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How To Prepare Your HVAC Unit for Summer

HVAC tools resting on top of an outdoor unit

Is your air conditioner ready for another hot, humid San Antonio summer? Without a properly working AC unit, things can get pretty miserable. Make sure you enjoy reliable, efficient performance from your HVAC system all season by following this simple AC checklist.

Check the Air Filter

The purpose of an HVAC air filter is to trap airborne debris that flows through the ductwork. A clogged filter can decrease cooling efficiency by forcing the blower to work harder. The particles clogging the filter can also get pushed out with the cool air, degrading your indoor air quality.

That’s why it’s wise to check your filter every month and replace it when it looks dirty. With this simple task, you’ll enjoy lower energy bills and cleaner indoor air all summer.

Clean Dirty Air Vents

Dust that makes it past the air filter can stick to your return and supply registers. Take a close look at the grilles when preparing your HVAC for summer. If you see dust, dirt, pet hair, and other debris, clean the vents with the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner.

Also, make sure all the registers are open and unblocked by furniture, curtains, or area rugs. This maintains proper system balance for a more comfortable, even temperature throughout your Texas home.

Tidy Up the Outdoor Unit

Check the outdoor portion of your air conditioner and hose off any debris you find. Then, straighten any bent fins with a fin comb or butter knife. Trim back overgrown shrubs to at least 12 inches away from the unit as well, to help the AC “breathe” as it exhausts heat from your house.

Block the Sun

Solar heat gain is an enemy of cooling efficiency. Invest in reflective window coverings and shade devices, such as exterior awnings, to keep the hot summer sun at bay. You might also want to install fencing around your AC unit to help shade it in the afternoon. Just be sure that whatever you install doesn’t restrict airflow.

Seal Air Leaks

Keep hot, humid air out by sealing air leaks in your home’s exterior envelope. Here are the most cost-effective improvements you can make:

  • Seal cracks around windows and doors with caulk.
  • Apply fresh weatherstripping to movable joints around windows and doors.
  • Keep the fireplace damper closed.
  • Seal around attic floor penetrations.

Bring Out the Fans

Air movement creates a wind-chill effect, helping you feel about 4 degrees cooler. This means you can set your thermostat to 78 degrees and make it feel like 74 just by running the ceiling fan. This energy-saving technique reduces strain on your air conditioner and can significantly lower your cooling bills.

Adjust Your Thermostat

Change the thermostat from heating to cooling. If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, consider installing one. You can use automatic setback periods to save money by not cooling an empty house while you’re gone all day. At the same time, automatic recovery periods ensure you come home to a comfortable interior.

Schedule Seasonal HVAC Maintenance

While these do-it-yourself tips are an effective way to prepare your HVAC for summer, they aren’t enough on their own. You should also schedule a professional AC tune-up every spring to ensure everything is working as it should. In addition to tuning up your system, an inspection allows the technician to catch and fix minor problems before they turn into major headaches.

Damiani’s Comfort Design makes things easy with our HVAC maintenance agreements. Sign up to enjoy priority service, repair guarantees, discounts, and membership freebies. We offer three flexible plans to meet your needs and budget.

Contact Damiani’s Comfort Design at 210-646-9600 for more information about our HVAC maintenance agreements or to request an AC tune-up in your San Antonio home.

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