Tips Before You Chill – But Never Freeze
Warm temperatures are on the way (finally!) and you know what that means – air conditioning season is just around the corner. As a homeowner, you know that along with the change of seasons comes a change in how you keep your home comfortable. Before the heat sets in and the air conditioner starts running in your home, check some of these things off your list to make sure you can chill comfortably without a single worry.
Check the Air Filter
If you haven’t recently, check your air filter before your AC starts running. We’ve talked about the importance of changing your filter recently, but in case you missed the deep dive, here’s a quick recap. A dirty filter restricts airflow, or, if it’s not positioned correctly, will allow unfiltered air to pass by. Either situation can lead to costly repairs or an unnecessary tech visit. Checking the filter is an easy enough task in most cases – the hardest part is often remembering to do it.
Upgrade the Thermostat
Depending on what currently exists in your house, upgrading your thermostat before those sunny summer temps hit may be an option. There are plenty of highly accurate thermostats available, with varying degrees of modern features, that make monitoring and adjusting the comfort level in your home easier than ever. You can get everything from touchscreen to occupancy sensing, programmable with alerts, and much more. You can even get thermostats that allow for remote access to your home’s comfort – so you can turn the temperature up or down before you get home or after you leave the house.
If you travel often, you would have the ability to check your settings while away, or get alerts if the system shuts down. Having the right thermostat allows for more granular control over your daily comfort.
Prevent AC Freeze
Many things can cause a freeze-up in your air conditioning unit. It can be a problem with the refrigerant charge, a part failure, running the system when it’s too cool outdoors, cottonwood or other debris coating the outdoor unit, or airflow issues with the indoor blower. The most common of these is the last on the list – airflow issues, caused by a clogged furnace filter.
If your unit seems to be running but not cooling the home effectively, the first thing you want to do is turn off the power and inspect the filter. If it’s clogged you may be able to solve the problem yourself! Remove the filter to be replaced or cleaned. If you see evidence of ice or frost around the equipment, leave the system off and let the ice thaw out. It may take several hours, and you may even see a puddle of water forming as the ice melts.
If the furnace filter isn’t clogged, take a look at the outdoor unit and see if it is coated with crud. If it looks ok, try checking the air supply registers and return air grilles throughout the house. If they are open and clear of obstruction, and you still have issues, call your trusted HVAC contractor and discuss the next step.
An Ounce of Prevention
All of these things will help you gear up for the summer season and be prepared when that first heat wave hits. However, as with most things, an ounce of prevention can go a long way. That’s why we offer annual maintenance plans for your peace of mind. Our experienced professionals will do routine checks on all your home’s systems – heating, cooling, electrical, and plumbing and make sure things are in safe working order. If they aren’t, we will work together to develop a plan to get them back in shape before they become a serious problem.
If you’re in the Denver-Boulder metropolitan area and are having issues getting your air conditioner ready for summer, or just want to learn more about how a regular home maintenance plan might help you be ready for all the surprises home ownership can throw at you year-round, then give us a call.