Your Complete Summer HVAC Maintenance Guide

Posted on: May 22, 2018 | by: HVAC.com May 22, 2018

Summer is right around the corner, and in many areas of the country, summertime temps are already upon us! Many of us have already turned on our air conditioning systems this year, but have you performed the summer HVAC maintenance steps needed to keep your cooling system operating at its best throughout the season?

 

HVAC.com is here to help you keep your cooling system healthy throughout the summer. Follow our summer HVAC maintenance guide to boost system performance and protect your air conditioner or heat pump from unwanted breakdowns this season. With summer HVAC maintenance complete, you’ll enjoy reliable, energy efficient comfort throughout the coming months.

 

Summer Preventative HVAC Maintenance

 

Did you know you should have your cooling system professionally serviced each year? Preventative HVAC maintenance helps your air conditioner or heat pump perform at its best throughout cooling season. A preventative maintenance tune-up alleviates wear and tear and other issues that hinder system performance, boosting energy efficiency and reducing the likelihood of breakdowns over the summer.

 

Air Conditioner Maintenance

 

It is recommended that you have HVAC preventative maintenance performed on your cooling system prior to turning it on each spring. This is so the system can be restored to peak performance mode prior to use, and so previously undiagnosed system problems can be caught and corrected – otherwise when that first hot day rolls around and you go to fire up your air conditioner for the first time, it may not turn on!

 

If you have already started your cooling system but have not had a preventative HVAC maintenance tune-up performed, it’s not too late! You should still always have a maintenance tune-up performed, as it will protect your system from damage and improve performance and efficiency to keep your home comfortable throughout the season. Schedule your maintenance tune-up right away if it hasn’t been performed yet this year!

 

May Summer Maintenance Steps

 

  • Start your air conditioner. Even if the outdoor temperatures aren’t quite hot enough to use the cooling system yet, it’s smart to fire up your system ahead of the season. You’ll be able to identify system start-up issues and other performance issues, such as a lack of cool air or frequent cycling, and have them repaired prior to rising temperatures. This way, your system issues will be resolved before you need to use your air conditioner or heat pump, and you won’t be stuck waiting for repairs when the first hot day of the year rolls around.

 

  • Set your programmable thermostat schedules for cooling season. Create temperature schedules that fit the occupancy schedules of your home or business. Programmable thermostats may allow for different schedules each day, for the week and weekend, or for the week and each day of the weekend, depending on the model, and typically accommodate up to four temperature adjustments daily.

 

Remember, setting temperatures back 10 to 15 degrees for periods of 8 hours or more can save you one percent on energy costs for every degree you set your thermostat back. Perfect times for setbacks are overnight or during hours your home or business will be unoccupied. Set temperatures to adjust to occupied comfort levels about 15 minutes before the dwelling or building will be occupied to avoid discomfort without wasting energy.

 

During occupied hours, keep everyone comfortable while conserving energy. Keeping the thermostat’s temperature at 78 degrees is optimal for energy efficiency when people are indoors, and will help them stay cool without consuming excessive energy.

 

  • Check your air filter. During periods of heavy cooling system use, the filter should be inspected monthly to make sure it has not become full of contaminants. You may find it necessary to replace it sooner than the 3-month mark during these times, so have a replacement ready just in case.

 

  • Inspect all registers and return air grilles in your home to ensure they have not been blocked or shut. These vents should never be blocked, as doing so will restrict airflow through your HVAC systems, which could create performance issues and system overheating.

 

Move all carpets and rugs, furniture, and other items away from vents. Check to see that vent louvers are open; if you wish to shut off cooling to unused areas of your home or building, never close more than 20 percent of the structure’s HVAC vents. If you have many unused areas, consider investing in a zoning system which will allow you to reduce energy waste while facilitating proper HVAC system performance – work with a trusted HVAC contractor to design and install zoning solutions for your home or business.

 

  • Inspect your exterior cooling equipment. Gently brush away any grass clippings and debris which have gathered on the unit. Trim away vegetation that has grown around the unit. Never store outdoor furniture or other items in the area immediately surrounding the unit.

 

  • Inspect your cooling system’s drip pan and condensate drain lines for clogs. If these components become clogged with mold or algae growth, condensation from the cooling process cannot exit your home or building properly. This can cause the cooling system to malfunction, or water to back up indoors, causing water damage.

 

If water has backed up, clear clogs within the drip pan or condensate drain lines. Turn off power to the system for safety before doing so. Use a wet/dry vacuum to clear water from the drip pan, or use rags to soak it up. Clean the drip pan using a mild soap. Clear clogs from the condensate drain lines using your wet/dry vacuum.

 

June through September Summer HVAC Maintenance Steps

 

  • Check your air filter. During periods of heavy cooling system use, the filter should be inspected monthly to make sure it has not become full of contaminants. You may find it necessary to replace it sooner than the 3-month mark during these times, so have a replacement ready just in case.

 

  • Inspect all registers and return air grilles in your home to ensure they have not been blocked or shut. These vents should never be blocked, as doing so will restrict airflow through your HVAC systems, which could create performance issues and system overheating.

 

Move all carpets and rugs, furniture, and other items away from vents. Check to see that vent louvers are open; if you wish to shut off cooling to unused areas of your home or building, never close more than 20 percent of the structure’s HVAC vents. If you have many unused areas, consider investing in a zoning system which will allow you to reduce energy waste while facilitating proper HVAC system performance – work with a trusted HVAC contractor to design and install zoning solutions for your home or business.

 

  • Inspect your exterior cooling equipment. Gently brush away any grass clippings and debris which have gathered on the unit. Trim away vegetation that has grown around the unit. Never store outdoor furniture or other items in the area immediately surrounding the unit.

 

  • Inspect your cooling system’s drip pan and condensate drain lines for clogs. If these components become clogged with mold or algae growth, condensation from the cooling process cannot exit your home or building properly. This can cause the cooling system to malfunction, or water to back up indoors, causing water damage.

 

If water has backed up, clear clogs within the drip pan or condensate drain lines. Turn off power to the system for safety before doing so. Use a wet/dry vacuum to clear water from the drip pan, or use rags to soak it up. Clean the drip pan using a mild soap. Clear clogs from the condensate drain lines using your wet/dry vacuum.

 

Find Summer HVAC Maintenance Help through HVAC.com

 

Get your air conditioner or heat pump in shape for summer temperatures with help from a local HVAC professional. A trusted local cooling contractor is able to perform much-needed preventative maintenance for your system, as well as tackle any repairs needed in a timely manner to prevent discomfort in your home.

 

Find a local HVAC contractor using HVAC.com’s Contractor Directory. Enter your ZIP code to find all heating and cooling companies serving your area, learn company and contact information so you can find the right pro who can meet your cooling needs.

 

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