As temperatures rise and we go from winter to spring, and soon to the hot summer, it’s time to transition from operating your furnace to running your air conditioner. Just like you wouldn’t run a marathon without proper preparation, you want to make sure that your air conditioner is ready for the hot Texas summer ahead.
Now is the time to inspect your air conditioner and HVAC system as a whole. Whether you’re looking to maintain your current system or want to improve your home’s energy efficiency, spring is an excellent time to inspect your system and evaluate all options.
Schedule an AC system inspection
As your condenser remained unused throughout the winter season, a number of issues may have occurred. Something as simple as dust collecting in the wrong valve can seriously damage your condenser performance. In addition, serious issues may go unnoticed, even when following a standard checklist found online. This is why it is crucial to get an expert’s opinion for a complete understanding of your system is and whether or not any repairs are needed.
HVAC specialists are exactly that, specializes in fixing and troubleshooting an HVAC system, and identifying opportunities to improve energy efficiency and overall environmental impact for the entire home. A thorough inspection of a local Austin HVAC tech will help your cooling system work well this year and far into the future too.
Heading into summer with awareness of your system’s status enables you as a homeowner to make the best decision for your home.
Maintain your cooling system
Routine maintenance makes the difference between a reliable, long-lasting and efficient system and one that struggles to cool your home. So many things are only noticed during an inspection. Any issue is better off addressed right away rather than left to become worse over time.
The math is simple. The cost of annual or bi-annual maintenance is a fraction of the cost of a new system. Realize that routine maintenance will (1) prolong your system’s life, (2) prevent more expensive and serious repairs and (3) ensure your system is functioning at its maximum efficiency which will lower your monthly energy bills.
If you HVAC is still under warranty, you must get your system inspected each fall and spring.
- maintain the validity of the warranty
- catch issues early while they are covered
- catch issues while they are small and have not cascaded into larger problems
- a well-maintained system lasts longer
- have peace-of-mind knowing the health of your system
Clear away grass and debris from your condenser
You know the condenser… that AC component that sits in the side yard, often ignored, it's important. Your condenser is one of, if not the most, important components of your entire HVAC system. In the warmer months, it is even more important to realize that without a working condenser, you’ll never keep your home and family cool. This is why homeowners need to make every effort to prevent pests (fire ants) and debris from impacting this vital HVAC component.
Trim back the grass, weeds and other brush around your outdoor unit to create less of an opportunity for bugs and other pests to thrive. Without weeds, tall grass or tree branches hanging over the unit, you limit the exposure your condenser has to the elements. The same goes for trash, as it can attract scavengers, like raccoons, to bite, scratch or defecate on the unit as they look for food and shelter.
Consider upgrades for your HVAC system
With spring comes change. It’s the first new season of the year. Spring cleaning brings an air of “out with the old and in with the new.” You may have also received a refund on your taxes.
Taking into account your budget, HVAC system and plans for your home, spring is the perfect time to consider one or multiple upgrades to your system to prepare for the cooling season. If you plan to live in your home for the foreseeable future and your system could use some updates, think about the long-term benefits. Upgrades will vary in cost but will all have profound impacts on your energy efficiency and monthly energy bill.
- Add attic insulation
- Have a home energy audit
- Add weatherstripping
- Add solar screens
- Get your air duct sealed or repaired
- Upgrade to media filters
- Upgrade your thermostat
- Upgrade your indoor air quality with UV lights, an air scrubber
- Get your ducts sanitized with biocide
- Sign up for twice a year HVAC inspections to keep on top of any issues
If you aren’t planning on being in your home long-term but still have the budget to invest in it, attic insulation is the perfect option. Purchasing insulation is much more affordable than getting a new system and best of all, it has a 116% ROI for resale, so you may even make money on this investment.
Spring is a great time to prepare for the hot Texas heat that we all know is coming. The temperatures in Austin put every component to the test. Will your system survive the strain? The knowledge that comes from the annual AC inspection is vital and allows you to help your system do its job of keeping your family cool this summer.