10 HVAC Maintenance Tips for A More Energy-Efficient AC System
HVAC Maintenance Tips for A More Energy-Efficient AC System
In the U.S., a pioneer spirit led to a do-it-yourself mentality, so much so that building supply corporations sell home improvement supplies with both contractors and homeowners in mind. With the approach of the cooling season and this DIY attitude in mind, here are 10 HVAC Maintenance tips to improve air conditioning comfort.
- Change the Air Filter. You hear this all the time, but it is the single most effective maintenance task to keep your air conditioner functioning properly. Use seasonal prompts or phone notifications to remind you to replace the filter every three months.
- Caulk and Weatherstrip. On a windy day, light a candle or incense stick. Pull the blinds and drapes back to avoid contact with the flame source. Bring the stick close to the edge of every window; the wind coming through the window will indicate if you have leaks and their locations. Use caulk on the outside of the window or weatherstripping on the edges to reduce or eliminate the leak.
- Add Attic Insulation. Before the temperature gets extremely hot or cold, check the depth of attic insulation; the blanket of insulation should completely cover the attic surface with a full 12” of insulation. If the insulation has compacted, both the insulation and the tools need to install it are readily available. The job is messy but very doable.
- Clean the Condenser Coil. The outdoor portion of your air conditioning system has fine gaps and very thin metal fins. The purpose of the condenser coil is to cool the hot gas carrying the heat from your home. Use a garden hose and gently wash away the dust that can clog the gaps and cover the fins.
- Clean the Evaporator Coil. Turn the AC system off and open the main cabinet. Locate an A or V-shaped coil of tubing covered with fins. Use a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water in a spray bottle to clean away any dust buildup. Clean any debris from the drain pan below and dump the remaining mixture in the drain pan. The vinegar will inhibit the growth of mold or algae in the drain line.
- Inspect Ducts. Many of the supply and return ducts are covered but check the ducts that are visible for obvious leakage. The air moving throughout the system is under pressure, so even small gaps leak a lot of air. Use duct tape (yes, that was its original use) as a temporary measure to cover the gap. Research the application of mastic to further seal the leak.
- Program the Thermostat. New thermostats are programmable and have many convenience and comfort features, but many homeowners have never learned to use them properly. The features can increase the comfort and energy efficiency of the HVAC system with a little research and HVAC Maintenance DIY effort.
- Appreciate Solar Gain. Ample sunlight can increase the indoor temperature inside a well-lit home by 100 or more. Use this information year-round to benefit your home. On sunny winter days, open blinds and drapes during the day to collect the free energy and close them at night to reduce heat loss. During the cooling season, close blinds or drapes on the south or west-facing windows to reduce solar gain, opening them during cool evenings.
- Schedule Hot Appliance Use. Another source of indoor heat is cooking and cleaning appliances; dishwashers, clothes dryers, and ovens are good examples. Since cleaning appliances are often programmable, schedule cleaning tasks during the coolest part of the day. Avoid baking during the hottest part of the day, use countertop cooking appliances or outdoor options instead.
- Set Fans to Summer Mode. Use a fan to exhaust the excess moisture after showers and baths during the cooling season: let the fan run until moisture clears from the mirror. Adjust ceiling fans to turn in a counterclockwise rotation during the cooling season. For best results, adjust the HVAC fan to ON. The constant air movement thoroughly mixes hot and cool air.
Have Questions about HVAC Maintenance?
Let us help with your Spring HVAC Maintenance. Call Doctor Cool & Professor Heat today at 281-338-8751 or email Doctor Cool and let our professional Residential HVAC Replacement technicians assist with all of your HVAC Maintenance questions.
April 21, 2023