Spending a little extra time getting your HVAC system ready for the summer months will help you keep your energy bills as low as possible and reduce your risk of catastrophic damage taking place when you need your air conditioner the most. Here are a few quick and easy steps you can take to improve the efficiency and durability of your heating and cooling system.
Inspect the Condenser
Your HVAC condenser is the metal or plastic unit that is located outside of your home. These devices are designed to withstand quite a bit of abuse, but you should inspect them at least two or three times a year for any visible signs of damage. The most common form of damage on these units is rusted metal due to standing water. You should also look at all the pipes and duct lines leading into your home to make sure they are not bent, twisted, or cracked.
Clear Away Foliage
While most plants around the condenser will not damage the unit, they could reduce the efficiency of the HVAC system. As a general rule, you should try to keep trees, bushes, and other forms of foliage at least one yard away from the outdoor unit. You should also avoid spraying pesticides or other chemicals near the condenser because it will draw those particles into your home.
Open Vents and Check Ducts
Completely closing the vents when you are not using the HVAC system could improve the insulation of your home, but all of the vents should be open whenever you use the furnace or air conditioner. Closing the vents will create back pressure, and that will force the condenser to work much harder. When you open the events, you can use a flashlight to check the ducts for any signs of debris.
Contact an HVAC Contractor
The average homeowner doesn’t have the tools or expertise to completely service an air conditioner, and that is why you should consider contacting a professional, like those at HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric, each spring. During these service calls, your contractor can carry out a variety of important tasks such as lubing moving parts, topping off the fluids, changing filters, checking the belts, and testing the accuracy of the thermostat.
Getting your HVAC system ready for the summer will keep you and your family comfortable no matter how hot it is outside, and you should also think about having the heater serviced when the weather begins to cool off. That is why most contractors agree that homeowners should have their heating and cooling systems serviced twice a year to prevent serious damage and reduce energy consumption.