Keep Your Home Cool for the Hot Summer Months Ahead

While most look to the summer season as a time to relax and have fun, the weather isn’t always eager to let the good times roll. Depending on your location, whole weeks can have average temperatures in the upper nineties. In plenty of cases, days of hundred-degree heat are less of a possibility and more of an inevitability. Bracing for the summer heat beforehand is one of the best moves you could make. As such, these tips will help you stay cool even during the hottest of days.

Clean your Filters and AC unit

install-ceiling-fansThe key to keeping a house comfortable during the summer months is to have your HVAC equipment in working order. Short for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, HVAC should ideally be maintained several times a year instead of right before harsh weather arrives. Even if there aren’t any problems, well-kept equipment can perform the following:

  • Run at maximum efficiency
  • Prevent issues in the future
  • Save you from unwanted costs, including repairs

Before calling in a professional, you can take steps to preserve your HVAC system. Cleaning the outside portion of an AC unit, along with its surrounding area, can help in the long run. Since it can sit idly for months, it’s very possible for it to collect grass, leaves, trash, and other debris. As a result, you should clean the unit to help keep the efficiency up. It’s even easier, and more important, to clean the air filters whenever they look like they’re clogged with dust. Ideally, the air filters should be cleaned twice a year, if not replaced outright. If they aren’t cleaned or replaced, then they can reduce efficiency, as well as spread dust throughout your home.

Check the SEER Rating for Your Unit

While physically maintaining an AC unit every once in a while is a good practice, there are steps worth taking, and can mostly be done, without walking away from a computer. Modern AC units all come with a SEER rating, a measure of their Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER rating is represented by a single number, and represents how effective a unit might be at keeping a house cool. By default, new units need a rating of at least 13 to make them available for purchase. Comparatively, units from 1990 and earlier, only needed to have a rating of 6. That rating alone can tell you if you should invest in a new unit.

You can find the SEER rating for an AC unit by dividing the output of cooling energy over a season, by the input of energy over the same season. From there, companies like Energy Star offer free calculators that show how your unit’s rating translates into costs. Based on those numbers, you can find out how much energy your unit is consuming over time, how well your unit is doing, or if it’s simply time to switch to a newer model. Considering that some modern units have SEER ratings that reach into the twenties, making the switch might be the most effective way to stay cool.

Call in HVAC Professionals for a Tune-Up

Keeping an AC unit in good shape is possible throughout the year, if not recommended. With that said, some tasks might be too complex for the common homeowner. If you don’t have the tools, knowledge, or physical ability to keep every last piece of your HVAC system in working order, then it may be best to call in an expert in the field. An HVAC technician can offer a tune-up for whatever you need, and provide an array of services such as:

finding and sealing leaks in a duct system
-checking the air registers
-making repairs as needed
-installing new units

The summer months will test plenty of active AC units, and inevitably reveal how many of them need repairs or tune-ups. As a result, HVAC companies become extremely busy, which can lead to delays in service or spikes in their prices. Schedule an appointment before summer starts to get the fastest, and possibly cheapest, results.

cleaning-the-outdoor-ac-unit-Invest in a High Efficiency Air Conditioner

It’s a safe bet that most AC units are built to last, but they have their limits. If it becomes plainly obvious that maintenance is ineffective, impossible, or simply can’t save an inefficient machine, then you may want to consider getting a new unit. Notably, high-efficiency air conditioners are available for purchase.

True to their name, some models have a SEER rating of at least 20, and can help justify the higher prices customers may have to pay upfront. In addition, a high-efficiency air conditioner is more environmentally friendly than other models, particularly the old ones. If you have an interest in going green, then switching models might serve you well.

Although any given high-efficiency air conditioner has a high SEER rating, the actual number varies from one unit to another. It’s a good idea to compare and contrast units beforehand, especially since it can force customers to pay more or less at a time. No matter the rating or ultimate price tag, the result is still the same.

A good air conditioner, high efficiency or otherwise, can help keep a house cool in spite of the blistering summer heat. When managed properly, an HVAC system can provide a comfortable atmosphere with no effort wasted, and prices kept under control. Taking the proper steps beforehand is always a smart move for you and your family. Check your HVAC system as soon as possible to see if it’s working at full strength.

If you do need professional assistance in the Alexandria, VA area, don’t hesitate to call Cyprus Air Heating and Cooling; they will do an evaluation and give you and estimate of the work you need. Call (703) 765-9400 today.