Tips on How to Get Your AC Ready for Summer
Updated May 2022
Summer is probably your favorite time of year, but it also presents some challenges for your air conditioner. In this article, you can find expert summer AC tips:
- How to get your AC ready for hot weather
- What the best temperature setting is for an AC in summer
- What to do to lower your energy bill in the summer
Preparing your air conditioner for summer is important. For one thing, you don’t want to be stuck in sweltering weather without a working AC. Also, hotter temperatures make your home’s air-conditioning system work harder than normal, which means it’s important to plan a little tender, loving care beforehand. Follow these summer AC tips to avoid breakdowns and keep your home refreshingly cool on the hottest days.
How to Prepare Your AC for Summer
There are several tasks you can do yourself, but you’ll want to leave a few things to an HVAC professional:
Replace Your Air Filter
A clean air filter makes a huge difference in the energy efficiency and cooling output of your air conditioner. It allows the system to work correctly and keeps essential parts cool. In a way, changing your AC’s air filter is similar to scheduling an oil change for your car. It’s essential for preventing damage and keeping everything running smoothly. Plus, air filters are relatively cheap, so this smart summer investment barely costs a thing.
Look for Signs of Refrigerant Leaks
Making sure the air conditioner has the right level of refrigerant going into summer is vital. Otherwise, you can run into problems with coils freezing over or parts overheating. How can you tell if your AC has refrigerant leaks or is running low?
One warning sign is that the system runs longer and harder than it used to or barely cools the home. Frozen coils are another common symptom. The good news is that HVAC experts include checking refrigerant levels as part of preventative maintenance.
Include the Outdoor AC Unit in Spring Cleaning
If you have central air, make sure to include tidying up around the outside HVAC unit on your spring checklist. You don’t actually need to clean the components yourself (a professional should take care of that), but you can clear away any debris or junk. For example, get rid of any branches, leaves, ivy, or weeds nearby. The compressor/condenser needs to have plenty of airflow, so avoid storing garbage bags or boxes around the unit.
Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance
You should schedule AC maintenance at least every six months. Preventative maintenance helps in several ways: detecting potential problems ahead of time, tuning your system so it works better, and cleaning important parts such as the compressor. By calling a professional, your air conditioner is fully prepared for summer, and you don’t have to do a thing!
Calibrate Your Thermostat
If your thermostat is off by even a few degrees, it means you’re spending more money than you need to be for cooling. In summer, this can add up to large electricity bills. You can test a thermostat’s accuracy by placing an indoor thermometer next to it for 15 minutes. An easier solution is to contact our team; we include thermostat calibration as part of AC maintenance, so you don’t need to lift a finger.
How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Working Great During Summer Weather
When hot and humid weather appears, you need to keep an eye on your air conditioner. Here are a few summer AC tips for reducing electricity bills and avoiding breakdowns:
Try Blackout Curtains
Did you know that most of the heat in the home comes from windows? Direct sunlight can feel cozy, but it also heats up the living room and other spaces a lot. If the midday sun is adding to your energy costs, one solution is to decorate with blackout curtains. Closing the blinds during the hottest times of day lets your AC take a well-deserved break, and it keeps rooms nice and cool.
Choose the Right Temperature Setting
The colder you set your thermostat compared to the outside temperature, the harder your air conditioner works and the higher its energy usage. If you crank the climate to ice-cold temps during a heatwave, it can actually damage certain system components, so be careful on the hottest days.
What is the best air conditioner temperature for summer? Everyone’s preferences are different, but generally speaking, setting the temperature to 78 degrees Fahrenheit gives you the ideal balance of comfort versus cost. It’s OK to turn the thermostat lower than that if your family needs it, but avoid going under 72 degrees in summer.
Clean or Replace the Air Filter More Often Than Normal
Cleaning or changing the air filter for your air conditioner is important all year long, but it’s especially important over the summer. For central air systems in the greater Chapel Hill area, we recommend changing filters once a month during summertime. If you have a ductless mini-split air conditioner, clean the filter on the indoor unit every two weeks.
Save Energy at Night
Another option for saving electricity is to choose a higher setting at night. Without the sun beating down on your home, it may be possible to set the thermostat to 80–82 degrees at night and still feel comfortable. This saves you money because the AC doesn’t need to run as much.
Take Care of Repairs ASAP
If your HVAC system starts to act strangely or make weird noises, call our team for AC repair right away. Again, this is a good idea all year long, but fixing problems is especially urgent in summer. You don’t want a broken belt or other minor issues to cause extensive damage to the compressor. Keep an eye out for signs of problems such as the AC running constantly or no cold air coming out of vents.
How to Set Your AC So You Sleep Great All Summer Long
One of the biggest benefits of having an excellent air conditioner during summer is that it helps you sleep like a baby. Few things are as refreshing as having a cool and comfortable bedroom at night. One of our favorite summer AC tips for nighttime comfort is to install a smart thermostat.
These high-tech systems let you program your ideal sleep climate. That way, the temperature adjusts automatically between evening and morning. No more waking up sweating or with ice-cold toes. If you combine this type of thermostat with a zone cooling system, every family member can have this level of comfort customization.
Contact us at Bud Matthews Services to learn more about the incredible possibilities of zone cooling, smart thermostats, and energy-efficient HVAC systems. We have a great reputation for quality service in the greater Chapel Hill area.