Now that warmer weather is here, homeowners are less concerned about their heating systems and more about ensuring their air conditioning works properly. But what’s the best way to optimize your cooling system and prevent AC malfunctions during the hottest season of the year?
Previously, we gave tips on how to test your air conditioner after winter and how to make sure your AC is truly spring-ready. Now we will follow up by providing a 6-step process for ensuring smooth AC operation during summer.
Of course, if you haven’t already equipped your property with a quality cooling system, or if your current AC is aging beyond function, Spring is a good time to invest in a new AC installation in Moreno Valley, or any of our many service areas throughout South Riverside and San Diego. Read on to learn more.
How do I prepare my air conditioner for the summer?
Living with an AC that can’t keep up with the weather can be extremely frustrating during intense summer days. After all, working up a good sweat hiking down one of the Box Spring Mountains trails is great, but sweating indoors is what we all avoid!
Before you start prepping your AC for summer, you should first unplug the power or switch off the circuit breaker. Keep in mind that the condenser unit contains capacitors that can maintain an electrical charge for up to an hour.
If you feel comfortable, you can follow the steps listed below. Or, if you’re feeling uncomfortable about the entire process, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced AC service contractor near you. A certified technician can get your AC summer-ready in no time.
6 steps to prepare your AC for summer:
- Step #1: Check the filters. Most ACs have filters that should be washed (if reusable) or replaced regularly. Doing this ensures optimal airflow, keeps your AC more energy efficient, prevents unnecessary wear, and improves your indoor air quality.
- Step #2: Clear out the condenser. Dirt and debris accumulation inside the condenser can lead to water leaks and a variety of other problems. Make sure to keep the area around the condenser free of debris and vegetation. This includes trash, tall grass, shrubbery, and overhanging trees.
- Step #3: Open the vents. If you have central air conditioning, you should open up the supply vents to reduce the pressure inside the ductwork. This will reduce the risk of duct leakage, improve the efficiency of your AC, and reduce blower wear. Also, make sure no ducts are blocked off by rugs or furniture.
- Step #4: Check the coolant lines (pipes or tubes) that run from your AC’s air handler to the condenser outside. They should be completely covered with foam coolant line insulation. If the insulation is frayed in places or missing, you should have it replaced by a registered HVAC technician.
- Step #5: Check your thermostat. If you have trouble turning your AC on and off, or you’re seeing significant temperature swings throughout the day, your thermostat may be faulty. Have it inspected or replaced by a certified HVAC technician.
- Step #6: Book expert maintenance. There’s only so much you can do on your own. To stay healthy, your AC needs to be given a professional tune-up on a yearly basis at least. If you haven’t already had your AC serviced this year, now’s the right time.
Do I cover my AC unit in the summer?
No. The exterior unit of your AC is specifically designed for outdoor use. Its components are made of durable materials such as aluminum and copper, which have been treated to remain resistant to moisture, sunlight, harsh weather conditions, and even animals.
The unit itself is firmly fixed to the ground to prevent it from being tipped over by snow, wind, or tampering. All of this makes adding a cover or mesh redundant at best, and damaging at worst.
An AC cover can actually hurt your unit by trapping moisture instead of allowing it to evaporate naturally. This increases the risk of mold and corrosion, and provides cover for small rodents. If you absolutely must use an AC cover, make sure to purchase one that has excellent ventilation.
How cool should my house be if it’s 100 outside?
According to the US Department of Energy, setting your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit offers the best balance between comfort and energy savings. However, this can vary a lot depending on your home’s insulation, location, weather, and personal preferences.
As a general rule, you should use the highest AC setting that isn’t uncomfortable for you and the other members of your household. If you regularly crank down the temperatures, you should start gradually increasing them to get your body used to the new settings.
You can also consider doing some or all of the following:
- Ceiling fans are a great way to create a breeze that can make the entire room feel cooler and more pleasant
- Window blinds or curtains should be lowered during the day to reduce heat from the sun
- Naturally cool your home at night by turning off the AC and opening the windows
- Add weather stripping to doors and windows to better seal in the cool air and keep the hot air out
- Don’t use heat-generating appliances such as hair dryers, clothes dryers, ovens, etc., during the day
Where can I book reliable AC installation in Moreno Valley?
Here at Action AC, we believe your family’s comfort is too important to be entrusted to inexperienced or “budget” HVAC technicians. As the leading HVAC contractor in the region, we have the expertise, experience, and latest equipment necessary to provide you with the complete range of AC, heating, and solar systems maintenance, installation, and repair services.
In addition to serving all of your residential and commercial HVAC needs, we also maintain 24/7 emergency teams that can quickly arrive at your property and solve any HVAC-related problems you may have. Reach out to us today if you’d like to book our services or ask further questions.