Your HVAC system can include both your heating and cooling systems—but in the summer, it’s probably the cooling that you’re most worried about. You need a reliable system that won’t suffer unexpected breakdowns. Some simple maintenance and preparation tips can help you stay cool and keep your cooling bills down.
Taking Care of Your Condenser
Your air conditioner relies on an outdoor condenser unit to provide cooling for your home. It dispels heat to the external environment through the condensation of the refrigerant inside its coolant circuit. The limiting factor here is the surface area, so it has thin fins that radiate heat.
Dirt or even pollen can create a restrictive layer that prevents your HVAC system from working as efficiently as possible. These fins don’t work properly when blocked by anything, and over time they inevitably become coated with outside organic material. Keep your condenser clean by spraying it down with a garden hose to rinse off any dirt—don’t use a pressure washer, though, as it can damage the delicate fins.
Inspect the Drainpipe
Your HVAC system doesn’t just keep you cool: it also removes moisture from the air. Humidity condenses on the evaporator coils as they draw heat from inside your house, and this moisture exits the unit through the drainpipe
The drainpipe can eventually become clogged; in fact, this is one of the most common HVAC issues. Mold, algae, or other debris can clog the pipe, preventing the moisture from draining. It’s important to keep this pipe clear so your unit can work properly. You can typically clean these out using a shop vacuum without too much trouble.
Clear the Area Around Your AC Unit
Your outdoor unit is pumping heat into the environment outside, and it does so by passing significant airflow over the condenser. Without this airflow, heat transfer is severely restricted.
If you have bushes or shrubs growing up against the condenser, they’re probably blocking airflow. Ideally, you should have two feet of clear space on each side of your outdoor unit.
Change Your Air Filters
Air filters are an essential part of your HVAC system, keeping your indoor air quality high and the dirt and debris out of your system’s mechanical components. As dirt builds up, the filter can block airflow more and more, eventually reducing efficiency and lowering the air quality in your home.
These air filters are disposable, so you simply have to replace them every one to three months. That is a wide range, but it depends on many individual factors. If your HVAC airflow seems down, it could be because the filter is full.
Get a Professional HVAC Tune-Up
Of course, one of the best HVAC maintenance tips is to leave it to the professionals. A thorough HVAC tune-up will catch potential problems that could get worse over time, along with priming your AC to provide the most efficient cooling throughout the summer.
If you believe your HVAC system isn’t working as well as it should, Attic Projects provides air duct repairs and replacements. You can contact us today for a free inspection of your duct system to see how it could be affecting your home’s comfort and your energy costs.