Before you know it, summer will be in full swing. Along with vacations and fun by the pool, summer brings sweltering temperatures that can be a challenge for your HVAC and plumbing systems. Here are 7 tips you can use to make sure your home is ready for a worry-free summer.
It’s important to have your air conditioner inspected and maintained annually, especially before the summer when you’ll rely on it heavily. After all, nobody wants to deal with a broken or malfunctioning air conditioner when the temperatures are approaching triple digits. You should schedule a maintenance appointment for your air conditioner to make sure everything’s working as it should be.
At Chas Roberts, our thorough 26-point maintenance plan ensures that your air conditioner will be inspected from top to bottom, with all parts tested and evaluated. Some of the services performed during one of our cooling season maintenance calls include:
During a maintenance call, the technician can also identify any parts or mechanisms in your system that need to be repaired or may require a replacement. It’s best to get any necessary repairs or replacements done before the summer season starts, so you can ensure the job was done correctly and no further action is needed.
Your ceiling fans can be a helpful tool for keeping your home cool in the summer—but only if they’re set correctly. In the summer, ceiling fans should be set to spin counter-clockwise. This helps to create an effect similar to a wind-chill, that makes you feel cool and comfortable. It’s possible that you may have set your ceiling fan to spin clockwise in the winter months, to bring warm air downward.
If you’re not sure how to change the direction of your ceiling fan, look for a switch on the side of the fan’s base. Be sure and switch your ceiling fan direction to counter-clockwise before the temperatures start to climb so you can stay cool all summer long.
Any gaps in the framing of your windows and doors can allow warm air to enter your home. This makes your air conditioner work harder to achieve the desired temperature, which can lead to problems with the system overall. Your home is also more vulnerable to any dirt, debris, or insects entering your home if you have gaps surrounding your doors and windows.
Usually, you can identify gaps in framing by the fact that you can either see clearly outside, or see sunlight streaming inside. However, if you’re not sure, there’s an easy way to identify gaps. Once the sun goes down, have someone stand outside and shine a flashlight at the door or window. The areas where you see light coming in are the areas where you have gaps. If any gaps are found, they can either be filled in with caulking or covered with other forms of weather stripping.
Dirty filters can make your air conditioner work harder to cool your home, and you’ll likely notice that the temperature never quite feels like it should. As a general rule, you should change your filters every 30 days. This will ensure that the air in your home is always clean, cool, and properly filtered. As a bonus, clean filters can cut down on the amount of dust, dirt, and allergens that enter your home.
Most likely, you’ll be using a lot more water during the summer. That’s why it’s important to make sure your plumbing is up to the task. Take some time to inspect all of the hoses and valves in your home, such as the ones connected to your washing machine. Additionally, check your pipes for any visible leaks. While many associate leaks with winter-time emergencies like frozen pipes, leaks are more common during the summer months. If you notice any leaks, call a plumber before they get worse.
Many people are away from their homes in the summer. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a week-long excursion, you should ensure that your home is vacation ready. Before you leave town, double check that there aren’t any leaks in your pipes, and that none of your faucets are dripping. It may seem minor, but a significant amount of water can be lost this way when you’re away. Additionally, you should either turn off or adjust your hot water heater before you leave, to prevent having to pay for hot water you won’t be home to use.
You should either turn off your air conditioner or set it to a higher temperature when you’re away, to save money on your energy bills. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature to lower shortly before you come home from your trip. That way, you can still come home to a nice and cool house without increasing your energy bills.
Chances are, you’ll be relying on your sprinkler system to either water your plants or provide a fun way to cool off all summer long. You should check your sprinkler system thoroughly for leaks, as well as for any sprinkler heads that aren’t working due to rust or damage. Sprinkler systems also commonly sprout leaks underground, which can drive up your water bill without you knowing it. Signs of underground leaks include pools of water and areas of your lawn that appear over-watered.
In many parts of the country, summertime coincides with the rainy season. This is especially true of Arizona’s famous monsoon season. If you have an automatic sprinkler system and it doesn’t already have a rain sensor, consider having one installed. Otherwise, turn off your sprinklers on rainy days to avoid wasting water.
From routine maintenance to sudden emergencies, Chas Roberts is proud to be the Valley’s go-to for plumbing and HVAC needs. We’ve been keeping Arizona families cool and comfortable in their homes for over 75 years, and we have the experience to address problems big and small. Contact us today for help on solving your HVAC and plumbing issues.