Earlier this summer, Davis, CA experienced five solid days with high temperatures exceeding the 100-degree mark. Because of this, the National Weather Service issued heat advisories warning folks to stay off the streets. Scorching highs aren’t unusual in Davis during the summers and, in general, my advice for homeowners is to be safe by just staying inside and enjoying your AC.
That’s a problem, though, if during the middle of one of these dangerous heat waves an air conditioning unit suddenly breaks down and needs repair; your home can quickly become uncomfortable. Worse than that, it can even become dangerous to stay inside. With that in mind, it’s important for homeowners to know a useful set of air conditioning repair tips for Davis, CA heat advisories, as well as some DIY steps you can immediately take to improve your HVAC’s performance on these hot days.
We live in one of the prettiest areas of the country, just a short drive from San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and Yosemite National Park. One of the facts of life in Davis and the rest of our area, though, is that the summers can get hot—really, truly, dangerously hot. You—and your HVAC system—must be prepared.
DIY Air Conditioning Repair Tips for Davis, CA Summers
During that week earlier this summer where we had five solid days with high temps above 100, Bell Brothers took more than 1,600 calls a day from folks in need of air conditioning repair. We were so busy, in fact, that KCRA Channel 3 let us reach out on their news program with our DIY tips to keep your AC in good shape.
I want to share those tips with you again now, in case you missed it. These are all good things to remember if you live in Davis, which was put under a heat advisory, but they also apply to the rest of Northern California as well.
- Check your air filter: The air filter in your HVAC system keeps your home clean but can, on occasion, become clogged up itself by dirt or other debris. I’ve talked in the past about how a dirty air filter can cause your air conditioner to freeze up, obstructing airflow and making it feel like your AC isn’t working. You can check this yourself, or you can call out a trained HVAC professional to make sure you get the proper fit and size.
- Keep the area around your AC unit clear: Just like you, your air conditioner needs room to breath. Keep debris away from it and don’t install it in a cluttered, hidden locale. Every year, we see homeowners who have their air conditioners fail because they built a fence too close to it. Consult a trained HVAC pro if you’re worried your unit doesn’t have enough space.
- Keep an eye on circuit breakers: Another common call we get during heat advisories is when a breaker gets tripped, a homeowner resets it, and the breaker quickly trips again. This is an electrical problem, one that means something is wrong with the AC that you won’t be able to fix yourself. Call a trained pro.
- Dogs are not your AC’s best friend: I don’t know how to say this without sounding a little crass, so I’ll be blunt: don’t let your dog pee on your air conditioner. There’s ammonia in dog urine that can damage the equipment. If you suspect this is an issue, call an AC technician to inspect things.
How to Avoid Air Conditioning Repair Caused by Davis, CA Heat Waves
The best air conditioning repair tip during Davis heat advisories is to invest heavily in preventative maintenance ahead of time in order to avoid needing repair altogether. One call to a trained HVAC professional on a temperate day in the spring can save you a whole lot of suffering during the middle of a heat wave come summer.
Here is my recommended list of preventative maintenance:
- Filter replacement: Having clean, unobstructed filters is absolutely vital to the health of your HVAC system.
- A ductwork inspection: Leaky or poorly sealed ducts can mean that the cold air generated by your AC is escaping into spaces like your attic, crawlspace, walls, or basement. When cold air is seeping into these places, it’s not getting into your home so your AC has to run longer, which taxes it and leads to potential breakdowns.
- A thermostat check: This is a good idea for any homeowner, but especially in Davis where many of our customers save money and energy by installing smart thermostats. A tech can make sure your thermostat, smart or otherwise, is calibrated correctly so that you can guard against breakdowns and get the most out of your air conditioner.
Another preventative measure, one you can take yourself, is to learn and look for the 10 signs your AC needs repair or to be replaced. Here is the list, in brief:
- It blows warm air
- Low air flow
- Inaccurate thermostat readings
- Makes strange or loud noises
- It smells bad
- Needs repairs often
- There’s humidity in the home
- Freon or water is leaking out
- Your electric bill is rising
- It’s older than 10 years old
Noticing any of these things is cause enough to reach out and call a professional HVAC technician. Don’t hesitate, especially not when the heat outside is near dangerous levels.
So, yes, Davis, like the rest of our area, is a wonderful place to live. But, it’s important to make sure that your air conditioner is ready and in working shape when you need it most. Being familiar with this mixture of DIY and preventative air conditioning repair tips is vital.
I’m no weather forecaster, but I think I can predict with certainty that there will be another week where the high temperatures all get above 100. What I can’t predict is when your AC will break down. What a talent that would be!
Stop worrying your AC will break down during the hottest part of the summer. Contact the trained HVAC professionals at Bell Brothers for help with your preventative maintenance today.
Image courtesy Unsplash user Lukas Budimaier