5 Tips for Getting Your Portland HVAC Ready for Summer
Summer will be here before you know it! Unfortunately, that means sweltering heat, humidity, and pollen. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure your HVAC system is working correctly. And you won’t want to wait until the last minute to check this. If your HVAC isn’t working, you could end up being sweaty, uncomfortable, and miserable. And it could end up costing you quite a bit. The right preparation can help increase efficiency and reduce your utility bills. And it’s much simpler than you may assume. Read on for our expert tips on getting your Portland HVAC ready for summer.
1. Change the air filters.
This is probably the easiest step you can take, and something that you should already be doing regularly. It’s incredibly important, and you’ll be glad you did it. In general, it’s recommended that you change air filters every couple of months or so. But in the summer, your HVAC system works extra hard. So having a clean, new filter to start the season will be incredibly beneficial. During high-use seasons, it’s to your benefit to check your filters once a month.
Unfortunately, many people don’t change their filters nearly as often as they should. But your air filters should definitely not be carried over from winter. The winter season can also cause dirt and dust to accumulate. Dirty filters make the HVAC much less efficient by blocking the airflow through your home. So the air won’t be as cool as you want, and it won’t be as clean as you want. Filters are necessary for keeping containments from building up. By changing them regularly, you’re improving your home’s air quality.
2. Keep the outdoor unit and the area surrounding it clean and clear.
Most Portland HVAC units should have a clearing of at least three feet or more around them. HVAC systems need enough airflow to work properly. This means you should remove any trash, debris, branches, leaves, overgrowth, and other vegetation that surrounds the unit.
In addition to clearing, you should clean the outdoor unit’s condenser coils. Dust, dirt, mud, and other debris can accumulate during the winter. This is true even if you have a cover, and especially if you don’t have one. All that debris will clog up your unit, obstruct the airflow, and cause the HVAC to run less efficiently. If your unit appears to only be lightly soiled, try gently rinsing off the unit with a garden hose. Be careful not to flood the area. Of course, make sure to unplug the unit before trying to clean it like this. And allow enough time for the coils to dry completely before turning it back on. However, if the debris is too stubborn, and rinsing it off with a hose isn’t enough, you can buy a specialty commercial air conditioner cleaner.
To clean the fins on the outside unit, try using a toothbrush or a small brush for cleaning a car. Be sure to use these brushes as gently as possible. You don’t want to bend the metal.
While cleaning your outdoor unit, take a moment to double-check that the concrete slab it’s on is level. If it’s not, it will force your HVAC to work harder. Look for any loose bolts that need to be tightened as well.
3. Test to make sure your thermostat is working properly.
If you have a manual thermostat, it may be too old and on its way out. Consider replacing it and installing a programmable thermostat instead. Programmable thermostats allow you to have more control over the temperature and comfort in your home. And they can be set to reduce your air conditioning when you don’t need it—for instance, when you’re out of the house—allowing you to save on energy costs and avoid unnecessary wear and tear on your system.
These thermostats are usually pretty easy to install on your own, with just a few tools. Plus, they usually aren’t too expensive. There are different varieties available, so look at the options and decide which one is best for your home. If you already have a programmable thermostat, you consider reprogramming your thermostat before the summer begins.
4. Inspect the ductwork.
This is a task that will be easier to do before the intense summer heat. Start by making sure there’s nothing blocking the registers, such as furniture or rugs.
Check your Portland HVAC ductwork thoroughly for any leaks. Look for any tiny holes, cracks, separated pieces, or disconnected parts. Air leaks will make your home feel uncomfortable. Leaks can also lead to spending much more on heating and cooling. If there are any, sealing them can save you a lot of money. To make sure the job is done most effectively, hire a professional to do the duct sealing for you.
Make sure to have your ductwork cleaned as well. This will help your system to run much more efficiently. Again, you should turn to a professional for the best quality cleaning.
5. Schedule your routine maintenance checkup before the summer begins.
A checkup is the best way to ensure that your HVAC system is ready for the warmer weather. HVAC systems are more sophisticated and complicated than most people realize. Because of their experience and expert knowledge, certified Portland HVAC technicians will notice any issues that might be easy for you to overlook. Annual maintenance also will make it easier to avoid any breakdowns or expensive repairs in the future. And if you do need an upgrade, you’ll be very glad to get that taken care of before the summer. Reach out to us at Watts Heating & Cooling for all your Portland HVAC maintenance needs and concerns. Feel free to contact us with any questions. You can find more information about our Portland HVAC services on our website.