5 Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips for Summer

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Summer heat and humidity are creeping in, and your home’s AC unit is about to be your new BFF. We rely so much on our AC during these peak months, but untimely issues can be a real drag — and can even be dangerous in severe heat. The good news is that many untimely issues can be avoided with simple, regular maintenance.

By not performing regular air conditioner maintenance, you’ll notice a steady decline in performance, and an increase in energy usage and dollars spent. Here are five totally doable ways to perform AC maintenance in time for summer.

Clean Air Ducts
If you have central AC, your home relies on ducts to deliver cold air. Not just cold air, though — ventilation and humidity control are also provided by your central AC system. If your air ducts are clogged or obstructed, your AC unit isn’t working at peak capacity, meaning it’s not cooling effectively and it’s using more energy.

If you choose to clean your air ducts yourself, turn off your entire HVAC system first. Then, unscrew the air duct covers from your walls and thoroughly clean the grates with a brush. If you’re dealing with a lot of dust and gunk, you may want to give them a wash using soap and water. Then, you should use a vacuum to clean deep into the crevices of the ducts.

If you want the most thorough clean, you should hire a professional.

Change Filters
The air filter in your system plays an important role in keeping debris out of your AC unit. Your AC unit has to work much harder to cool your home if the air filter is clogged and airflow is restricted. Dirty air in your home has a two-fold problem: air quality is awful to breathe (especially for allergy sufferers), and dirty air through your AC system over and over causes premature wear and tear on parts.

Replacing a dirty, clogged air filter can lower your unit’s energy consumption by 5-15 percent according to the Department of Energy. Money savings are always a bonus!

The most important thing is making sure you use the right type and size of filter meant for your unit. You can typically find this information in an owner’s manual. If your owner’s manual doesn’t list it, an experienced technician can help you determine the right type.

Check Your Outdoor Unit
During fall and winter, seasonal debris and dirt can build up on your outdoor unit. It’s crucial to clear it of debris and give it a thorough cleaning. This ensures proper airflow and functionality.

Again, If you’re going to clean your unit, please make sure to turn off the power first. If you think there may be an issue with your outdoor AC unit, please do not try to fix it yourself. Faulty electric appliances can do serious damage to the unit, your home and, most importantly, your family. Spare the DIY and contact a licensed expert if you discover a larger problem.

Install a Programmable Thermostat
While you’re prepping for summertime, it’s the perfect time to consider a programmable thermostat. In unison, parents all over the state are asking, “are we paying to cool the whole neighborhood?” We can’t guarantee your kids will shut the door behind them, but we can stand behind increased efficiency and money savings. Why waste energy and dollars cooling down a home if no one is in it?

Set the temp based on your family’s schedule and the environment will return to a comfortable setting by the time you get home. According to the US Department of Energy, you could save around 10 percent a year on your HVAC bills by lowering your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day. That’s huge.

Schedule a Full Tune-Up
A professional AC tune-up is much more complex than what we mentioned above, so it’s important to call a licensed pro for a routine professional evaluation of your AC equipment. This is especially true if you can’t remember the last time a professional took a look at your HVAC unit.

We recommend getting a maintenance check twice a year or annually at minimum (usually at the change of seasons). In general, these visits include checking proper refrigerant levels, electrical components and controls and condensers, cleaning your evaporator and condenser coils and clean or replace your filters, among other things.

Performing regular HVAC maintenance extends the longevity of your system and can help prevent costly breakdowns at inopportune times. To schedule your seasonal HVAC maintenance visit or to order an air conditioner replacement, call the HVAC professionals at (703) 783-0247 or schedule service online.

John C FloodWith more than 100-years of experience serving the DMV area, John C. Flood provides excellent plumbing, air conditioning, heating, and electrical services! Their experience, expertise, and reliability make them the area’s go-to for homeowners and renters needing maintenance, repair, and service on a variety of HVAC and plumbing needs!

Plus, it’s easy to book an appointment online, and John C. Flood will put you on their convenient list of check-up customers, so you’ll always have regular inspections and catch plumbing problems before they grow! Call them today at (703) 752-3901 and mention "DULLES" for 15% off your first service call!

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