The summer months in Jacksonville and its surrounding areas can get pretty hot and humid. It’s essential to have a functioning HVAC system when it’s time to switch from heat to air conditioning. In order to ensure the reliability of your system and its related equipment, there are some steps you should take to prepare for the summer. These HVAC tips can get you ready for a cool and enjoyable summer, regardless of what Mother Nature has in store.
Checking and Replacing Your Filter
It seems too easy to be important, but replacing your HVAC filter is crucial for a number of reasons. For starters, a clean filter will help promote healthy indoor air quality in your home. A clogged filter can cause problems with airflow throughout your HVAC system, which could compromise the comfort of your indoor air. Not to mention, restricted airflow could also result in damage to your equipment.
It’s a good idea to check your filter monthly to see if it needs to be changed. Most filters require replacement every 30 to 90 days. However, make sure it’s also part of your summer HVAC maintenance checklist.
Assessing Ductwork and Vents
Ductwork is an area of the home that you can’t evaluate very well without the help of a professional. HVAC technicians can use specialized equipment to see into the depths of your ductwork. They can provide you with a report on how dirty or clean your ducts are. If they are coated in a lot of dust, dirt, or other particulates, professional cleaning may be in order before summer arrives. This will prevent the interior components of your furnace and air conditioning system from becoming clogged and dirty, which can decrease efficiency. The decreased life expectancy of your equipment can also be an issue if you don’t keep these components clean and clear.
Dirty and clogged vents can be a common issue that should be addressed before summer arrives. Check the vents in your home to confirm that they don’t look dirty and are not covered by any items in the room. You should also keep vents open to promote proper airflow throughout your home.
Schedule Annual HVAC Maintenance
It’s ideal that you have routine maintenance performed on your HVAC system once per year. Spring into early summer is the perfect time to make that appointment. A professional tune-up of your HVAC system will include a number of steps. A technician will inspect the interior electrical components of your furnace and air conditioning unit. If any minor damage is spotted, repairs can be made right away before major problems develop. This appointment will also include checking refrigerant levels in your air conditioning unit, checking your filter, cleaning drains, and checking the internal motor.
Once you have had an annual maintenance appointment completed, you can make this a yearly event. Most HVAC companies will contact you again next year when it comes time to schedule another appointment. Routine maintenance is worth the time and money, so you know that you can rely on a cool and comfortable home even in the middle of a heat wave. Failing to keep up with your annual maintenance could even void your warranty.
While a lot of your HVAC equipment is present on the interior of your home, there is outdoor work that should be addressed as well. Homes that have a central air conditioning system will have a condenser outside. Before you use this equipment to cool your home during the summer months, make sure that the area is clear. There may be debris, brush, or branches that have positioned themselves around your air conditioner. They should be carefully removed to promote proper airflow. A technician can also open up this air conditioning unit to check its interior components. This includes refrigerant levels and electrical connections.
Make the Most of Your HVAC System
If you run an air conditioner during the hot summer months, there are some things you can do in the spring to maximize the performance of your cooling system. HVAC companies tend to see a lot of air conditioner repairs in the summer months. Generally, this is because of overuse. The more you use your equipment, the more likely it is to break down. You will make a few changes to the interior of your home to help circulate cool air and keep it contained all summer.
If you have ceiling fans installed in your home, they can be run in tandem with your air conditioner to distribute cold air throughout each room. Just make sure that you’ve changed the direction of your ceiling fans so that they are turning in a clockwise motion. This helps to direct airflow downward, so you have optimal cool air where you’re located in the room.
You may also want to consider using blackout shades in rooms of your home that get a lot of direct sunlight. By keeping the sun out of these rooms, they won’t heat up nearly as much. Your air conditioner won’t need to run as frequently to bring your indoor temperature down to what you have your thermostat set at.
Consider an HVAC System Upgrade
Your average HVAC system has a lifespan of 10 to 25 years. That time frame is on the lower end if you’ve skipped routine maintenance over the years. An older model has likely undergone some seasonal maintenance and periodic repairs. While your HVAC system may still be functioning, its efficiency may decrease if it’s very old. Newer models have upgraded features that provide you with efficiency and ideal comfort. Having a new unit installed may cost you some money upfront, but you end up saving a lot of money in the long run.
You can consult with an HVAC technician to see what type of unit is recommended for your home. The one that you currently have may not be appropriately sized based on the square footage of your home. You may also lack the correct ductwork, which can prevent your home from getting cooled down in the summer. Necessary adjustments can be made, to prepare your home for summer. Just make sure that you get your HVAC installation scheduled early. Things really start to pick up in the summer, and you might have to wait a number of weeks for your appointment.
If you need HVAC support in your Florida home, reach out to Reliable Ducts Heating and Cooling for assistance. We serve the Jacksonville community and surrounding areas, providing routine HVAC maintenance, emergency repairs, indoor air quality assessments, air duct cleaning, and much more. Whether you need your thermostat serviced or something more involved needs to be repaired, like your air conditioning refrigerant lines, we’re here to help. Give us a call today to set up an appointment. We’ll help you stay cool and comfortable all summer long.