Summer is perfect for enjoying time with friends and family outdoors, but it’s important to remember some necessary home maintenance.
Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system should see frequent maintenance to function efficiently and provide optimal temperature control.
However, if you haven’t thought about your HVAC since last summer, it’s probably time for a tune-up. Even if you live in places with comfortable summertime temps, like San Francisco or Denver, heating and cooling contractors recommend scheduling a service appointment or else devoting a few hours each summer to perform these HVAC tasks:
1. Change Your Air Filter
Your air filter is among the most important components of your entire HVAC system because it traps the junk in the air — the dirt, the pet dander, the pollen, etc. — and prevents it from recirculating and covering your home in dust.
Unfortunately, that means over time, all that junk caught by the filter makes it harder for your HVAC to suck in air, meaning it has to work harder to achieve the same result.
This extra effort will increase your already high summer energy bill, and it could result in damage to your HVAC unit over time.
The frequency with which you change your air filter depends largely on you and your living conditions.
If you live alone (no roommates or pets) and rarely suffer from allergies, you can get away with changing the filter annually or every six months.
If there are a few occupants in your home but you don’t have pets, 90 days is a good rule.
If you have one dog or cat and no allergy issues, you should swap your filter every two months.
And if you suffer significantly from allergies or have more than one pet, you need a new filter about every 20 days.
If you fall into one of the latter categories, it might be wise to invest in a reusable air filter.
Instead of throwing these away and replacing them with something new, when it comes time for a change, you merely take out the filter and rinse it clean with water.
These can be expensive, but they last a lifetime, meaning they are a more economical investment in the long run.
2. Keep Your Vents Clear
If dirt and hair are interfering with your HVAC’s efficiency, so will larger obstructions.
While air vents aren’t the most attractive features of your home, you shouldn’t try to cover them up with fabric or furniture.
Doing so will cause cool air to get trapped, and it might even prevent air from flowing into certain rooms.
If you aren’t sure where your air vents are, look for them near the ceiling or on the floors.
Then, rearrange your rooms to ensure the vent can blow air powerfully enough to affect the room’s temperature.