ve generally outlived their useful lives. An older system can use 5,000 watts of power or more during a typical day, which can send your power bill soaring. If your system is 10 years old or more, consider upgrading to a new one.
Modern AC systems are far more efficient than those of the past. Though purchasing a new system and having it installed are investments in their own rights, replacing the system now will save you a great deal of money in the long run. This is true in terms of power consumption as well as the mounting repairs that tend to come with aging systems.
6) Upgrade Your Thermostat
In addition to replacing an old AC system, you may want to think about upgrading the thermostat to a digital model. They allow you to regulate the temperature in your home much more readily than other types of thermostats. Some can also be controlled remotely, so you can modify the temperature in your home while you’re away. This will give you yet another way to save money and reduce energy consumption.
7) Add a Supplemental Ductless System
Many Florida homes, especially older ones, don’t have central air conditioning in every room. Sunrooms, garages, basements, and other areas of the home often weren’t equipped with air conditioning in the past. If that’s the case with your home, the rooms in which temperatures aren’t regulated may be detracting from your overall comfort and reducing the efficiency of your system. You can install a ductless mini-split system in those rooms to help boost comfort levels and reduce your cooling costs.
Don’t Let the Heat Catch You Off Guard
To those on the outside looking in, summer may seem like a year-round event in Florida. Of course, people who live here know that the temperatures are only going to soar when the summer months roll around. Keeping your AC system in optimal shape all year long is the key to staying comfortable, and these pre-summer AC maintenance tips can help you do just that.