Here on Florida’s Suncoast, we’ve been fortunate this winter season with some pretty mild temperatures – including the coldest Christmas Day since 1995. With this extended stint of cozy weather, our air conditioning units have been enjoying a much-needed – and much-deserved – seasonal rest.
It was fun while it lasted…
Well, it’s March now, and as we prepare to don our green attire for St. Paddy’s, our shortly lived winter wonderland will make its hasty transition to the sizzling dog days of summer. Soon, the comforts of long sleeves, warm drinks and cool breezes through open windows will be a thing of the past, replaced with shorts, flip flops and the non-stop hum of air-conditioners trying to keep up with our cooling demands.
You may be ready…but is your A/C?
The seasonal change from slightly cool to incredibly hot happens quickly, and those sweltering and humid months drag on for a much longer period than our “winter.” This extended duration means more round-the-clock work for your air-conditioner to keep your house cool, which can be quite a task since it’s basically been on standby since November.
So, what can you do to get your A/C ready for peak usage? Glad you asked! Grab your shamrock, hoist up that green lager and read on to learn how!
You guessed it… change your filter!
We make sure to mention this point as much as possible because it is probably the easiest and most effective way to maintain your air-conditioner – and many people still don’t do it often enough. The U.S. Department of Energy says your filter should be replaced every month or two to keep your A/C running smoothly. By trapping dust and other pollutants in the air, the filter can become clogged and cause air flow problems, meaning your house won’t cool down and your energy bills will go up. You can easily order new filters through Amazon, Walmart or other retailers. If you don’t know the correct size for your filter, we can help.
Eliminate any drain pain
A clogged condensation drain line is one of the most common reasons homeowners need to call in for professional repair for their A/C system. However, many homeowners don’t realize the problem is usually avoidable with regular care and DIY. First, turn off your system. Then, simply pour ¼ cup of vinegar into your AC’s drain line, and you will prevent any algae, mildew and other forms of bacteria or fungi from forming a buildup and causing a clog. Repeat this monthly for the best results. If you are unsure of where your drain line is located or are unable to access it, we can help.
Lose the leaks
According to a study by the University of Florida, sealing leaky ducts can generate significant savings on heating and cooling: “Leaky ducts make your HVAC work much harder — ducts leaking just 20% of the conditioned air passing through them cause your system to work 50% harder.”
If you can, look for disconnected joints, separated pieces and small holes in your ductwork. If you find leaks, you can seal with HVAC duct sealing tape. Also known as aluminum foil tape, HVAC duct sealing tape comes on a roll and can be found in every hardware store. Contact us if you need help inspecting your ductwork or sealing the leaks.
Cleaning the fins on the outside unit will help your A/C run better and more efficiently. To clean the fins, use a soft brush such as a toothbrush or small car cleaning brush. Gently run the brush across each fin, being careful not to bend the thin metal. If you do find that these thin metal fins are damaged, there are a variety of tools you can use to straighten them out, or we can help!
Stay in tune
A maintenance call tune-up with a professional will help you diagnose any problems that may be wrong with the air conditioner unit before a costly repair or replacement is needed. The technician will come out to your home, completely inspect the unit and then discuss your options of how to fix them – as well as all the other details such as price and availability. This is an important step in preparing your A/C unit for the summer, because you want to catch any problems early and get them fixed before the heat rolls in. You can schedule a maintenance appointment with us right here!
If you do need a new A/C installed, you’re in LUCK. For a limited time, you get a FREE REME HALO® LED air purifying system with the purchase and installation of a 16-seer+ A/C unit. This saves you over $1,500 and has an efficacy of killing harmful bacteria, germs, and 99.9% of viruses in your home – yes, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus, commonly known as the coronavirus 2019 or COVID-19.
The Badger Bottom Line
There’s no luck involved. By following these pure-gold tips, you can help prepare your HVAC system for the sizzling summer ahead. Remember, sometimes the simplest steps make the biggest difference. But if you are unsure of how to perform the tasks or are unable to reach the components that need attention, we recommend you call in a professional. By catching issues early, you can save yourself from those uncomfortable afternoons in the heat if your system breaks down – and the potentially costly repairs that go with it.