Don’t skimp on seasonal HVAC maintenance.

Your HVAC system works hard year-round, but the colder months are a dormant period for your air conditioner. During this off-season, your AC unit is subject to some serious wear and tear: Bugs, rodents and other critters make their homes inside, dirt and debris build up in the pipes, harsh weather affects the motor components and electrical connections begin to loosen.

The only way to correct the damage and prevent serious problems from wreaking havoc on your entire home cooling system is to perform routine seasonal maintenance. Your HVAC service technician should clear the vents of debris, check electrical connections, clean the fan blades, flush the pipes, cleanse the coils and repair any glaring issues. Make sure you do a full system evaluation before the busy season begins, or you may be out of luck when the weather heats up and your AC unit breaks down.

Install A Programmable Thermostat.

There’s no reason for your air conditioner to be running 24 hours a day, seven days a week – even in the most oppressive temperatures – especially if your children go to school for a majority of the day and you’re at work during those hours. Instead of running the air conditioner all day, program your thermostat to turn off after your family leaves and then kick back on an hour before everyone returns.

During the night, your air conditioner shouldn’t be on full blast. Set your thermostat to shut down your home cooling system when you don’t need it. That gives your AC unit a much-needed break and reduces your monthly bill, too.

Perform An Energy Audit.

Your AC unit works hard, but there are factors that affect its ability to keep your home cool. Old or inefficient insulation in your walls and attic cause indoor air to escape, which means your AC unit is powering along to cool air that’s just being thrown right back outside. You may think your AC is running inefficiently or needs to be on for longer, when in fact, it’s just poor insulation.

The caulk around your windows and doors prevents indoor air from escaping and outdoor air from seeping in. If those seals are old, they dry out, crack and crumble away. And if the caulk was not done properly in the first place, the seal may never have been tight enough to begin with.

If your windows and doors are old, they’re likely to be drafty, allowing hot, humid air from outside to enter your home. Because these are concentrated sources of air influx, your home is cooled unevenly. Depending on your thermostat placement, you may find that your air conditioner is running longer than it should because your thermostat is directly in the “line of fire” of a drafty window or door.

An energy audit detects these problem spots and more. It’s the most comprehensive way to determine how effectively your home is containing cooled air and where you need to focus your efforts.

Sweltering temperatures are miserable to say the least, and turning your thermostat down seems like a good solution. But if you overrun your system, you risk causing serious damage to your AC unit and your home cooling system as a whole. These simple tips enable you to keep your air conditioner on only when you need it and avoid overrunning the unit and causing untimely breakdown or repair.

Want to know more about keeping your air conditioner running optimally? Contact the On Time Experts! Your very own Comfort Consultant is standing by to help keep your home cooling system performing efficiently year-round so your family stays cool and comfortable regardless of the weather.

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Meet the Author
Randy Kelley
Randy Kelley

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