Summer brings more fun under longer daylight hours. But it can also bring very hot days that force you to hide out at home where, fortunately, your HVAC system can keep you cool. Make sure this necessary part of the season is running efficiently with these tips.
Clean It Up
After a cold winter, debris such as dead branches leaves as well as dirt can build up on the outside unit of your HVAC system. You need to clear all this away if you don’t want it to affect the functioning of your air-conditioner. Be sure to remove all loose items that have gathered around your system. Clear away any growth for at least two feet around your unit. Eliminate dust and caked-on dirt from the evaporator fin and make sure that the drainage hole is clear so water can leave your system quickly.
Get It Checked
You need to do more than change the filter on your air-conditioning every month and clean the exposed vents of dust when your HVAC is used for cooling in the summer. You need to have your system inspected at least once a year by professionals so they can address any issues such as cracks in the venting, unusual smells, or strange noises. They can also clean the vents and ducting so air blows more efficiently and so that insect parts, dust, and other allergens don’t blow into your interior. Be sure to ask these professionals for any tips on HVAC efficiency, if they don’t offer any on their own.
Go with the Flow
In order for the cooling effects of your HVAC system to affect all parts of a room, the airflow must be able to reach the furthest corners from wherever the vent is located. So make sure that the vent is free of any obstructions, such as large pieces of furniture or heavy window coverings. If one part of a room stays warm, try to trace a path from the vent to that area to see if anything is blocking the flow of air. If you’re not using a particular room during the summer, shut the vent to it so cooling air is diverted to other rooms.
Get a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat lets you program temperature settings to stay cool and to either go warmer or shut off when nobody is at home. Look for devices that have been certified as ENERGY STAR, which have been rated for both environmental efficiency and energy savings. The Department of Energy recommends that you set your thermostat at 78 degrees when you are at home for the best combination of comfort and money savings.