As the summertime approaches, daily temperatures can skyrocket fast, especially in Phoenix, AZ, and intensify the heat in your house. As a homeowner, having an HVAC system is a favored feature in keeping the environment consistently comfortable no matter the conditions outside — until it breaks down. The more your air conditioning works to bring down high heat, the more wear it becomes exposed to.
You may notice that your HVAC has to work harder, or that certain rooms don’t regulate temperature the same as others. If it is not working as efficiently as it should be, consider doing some simple system upkeep and possible upgrades to your home to see better results. Keeping up with the maintenance of your HVAC can reduce the chances of needing repairs and the risk of needing to replace the system altogether. These precautions go a long way toward saving money on bills and electricity.
Here are our tips on how you can minimize the strain on your HVAC system during the heat of summer so that your home can remain cool without worrying about repairs or replacements.
Benefits of a Sufficient HVAC System
An HVAC system is not just a luxury component to have in a home, but it also provides high indoor air quality by allowing pollutant-free, clean air for a healthy lifestyle. It removes moisture, smoke, odors, heat, dust, airborne bacteria, carbon dioxide, and other gasses for oxygen replenishment. HVAC systems are significantly more important during the summer months to aid with temperature control and balancing moisture levels as they may rise with humidity, all to keep you comfortable.
If Your HVAC is Becoming Worn Out
A heating and cooling system is expensive to replace, so you’ll want to make sure the one in your house is in good condition. If you notice that there is a lack of airflow, increased circulation, the thermostat doesn’t work properly, unusual noises or odors, indoor humidity, water leaks, or warm air, these are all key signs that your unit is going bad.
If you suspect your HVAC system is breaking down for good, there are ways to financially cover costs without dreading the thought of the repair bill or replacement. While there aren’t loans specific to HVAC repair, a home repair loan, a cash-out refinance, or financing options through the company make it possible to cover thousands of dollars. Since many aren’t able to come up with that much money out of pocket, these are practical ways to get the repairs you need without delving into your savings account or hurting your budget. Refinancing your home can be considerably beneficial with low interest rates, especially if you have additional home repairs that can be tackled at once and reinvest the value in your home.
Most Effective Ways to Minimize HVAC Strain
1. Cut Down on Heat Inside Your Home
Reducing the impact of heat inside your home is one of the simplest ways to help reduce the extra work your HVAC will have to do to combat it. Take a look around your home to see what could be contributing to unnecessary heat gain and how you can alter it. Some examples to improve this include:
- Closing curtains or blinds
- Turning off lights when not in use
- Keeping windows and doors closed
- Turning on ceiling fans to complement the air conditioning
- Using heat-generating appliances (oven, stove, dryer, dishwasher) in the evening
2. Upgrade Your Thermostat
If you’re at work, on vacation, or simply enjoying the outdoors and no one is at the house for a period of time, these are perfect chances to give your cooling system a break. Let the temperature in your house rise slightly by setting your thermostat higher. Times like these reduce the constant strain on your HVAC to keep it from working to meet exceptionally cooler temperatures than the outdoors all day. Installing a smart thermostat can help you then turn the temperature lower before you come home with a connected app on your phone.
3. Inspect the Ductwork
Air ducts and vents can result in leaks if they are poorly sealed. They can become loose and cause cracks in the system, taking a toll on the efficiency of your airstream. Be sure that yours are properly sealed and insulated tightly to keep them powerful and to continuously protect the quality of your air. It’s additionally important to clean them every 3 to 5 years. Debris can cause more strain, dust, pet dander, and mold can build up and circulate through your air.
4. Change Air Filters
A dirty air filter can quickly cause strain on your HVAC due to limited airflow. You additionally want to make sure the condenser is free of any leaves or debris that could negatively affect its performance. Air filters should be changed every 1-3 months depending on your household situation. You may want to change them more often if you or people living in your home suffer from allergy symptoms, if you have pets, or if your climate is more humid than others. Not only will your HVAC run more smoothly and at maximum efficiency, but it will also help your home become a cleaner place.
5. Improve Insulation
Proper insulation in the ceiling and walls helps maintain the temperature inside the house. Similar to keeping the warm air inside during the winter months, it holds in the cooler air rather than having it leak out through poorly insulated seals including your windows and doors. Consider improving the insulation in your garage, basement, attic, and other areas that may allow the most heat in from outside. An airtight home means your air conditioning doesn’t have to work as hard to keep the cool air consistent in each room.
6. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Windows
Windows have a significant impact on your HVAC efficiency. Heat gains and losses through the windows are responsible for up to 25-30 percent of a home’s energy consumption. If your windows are older or in poor condition, it may be time to upgrade to energy-efficient windows to avoid more repairing and sealing costs. Otherwise, you will need to assess any cracked or missing caulk and weatherstripping and consider adding storm windows or panes along with solar control film.
7. Put in a Solar Attic Fan
If you have an attic or bonus bedroom that often becomes trapped with heat, install a solar-powered fan to replace the air. It works to pull out the warmer air and circulate cool air inside. By lowering the temperature in an entire room even by a little, you are putting less strain on your HVAC system by reaching a more achievable number in less time. What’s more, it can even extend the life of your roof as it reduces moisture. Since they’re solar-powered, you won’t have to worry about a higher energy bill.
Is it Time to Repair or Replace Your HVAC?
Heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems require regular maintenance for them to work efficiently. They’ll likely need tune-ups and repairs eventually throughout their lifespan. However, there comes a point when it’s time for a replacement if your upkeep and repairs are not lasting long until it needs another fix. Weigh your options and consider if you’re only putting money toward something that is going to continue breaking down.
If you’re replacing your HVAC, it’s highly recommended to consider an energy-saving system. Once you choose the best air conditioner for your home, you’ll be saving more money on energy bills and enjoying the cleaner, more sufficient air it has to offer all year long.
Remember these tips to ensure your HVAC system is working properly throughout the summer without putting strain on it. You’ll be able to rely on your home to cool you down any time and maximize energy savings for the years to come.