Photo By Luis Molinero at Shutterstock
Texas is known for its love for all things large—cattle, hats, and toast to name a few. Harder to love are the soaring temperatures of a TX summer. If you work or live in the Arlington, TX area, you know that with averages above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, enjoying the dog days of summer can be a tall order. The best way to survive a summer in the Lone Star State is by enjoying the cool air pumped into your home or business by your HVAC unit. Whether you own a state-of-the-art, new model, or are still reaping the benefits of an old reliable one—we have some tips on how to keep your HVAC alive and kicking for a while without major AC repair work. Heck, some of these tips might even save some money on your utility bill too.
- Take advantage of window treatments—While it’s good to let some sun into your home or business for natural lighting, be sure to use your blinds and curtains to the maximum benefit if you’re not in a room. The amount of heat that comes through windows can really force your HVAC to flex its muscles in order to counterattack the sun’s rays. Don’t let your home turn into a greenhouse by allowing too much sun to pour in all day.
- Replace your filters regularly—We learned in 2020 that if we have to wear a mask—it had better be clean and smell nice! Your indoor unit feels the same way. If dust and debris build up on an air filter, it is much more difficult for clean air to circulate in the home. By replacing the filter regularly (monthly is recommended), not only will you enjoy cleaner air, but the unit will run more efficiently. Dirty filters make the unit run more often, burning more energy. Plus, if a filter becomes filthy enough, dirt can begin to infiltrate the internal parts of your unit causing mechanical damage. That damage can lead to either an AC repair or premature replacement. Mark your calendar, and try to change your filter on the same day each month.
- Indoor airflow check-up—Take a walk around your house/office and examine all of your vents. Is there anything blocking them? Are they covered in dust or cobwebs? Did a piece of furniture end up preventing airflow to or from it? Blockage of any kind can make your AC unit work more than it should to maintain the desired temperature in your home and an AC repair tech could get this sorted out quickly.
- Get outside and look around—Just like the vents, your outdoor unit needs some clear space around it. If landscaping such as shrubs, bushes, tall grass, trees, TX tumbleweed, etc are too close to it, your outdoor unit will struggle to keep up with demand. Try to keep at least two feet of space around the unit to allow it to work at its best.
- A breath of fresh air—You know those late fall and early spring days when it feels really great outside? Think of them as vacation days for the HVAC. Turn off the system, open the windows, and enjoy some fresh air. Your home or business will benefit from it, and your next utility bill could be much smaller. Plus, just as you feel refreshed after a vacation, your system will likely last longer if it gets an occasional break too. A professional AC repair company can help you know how to do this safely and correctly for your system.
- Turn off what you’re not using—Did you know that electronic devices emit heat? If a computer, monitor, or TV is left on they all put extra heat into their surroundings. Simply turning off devices or appliances that are not in use will cut down on temperature-raising possibilities that, although small individually, add up to degrees quickly. Go unplug something!
- Night laundry—Speaking of appliances, did you know that running ones such as your clothes dryer at night will mean less stress for your AC? Even new dryers put heat into the home when running, so try to put off running it until after dark, when the AC has less heat to contend with from outside. An AC repair company could help answer any questions you may have about the best fit for your home.
- Automation is key—If you don’t use a programmable thermostat, you’re missing out! These simple-to-use devices are a great way to give your system a break from overworking. Why spend money (and make your HVAC work harder) keeping your home cool if no one is home during the weekdays? Programmable thermostats allow you to give your HVAC a break at the peak of the day but still allow time for it to make sure you enter a cool and comfortable place to unwind after a day’s work. Businesses can benefit too by doing the reverse, and really giving the system a break on the weekends.
- Insulated ducts—Leaky ducts can be an absolute nightmare for an HVAC. Imagine trying to carry a pitcher of ice water to pour into the empty glasses of your friends and family. They’re thirsty and you’re ready to play the hero with some refreshment. Before you begin to pour the cool and thirst-quenching water into the first class, you realize that there are holes all over the pitcher, and all of that glorious H2O is streaming out of it on all sides. Sadly, many air ducts act just like that hole-ridden pitcher. Consider having your ducts inspected and insulated by a licensed AC repair company to avoid losing as much as 40% of the conditioned air before it is lost in your walls.
- Regular maintenance—Perhaps the best way to ensure your HVAC will see a long healthy and efficient life is to make sure it is seen by a professional. There is no substitute for having a licensed professional examine your system to protect it from long-term damage by replacing parts before it’s too late and before the bill for AC repair is too high. Small AC repair is much quicker and less expensive than replacement. Be sure to have it looked at at least once a year. Ideally, all HVACs should receive two visits per year to get the most value out of them.
Don’t put off prolonging the life and efficiency of your HVAC—call Minuteman Heating & Air in Arlington, TX where we specialize in AC repair. Get the most out of it today!