We know that taking good care of your body and getting regular checkups is good for your health. The same can be said about your HVAC system. Regular cleaning and maintenance can potentially ward off problems and extend the life of your HVAC system. If you act now to ensure that your air conditioning system is in good working order, it will be much easier to keep you cool this summer.
Nothing says “summer’s here” like high heat and humidity. As sunny and wonderful as it is here in Florida, it can get uncomfortable at times. That’s why it’s important to run a check on your HVAC system – your AC and dehumidifier. Follow these tips to keep yourself comfortable and your HVAC healthy this summer.
Clean or replace air filters of HVAC system regularly.
All kinds of things can get trapped in the air filter of your air conditioner and/or dehumidifier, which is your first line of defense against airborne allergens and contaminants. If the filter is dirty or clogged, it increases the air pressure in the ducts, making the system work harder to cool. That can result in higher energy bills. If your system’s HVAC system has a disposable filter, make sure you replace it every month or two. If you have pets, you may need to change it more frequently. For units that have permanent filters, make sure that you remove them and thoroughly wash them every month so that the air can circulate freely. Ultimately, a clean air filter keeps you cooler and helps reduce your family’s risk of allergies or other respiratory ailments.
Inspect for debris around the outside unit.
Make sure that you have at least a few feet of clearance around the unit without any type of plants or shrubs. Grass clippings, leaves, twigs, insects and pieces of trash can all make their way into the vents and slats of your outdoor air conditioner. Perhaps small animals decided to nest in or around your AC unit. Even if your home was not directly affected by a hurricane or bad storm, flying debris could have accumulated inside. Remove all foreign objects to avoid a malfunction that might require you to repair your AC unit. This is also a good time to look for any visible signs of damage to the unit.
Schedule a checkup with an HVAC professional.
Preventive maintenance is the best way to save you headaches and money when it comes to your HVAC systems and can extend the life of your AC and dehumidifier. Schedule an appointment with an HVAC professional who will:
- Check the condenser unit
- Clean the coils
- Lubricate moving parts
- Make sure the wiring is safe and working
- Look for blockage in the drains
- Tighten loose hoses and connectors
- Monitor the refrigeration levels
- Remove dirt, dust and residue from the inside of the unit
- Test the thermostat to make sure it’s working properly
If you also have a separate dehumidifier, it’s a good idea to have that checked as well. The technician can inspect the fans, clean the unit, see if there is any blockage and make sure that the foam insulation on the coolant line that goes between the evaporator and the condenser is in good shape.
Replace your HVAC system before you need to.
A central air system typically lasts 10 to 15 years if it has been properly maintained. You may need to replace your HVAC system if it:
- Runs more than it should or doesn’t turn on
- Leaks fluids
- Has an odd odor
- Dispenses warm air rather than cool
- Results in very high electric bills
Lower your cooling costs and conserve energy.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for more than half of the energy usage in the average home. Switching to a high-efficiency newer unit can save 20 to 50 percent in energy usage, thus saving you money. Here are some other ways to lower the costs of cooling your home:
- Install a programmable thermostat.
- Use ceiling fans for better air circulation.
- Insulate and seal air ducts to save up to 30 percent of your HVAC system’s energy consumption.
- Install energy-efficient window coverings.
- Turn on the range hood when you cook and the bathroom fan when you shower to remove heat and humidity.
- Seal cracks and openings in your home to keep warm air from coming inside.
- Cook outside on the grill on really hot days.
Start training to become an HVAC technician.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), HVAC technician employment is expected to increase by 15 percent through 2026. If you like those odds, consider Florida Academy’s HVAC program. Your instructors are all industry professionals who have done the job you’ll train for, and you’ll learn in a workshop on modern equipment that you’ll encounter in your actual job. That hands-on education is valued by employers because you’ll actually have experience when you start your first job.
At Florida Academy, you can choose from convenient day or evening classes that will complement your busy schedule. In as few as four weeks, you’ll have HVAC skills that you can take anywhere. Contact Florida-Academy.Edu today to put your career in motion.