Tips for Prepping Your AC Unit for Florida's Heat
Did you know your home’s energy bills largely depend on the efficiency of your air conditioning system? The US Department of Energy reports that heating and cooling accounts for more than 48% of your home’s energy consumption. With Florida's hot summer still setting in, the last thing you want is your AC unit to malfunction when you need it most.
While AC units running at their peak efficiency can cut as much as 20% off your overall energy costs, poorly maintained air conditioning systems could drastically increase your energy bills and run times. For Jacksonville residents, summer means enjoying pool parties, beach days, cold drinks, and most important, working air conditioners. So, is your AC unit ready to keep your home cool this summer? Here are a few ways to prepare your HVAC ahead of time.
Change Your Air Filters
All kinds of dirt and objects get trapped in the air filter of your AC unit which is always your first line of defense against contaminants and other airborne allergens. If your air filter is dirty or clogged, it increases the air pressure in your ducts and vents making your AC to work harder to yield the desired results. Dirty filters will also damage your unit hence decreasing its longevity and durability. Air filters are one of the most critical components of your AC, and you need to change/clean them regularly to ensure that small problems don’t develop into significant repair issues. Changing/cleaning your air filters regularly should always be your number one priority.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Today, programmable and smart thermostats have become more standard in many homes in Florida. Making a simple switch from the manual thermostat to a programmable thermostat offers a wide range of benefits to your wallet, home and overall comfort. A programmable thermostat will increase your home’s energy efficiency and keep your HVAC system optimized for summer. With a programmable thermostat, you can easily adjust your home’s temperature to the exact point of your preference.
Check for Leaks
One of the most critical things that you need to keep in mind is that your refrigerant doesn’t evaporate so if your unit is low on refrigerant, then you probably have leakage or a disconnection. Operating an air conditioning system that is low on coolant will cause your system to overwork leading to reduced efficiency. It is highly recommended that you check the level of your refrigerant before you get into the summer. The last thing you want this summer is to have an AC system that doesn’t cool your home as expected due to a leak somewhere.
Clean, Clean, Clean
If you realize that your outdoor unit has debris, then you need to clean it to avoid high energy bills this summer. You should make sure that you have a few meters of clearance around your outdoor unit without any shrubs or plants. Keep in mind that insects, twigs, grass clippings, leaves, and all sorts of trash can always find their way into your vents and slats of your outdoor unit. Take your time and inspect your outdoor unit to get rid of any foreign objects that may have accumulated in it over time to avoid unexpected breakdowns during the summer. You should also look for any visible signs of damage to your outdoor unit and take the necessary steps to prevent future problems that could lead to repair.
Test Your System
You should also consider testing your system to ensure that it is ready for the hot summer ahead. Schedule a system checking session with an experienced HVAC professional who will assess the efficiency of your AC unit and determine whether it needs a system tune-up. The professional will inspect your condenser unit, tighten any loose hoses and connectors and also test your thermostat to ensure that it is working properly.