Summer’s approaching in Phoenix, and that means it’s almost time for your air conditioner to kick things into high gear. Make sure your AC unit is able to carry out its duties by getting seasonal summer AC maintenance before things really start to heat up. Right beside winter, summer is one of the toughest seasons on your unit, and it’ll need a bit of help from you and the professionals at Howard Air in Phoenix to ensure it’s set for success in the scorching months to come. Follow our air conditioning checklist to ensure your unit’s up for the challenge this summer.
1. Clean Your Outside Unit
The first thing you should do is make sure your outdoor unit and the area around it are clean and ready for duty. Over the spring months, pollen and dust not only build up on the surface but also inside of the unit itself. Turning on the unit could send all that debris straight into your home, so it’s important to wash it away before ever switching the unit on. Using a water hose on a “fine spray” nozzle setting, rinse the unit thoroughly from top to bottom to get rid of pesky debris.
Furthermore, take a moment to ensure the area around the unit is clear: Trim back branches, prune hedges that may be intruding into the space, and clean up trash around the unit. Ideally, you should have around 2 square feet of clear space around your unit before running it, and a clear 5 feet above it. This gives the unit plenty of room to “breathe” and ensures branches, shrubbery and other debris don’t get trapped in the unit while it’s running, which could lead to catastrophic difficulties and expensive repairs.
2. Clean Up the Inside
The outside of your system isn’t the only space that gets dirty and dusty when it’s left unused. In fact, there are a number of parts on the inside that should be thoroughly cleaned before you start up your system for the first time during the summer. These include:
- The drain pipe
- The condenser coil
- The evaporator
- Blower components
While you’re inside cleaning these parts, you should also check out your unit’s coolant levels, duct seal quality, and electrical connections. Of course, this is all a little more technical than the average homeowner likes to get with regular maintenance and requires a bit of professional know-how, which is why hiring a professional for this part of your summer checklist is always advised. Proper cleaning, fluid levels, and connections are imperative to keeping your unit running throughout the summer and well beyond.
3. Change Your Air Filter
Another crucial step to take before ever running your unit during the summer is changing your air filters. A clogged air filter leads to a huge range of issues, including more wear and tear on your central air unit and higher monthly energy bills. Plus, pushing air through a dirty filter is terrible for the air quality inside your home.
Fortunately, changing a filter is perhaps the easiest home maintenance chore you could possibly undertake. Normally, the filter size you’ll need will either be printed on your old filter or in your owner’s manual for your unit. Simply open the hatch where the old filter is, remove it, slide in the new one, and close the unit back up. Just like that, you have clean air and unobstructed airflow, allowing your unit to take on the summer heat unhindered. And now, for a limited time during Howard Air’s Spring Into Summer sale, you can earn a FREE 1-year supply of air filters for your home with purchase of select Trane equipment packages! Some restrictions apply, see dealer for details.
4. Consider Some Tech Upgrades
While they’re not mandatory, little upgrades here and there can really help you save some cash by upgrading your efficiency. Considering the average cost of monthly utilities in Arizona is the sixth highest in the entirety of the United States, little changes like these are important budget-savers. A new thermostat is one of the most recommended updates because it gives you complete control over the interior of your home. Programmable thermostats can be set to keep your home cool when you’re there and warmer when you’re not to take the strain off your air conditioning unit and reduce energy use and expenses.
Another potential upgrade is the unit itself. While this can be considered more of an investment, sometimes it’s necessary given the Arizona climate and age of your home’s system. If your unit is outdated and doesn’t have a decent SEER score or is damaged beyond repair, you may consider a replacement solution before summer rolls around to stay out of the heat. Luckily, our professional and knowledgeable team at Howard Air will give the right information and options you need for replacement comfort solutions if and when the time is necessary.
5. Keep an Eye Out for Problems
After you complete the preliminary work, it’s time to switch on the A/C. However, the job doesn’t end there. When you get your unit running, you’ll want to keep an eye and ear out for any signs that things might not be running perfectly smoothly in your unit and ducts. Some of the most obvious telltale signs of issues include:
- Inadequate cool air
- Strange smells
- Unusual noises
- A higher energy bill than normal during the season
Each of these signs could mark either a minor or major issue with your system and merit immediate investigation. If any of the issues have popped up on your radar, make a call to the professionals for repairs.
6. Invest in Repairs
Ever ignored certain home repairs to save a little cash? With the Arizona summer heat approaching, we recommend you make any repairs necessary to keep your home’s AC unit running smoothly a priority. Not only can a damaged A/C unit drive your monthly energy bill up by a huge amount, but it can take a severe toll on the overall health of an already-struggling system as it works hard to keep up with the summer heat. Make room for repairs on your AC checklist before the summer season comes, and stay cool and comfortable during those intense desert temperatures.
7. Schedule a Maintenance Visit
While some A/C issues have telltale signs that any untrained homeowner can identify, there are other issues that take a professional eye to identify. This is precisely why investing in seasonal inspections are so important. Having a professional take a look at your air conditioner and ducts goes a long way to ensuring the overall health of your unit. The pros can also make suggestions on sealing or insulating your ducts, which helps to keep your efficiency high and your expenditures low throughout the summer months in Arizona.
Ideally, you should invest in a maintenance pit stop for your air conditioner with every season, but sometimes things happen. If you forgot or failed to get your summer inspection done, don’t skip the fall visit. Contact Howard Air to schedule a home tune-up today and ensure your air conditioner, ducts, and every other little detail is prepared and able to take on the strain of summer operations. Howard Air services the entire Phoenix valley and surrounding cities. Properly maintaining your system with a pair of professional eyes on your side is the best way to keep it running strong in the years to come. And for a limited time, you can take $50 OFF your next duct cleaning with Howard Air today! Get our professional duct cleaning, complete with indoor coil cleaning and deodorizer, all for just $649 (normally $699) during Howard Air’s Spring Into Summer sale!
Programming your thermostat to use less energy while you’re absent throughout the day or asleep at night helps to cut your overall energy use drastically. This helps to ensure you’re not being wasteful or contributing to negative impacts on the environment.
*Image: By Andrey_Popov
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