The Importance of Preparing Your Air Conditioner for Summer
I love a good underdog sports movie. You know the type: a scrappy group of kids or slightly dysfunctional adults have to come together for some inspiring reason so that they can prove themselves and triumph over a bad guy team with a major advantage. These types of movies, I admit, are all more or less the same, but, heck, I still love it when the good guys win at the end. I appreciate knowing how it’s all going to turn out and take comfort in the predictability.
Besides, there are plenty of fun elements in each and every one of these movies, like the kid who comes out of nowhere and surprises everyone with his hidden talent. Or the inevitable last-minute victory. My favorite of all these tropes, though, is the inspirational pep talks that the players get from their coaches. I just can’t ever seem to get enough of them. In fact, I love them so much that I try and translate the ideas in them to my work in residential cooling services here in my hometown of Sacramento. That’s why, today, I want to give you my own inspirational pep talk about why it’s so important to start preparing your air conditioner for summer—now.
The Importance of Preparing Your Air Conditioner for Summer
Just imagine that your air conditioner is that team of scrappy kids heading out to play against the summer heat. It’s facing a difficult road and a major challenge. You don’t want to send your AC out onto the playing field without the proper practice and preparation, do you? No way! You want to get in there and starting getting your AC unit into shape so that this year it will have the best possible odds to succeed against Sacramento’s hot and dry summer climate. It’s in your best interest to do this; if you don’t, you run the risk of uncomfortable sudden AC failure or, even worst, costly repairs. So, let’s set your air conditioner up to win before the first Californian heat wave hits.
Otherwise, you could find yourself dealing with common summer problems, like when an AC is running but not cooling your house or when your poor overworked AC starts to make a hissing noise.
Preparing your air conditioner for summer is quite a bit different than preparing a youth hockey team with a duck for a mascot to face the evil kids from Iceland, obviously. Instead of teaching your AC unit to be competitive, you want to instead make sure it’s had a number of preventative actions taken on its behalf. Otherwise, you could find yourself dealing with common summer problems, like when an AC is running but not cooling your house or when your poor overworked AC starts to make a hissing noise.
How to Prepare Your Air Conditioner for Summer
Here are some of the most important things you can do when it comes to preparing your air conditioner for the summer heat ahead:
- Replace the filters: I’ve talked in the past about how a dirty air filter can cause an air conditioner to freeze up, but it’s worth reiterating here. During periods of regular AC use, more air is passing through your filter than usual, raising the likelihood that it will bring debris with it. When too much debris gets caught in the filter, you need to change it. Otherwise, it could make it difficult for air to flow freely, which can cause your AC to work harder and lead to a breakdown.
- Take stock of its age: Knowing whether your AC is actually up for the job of cooling your house all summer might just come down to knowing how old the unit is, as well as the age of the attached ductwork. In general, if your AC and ductwork is more than 15 years old, I’d highly recommend looking into getting a newer, more efficient unit. It may help you avoid having to pay for a potentially costly AC failure during the hottest weeks of the week. And, you’ll more than likely end up saving money on your regular cooling cost bills because your whole HVAC system will be more energy efficient. This is important too, as SMUD’s rates are on the verge of going up again this summer.
- Schedule a check-up with an experienced HVAC technician: Much like taking care of your car, the most reliable way to keep your AC running is to get a tune-up. To be sure, summers in Northern California’s hot and dry climate are a busy time for HVAC professionals, but if you plan ahead, you’ll have no problem arranging a tune-up. These tune-ups will make sure that the filter is changed, the AC compressor clear, and all the many other parts work as efficiently as possible.
Take the Heat off with a Whole Home Energy Efficiency Approach
Another great way of preparing your AC unit for the sweltering months ahead is to make sure that your entire house is playing on the same team, so to speak. Making investments not only in AC maintenance, but also in properly sealed windows and the best insulation for your unique home is what’s known as taking a whole-home approach to energy efficiency.
Making investments not only in AC maintenance, but also in properly sealed windows and the best insulation for your unique home is what’s known as taking a whole-home approach to energy efficiency.
Now, I’ve talked in the past about the benefits of window replacement and better insulation, but I think it’s worth emphasizing again today that these touches mean that the cool air produced by your air conditioner is less likely to leak outside. Your AC won’t have to work as hard because the cool air stays in your home where you and your family can enjoy it. What’s even better is that there are many financing options available in our area to help update your home with these touches. Any experienced HVAC pro you call in to do your annual check-up on your AC will be happy to tell you about them, I’m sure.
The one piece of advice I hope I’ve impressed upon you the most, however, is that it’s often best to have an experienced HVAC pro scheduled well in advance of the first heat wave to give your AC a preemptive tune-up.
So, there you have it. You’ve just had an inspirational pep talk that explains why it’s important to get your AC ready to win its big game against the summer heat this year, just like those underdog teams in those sports movies I love. The one piece of advice I hope I’ve impressed upon you the most, however, is that it’s often best to have an experienced HVAC pro scheduled well in advance of the first heat wave to give your AC a preemptive tune-up. He or she will also be able to tell you if there are any minor maintenance tasks that can be done now to help you avoid bigger, more expensive repair jobs later. I’m yet to meet a homeowner who doesn’t like the sound of that. It’s a win-win for you and your HVAC system.
Here at Bell Brothers, we believe in the whole-home approach to energy efficiency, safety, and health. Our experienced furnace experts would not only be delighted to tune-up your air conditioner for summer, we’d also be happy to make sure your entire HVAC system is running efficiently so that your home stays as comfortable and safe as possible. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Wondering how to finance your home upgrades? HERO is a unique financing option that helps California homeowners afford energy efficient upgrades to their home. Contact Bell Brothers, a HERO-approved contractor, to learn more. Our local HVAC, plumbing, and window specialists will walk you through the entire process, from applications to installation.
Image courtesy Elnur