It is that time of year again, when the temperatures soar and the sun’s heat is at its highest. These conditions can be very difficult for many people to tolerate, and it can be just as tough on a home’s HVAC unit. Now that summer weather is back in Oregon, homeowners should make sure that their air conditioning systems are in optimal working order for the best performance and energy efficiency.
The high temperatures can cause the air conditioner to pull excess power in order to meet the high cooling demands generated during the hotter months. This is often very stressful on the various components within the unit. Through professional services, and a bit of preventive maintenance, a person can extend the life of their system and improve its general output.
The homeowner can help increase productivity by performing a few simple actions. All of the vents associated with the system should be checked regularly for any blockages or build up of dust, factors which could decrease airflow and contaminate the air quality. This could be a very simple task consisting of simply brushing them off, or removing any items that may have been placed inside the duct.
Approximately every 3 to 6 months, the owner needs to take a look at the system’s filters and either clean, or change them, if necessary. These should be checked for discoloration, or an accumulation of dust. All air entering the interior space must pass through these items, so it is necessary that they be clean to ensure the contaminants are reduced, and the flow is optimized.
An individual may also help improve energy efficiency, and decrease the strain on their AC system, by making their home more insulated. This includes actions such as checking for gaps around doors and windows, through which the cold air may be seeping into the outside. Filling these areas with an appropriate material, as well as closing the drapes during hours of direct sunlight, can help keep the interior cool, so that the air conditioner does not have to work as hard to maintain the desired temperature.
An inspection by a professional service technician is recommended on an annual basis. Having a certified individual come out and do a thorough examination on the complete system can help identify any problems that may pose potential hazards or risk of breakdowns. They will be able to replace any components that are worn or damaged, and provide maintenance in order to boost the unit’s performance.
During their examination, the technician can make sure all lubricants and fluids are at proper levels, that the power supply is functioning appropriately, and the belts, fans, and blowers are all operational. In some situations, they will do an inspection of the duct work and repair any rips, tears, or blockages which can affect efficiency. Having these actions performed prior to the temperatures becoming too extreme, is highly recommended.
Staying cool inside, when the temperatures outside are on the rise, is largely dependent upon a properly functional HVAC system. Routine maintenance and regular servicing can help ensure that the unit is always ready when needed. A little bit of prevention can be a huge financial gain in terms of fewer repairs and lower energy bills.