20 Air Conditioning and HVAC Hacks – HVAC Preventative Maintenance
With summer right around the corner, it is time for most of us to start turning on our air conditioners and also get air conditioning service. Because single air conditioning units or centralized systems have mostly remained dormant throughout winter and spring, it’s possible that your AC might need to be revamped or require maintenance. While giving your AC unit a check-up shouldn’t take up too much time and should be relatively cost-effective, homeowners might be wary of increasing energy bills during the hot summer months. However, if you do some research and gather information about your particular AC unit, you might be able to come across some commonly used hacks that could not only keep your air conditioning in the fine fettle but also save you decent money on electricity bills. Also, keep in mind that during the summer alone, many homeowners spend at least $200 to $300 to cool a single room. Here is some air conditioning and HVAC hacks that will help you and your family conserve energy throughout summer!
1. The Importance Of Ceiling Fans
Though many people may not agree, using a ceiling fan can help significantly with cooling down your room much faster and more efficiently. On especially hot summer days, try switching on the ceiling fan as well as your air conditioning system. This will help to disperse the heat from the ceiling and better circulate cool air, so you don’t need to leave the A/C running as long.
2. Make Sure Windows And Doors Are Properly Sealed
Energy is wasted and usage increases when cool air escapes from door and windows that are not properly insulated. As summer approaches, inspect your windows to doors to ensure that they are properly sealed. This will allow you and your family to save energy on cooling and heating all year round!
3. Close The Doors At Ground Level
This is a good way of keeping the entire house cool because cool air has a tendency to accumulate in downstairs or basement rooms. Keeping doors open could actually lead to more pressure on the A/C unit compressor, which could lead to increased energy usage and electricity bills.
4. Keep Your Condenser In Good Condition
Always ensure that your air conditioner’s condenser is in tip-top shape. Before summertime, consider hiring professional HVAC technicians to inspect and clean the condenser–a clogged one will certainly put more pressure on the entire A/C, leading to the higher energy consumption of electricity and more wear and tear on your unit.
5. Keep Surrounding Areas Clean
If you are using a centralized air conditioning unit, be sure that the surrounding areas of the entire unit–including the compressor unit, the cooling unit, the fans, and other units–are free of debris. Bushes and debris could be blocking free airflow from your air conditioner, making it less efficient.
6. Never Cut Corners On Servicing Your A/C Unit
Many people who have centralized or single air conditioning units try to save a few hundred dollars by trying various DIY methods for cleaning and maintaining the units. While this might work for certain minor issues, it is always advisable to hire a professional for consistent upkeep, thorough cleaning, and expert maintenance for your particular A/C model. Otherwise, you can find yourself in the classic scenario of being penny wise but pound foolish. You must be sure to hire professionals who are trained and experienced with various types of HVAC services.
7. Do Not Run Your Air Conditioner All Day Long
Though air conditioners are built tough and can be run 24 hours on a theoretical basis, it always makes much more sense to give your A/C a break to ensure the longevity of your unit. If the nights are cool or if the mornings are comfortable, you should open the doors and windows and let fresh air inside your house before the sun hits and temperatures rise. This will decrease energy use and consumption, which will also be reflected in your monthly utility bills.
8. Do Not Try And Thrive On Old Machines
This is one of the most common mistakes that homeowners make with their air conditioners. Typically, most people believe that it doesn’t make sense to invest big money on new air conditioners. However, keep in mind that old A/C units that are more than five or six years old are more often than not energy guzzlers. Although it might not seem like it, replacing your old unit with a newer one is actually more cost-effective and could save you around 25% to 30% on annual electric bills
9. Make Intelligent Use Of Drapes
Drapes are not only used to protect rooms from the glaring and radiating sunlight. They also act as a barrier against the resulting heat. If you want your drapes to reflect more of the summer heat, consider choosing drape colors that possess this functionality. Darker colors tend to absorb more heat, while lighter hues will reflect heat and keep your rooms cool.
10. Keep The Vents Clean
All year round but especially during the summer, you’ll want to ensure that all air conditioning vents and ducts are fully cleaned to allow optimal air passage and efficiency of your system.
11. The Problem With Dirty Furnace Filters
Dirty furnace filters need to work harder to give optimum cooling. Although such a seemingly small part, clogged filters play a huge role in power usage and costs.
12. Keep The Condenser Unit Shaded
Also keep in mind that direct heat on the air conditioner’s condenser unit should be avoided, and nothing should block it for maximum cooling and efficiency.
13. The Beauty Of Screened Doors
Screened storm doors provide natural ventilation, and they come in handy during cooler nights. With one of these installed, you could turn off your air conditioner and still feel quite comfortable with overall temperature and airflow.
14. Go In For LED Or Fluorescent Lights
LED and fluorescent lights are known for consuming less energy, and they also generate less heat. Switching to these types of light sources can help with optimizing your living space for more efficient cooling and overall better performance of your A/C unit.
15. The Importance Of Shrubbery And Plant Trees
There is no doubt that trees and shrubbery act as a natural barrier against radiating sunlight and heat, thus playing a big role in keeping your home significantly cooler.
16. Attic Ventilation
Proper attic ventilation is also extremely important for reducing energy use and cost. Searing heat often escapes from roofs, and if your roof is unventilated, this could make the entire home hotter and more uncomfortable.
17. Exhaust Fans In The Kitchen
Throughout the hot summer months, consider using exhaust fans as a general rule rather than when just cooking strong smelling or smoky food items. Exhaust fans help with pushing out heat from your kitchen and overall air circulation.
18. Window FilmsAnd Reflective Solar Screens
Before summer, you might also want to consider installing window films and reflective solar screens because they can go a long way in reducing the amount of heat that gets absorbed inside your living room and even your entire home.
19. Exhaust Fans In The Bathrooms
Keep in mind that while your A/C unit is running, exhaust fans in your bathroom should certainly be used during showers. This will help move the heat out from the bathroom rather than allowing the hot steam to remain trapped inside and having your air conditioner work harder to cool your living space(s).
20. Keep Lamps Away From Thermostat
This is a common mistake that many homeowners often make. Throughout the summer (and year-round to reduce overall energy usage), the thermostat should be left alone and lamps or other heating sources ought to be placed away from it to ensure optimal performance of your entire cooling system.
21. Some Useful Inspection Tips
Before the summer season sets in, your house would benefit from having its entire heating and HVAC system examined and inspected thoroughly by a professional. However, while the role of professionals is indeed extremely useful, as the owner of an A/C unit, there are a few things you can check on your own. Below are a few important inspection tips that could help identify problems and help you nip them in the bud before you even need to call an HVAC technician.
22. Outdoor A/C Inspection
- Remove covers and condenser shields that are commonly used during winters.
- Vents should be cleaned and cleared of any debris, leaves and other particulate matter.
- The A/C unit should also be free of any type of organic growth, grass, or shrubs.
- Ensure that the concrete pad is checked thoroughly and that it’s level and smooth.
- Keep in mind that frozen ground and water during the winter could often cause your A/C unit to shift during the winter months.
- The A/C condenser should most certainly be replaced during spring and before summertime.
- Remember: a damaged condenser can impair the function of your air conditioning and could also be a major safety hazard.
- The insulation on the pipes should be thoroughly checked, and any damaged sections should be replaced.
- Avoid adding insulation to the smaller line, as this can lead to lower cooling output and higher consumption of power.
23. Indoor HVAC and AC Inspection
- Inspection and replacement of the air conditioner’s furnace filter are recommended and required if faulty or damaged.
- Remember: the furnace filter acts as the lungs of your entire home and permits your entire HVAC system to breathe.
- It’s important to inspect and clean the condensate reservoir.
- Make sure the float is clean and free of mold and other impurities.
- The condensate drainage system or lines should be checked for blockage and cleaned more frequently in the months during and leading up to summer.
- The dehumidifier filter should be dry and you ought to consistently vacuum it or dry it as required.
- Keep in mind that the overall humidity levels in your home should be kept between 30% and 50%.
- Supply and return vents in your home should also be thoroughly cleaned and kept clog-free.
Do you have any further questions about servicing your air conditioning unit before the hottest month of the year? At Conejo Valley Heating & Air Conditioning Inc., we’ve been providing quality, cost-effective HVAC services to the residents of Ventura County and Los Angeles County for over 40 years. Whether your cooling or heating system requires maintenance, repair, or replacement, our team of certified technicians can handle the job and get your vents and A/C units back in tip-top shape. Contact our friendly team today with any queries or to schedule an inspection by calling (805) 499-0448.