Five Summer Prep Tips to Keep Your AC Running at Peak Efficiency

20/20 Plumbing & Heating wants to help you avoid AC issues this summer with a few simple tips. Summers across California and Nevada are hot, calling for your HVAC system to work at peak efficiency to keep you cool and comfortable. 

HVAC is an acronym for “heating, ventilation and air conditioning.” While your HVAC system and air conditioning have some things in common, HVAC refers to the full array of climate control and ventilation systems in your home, including your thermostat, furnace, condensing unit (typically located outside), refrigerant lines and vents. 

Here are five simple steps you can take to make sure your system is ready for the hottest season of the year.

1. Do a Filter Check

Checking your filters is one of the simplest and least expensive maintenance tasks you can do for your AC system. Over time, AC filters become dirty and clogged, which restricts air flow and reduces the cooling power of your air conditioner. It’s a good idea to check your filters in the spring, before the summer heat arrives. Some systems require that you change filters once per month, while others only need chaining every six months or even once per year. No matter what kind of system you have, pre-summer is a good time to determine whether you filters should be cleaned or replaced.

2. Check for Dirty Vents

Clogged or dirty vents also affect air conditioning efficiency. While an air duct cleaning service performed by an HVAC professional is the best option, you can improve the efficiency of your air conditioner by checking the vents throughout your home or business for visible dust, dirt, pet hair and other debris. It’s also important to make sure that vents are open. It’s easy to overlook AC vents that are partially or completely closed. Opening them up is an easy fix to improve overall air circulation.

3. Clear Outdoor Areas

If you have a ductless mini-split or zoned AC system, it’s important that outdoor areas near the AC unit are clear of debris. Check for leaves, branches, overgrown shrubbery and other things that may have accumulated near the unit. It’s best to keep a clear radius of about two feet around the outside of your AC unit, reducing the likelihood that debris will get inside the equipment and cause problems.

4. Boost Your Cooling Power

Overuse is one of the most common causes of air conditioner failure. Not only does running your AC at full power around the clock run the risk of a breakdown, it also costs a lot of money. To offset costs and boost your cooling power, invest in window coverings that block sunlight, and be sure to keep them closed during the hottest parts of the day. Both ceiling and standing fans are also a great supplement to help improve air flow and cool your space more efficiently. Here’s another insider tip: Be sure your ceiling fans are turning clockwise during the summer to direct cool air downward and throughout the room.

5. Schedule an Annual AC Tune-Up

The best way to ensure that your AC continues to keep you cool all summer long is to schedule a system tune-up with a professional HVAC technician. At 20/20 Plumbing & Heating, our technicians will perform a multi-point inspection to make sure every component of your AC system is working exactly as it should. This is also an opportunity for us to make minor repairs before small problems become big ones.

20/20 delivers reliable, state-of-the-art service. Our skilled tradespeople have the training and resources to meet your most challenging HVAC needs — on-time and in-budget.