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How to Properly Prepare Your HVAC System For Summer

It is important to properly prepare your HVAC system to face the summer heat. Check out this helpful guide to make sure your unit is ready to go.

Summer’s here and the temperatures are just going to get hotter. You’d better make sure that your air conditioner is ready to go. 

How do you do that? By providing it with maintenance. What does pre-summer HVAC system maintenance entail? 

Read on to find out! 

Swap Out the Air Filter

First and foremost, you’re going to want to swap out the air filter. This prevents dust from making its way into the AC system.

If you don’t swap it out every three months or so, it will become covered in dust. Then, because the filter has no more room to catch dust, it will allow other dust particles to make their way to the AC itself. This will cause efficiency issues and could result in astronomical energy bills. 

Note, in most cases, a swap at the beginning of summer will get you through the season. However, if you have pets in your home (thus more fur and dust), you should consider making a change every one to two months. 

Check Your Thermostat

Most thermostats require batteries in order to run. If these batteries burn out, your AC will stop functioning and your home will get hot in a hurry. 

As such, before the real heat sets in, you should open up your thermostat and test your batteries for power. If they have plenty of juice in them, they can stay. If they’re getting to the ends of their proverbial ropes, you should replace them now.

Most thermostats take AAA batteries or AA batteries. Keep some on hand in the event that your thermostat dies unexpectedly. 

Straighten the Fins on Your Condenser

On the outside of your condenser is a series of narrow, metal strips. These are called fins and they’re vital to the operation of your AC system.

Unfortunately, over time, these fins tend to become bent and misshapen. This impairs their functionality and prevents the AC from working at maximum capacity. As such, to keep your AC working at its top level, you need to straighten these fins manually from time to time. 

To do this, take a knife and push it between each fin from top to bottom. You’ll need to do this around the entire condenser. Once you’re finished, the fins should be relatively straight and capable of performing their task at a reasonable level. 

Make Sure the Condenser Coils Are Clean

Inside of your condenser is a series of coils known as condenser coils. The condenser coils are responsible for transforming refrigerants from gas into liquid. 

The issue is, over time, the condenser coils tend to become dirty. The dirtier they become, the harder time they have performing their intended function. This results in AC inefficiency, and, in some cases, a lack of cold air. 

As such, it’s necessary for you to clean your condenser coils. You can do this with a coil cleaner as well as a specialized brush. If you need help, call an HVAC service company like Larsen Heating and Air.  

Vacuum the Vents

If you have central AC, you’re sure to have a series of vents scattered throughout your house. These lead to the ducts and are the spots in which cold air enters your home. 

Over time, these vents tend to take on dust and other debris. This can affect your air quality, as the forced air can push the dust and debris out into your indoor environment. It can also block airflow, making it difficult for your AC to cool your home adequately. 

Because of this, you should vacuum your vents prior to the summer season. You might also want to consider cleaning out your ducts, especially if it’s been over five years since you did it last. After all, if there’s dust in your vents, imagine how much is in your duct system. 

Clear the Area Around the Condenser

Your air conditioner condenser is the component with the fan that sits outside of your home. It’s responsible for taking outside air, making it cool, and pushing it into the blower component stationed within your home. 

The issue with the condenser, unfortunately, is that it’s exposed to all sorts of debris. Should this debris fall into the condenser, it could suffer serious damage. 

So, to prevent this from happening, you need to keep the area around the condenser clear. You can do this by trimming trees and hedges and by maintaining five to eight feet of clearance around the entirety of the condenser. 

Have It Tuned Up By a Professional

There’s a lot you can do yourself in order to prepare your HVAC system for summer. However, as an average person, you can’t do it all. For instance, you likely can’t do anything to diagnose impending problems or make small repairs. 

But do you know who can? A professional HVAC specialist. This is why, prior to every summer, you should bring in an HVAC company for a full inspection of your system. 

Your HVAC specialist will find any trouble spots in your system and, if necessary, make relevant repairs. He or she will also ensure that your system is running as it should be, lubricating certain components for maximum performance. 

Time to Prepare Your HVAC System!

And there it is, that’s how to prepare your HVAC system for summer. So, get out there and put these tips to good use. You’ll be saving yourself from a series of hot and sweaty nights. 

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