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Tips to Keep your A/C Ready for Summer

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Summer is the season of beaches, barbecues, pool parties, and vacations. As you prepare for the summer by brushing up on your pool safety or looking for ways to save on electricity, you also need to get that A/C ready for summer.

That’s right, summer brings the heat, and with warmer temperatures comes increased dependence on our air conditioning units. Nothing can ruin your summer fun faster than a faulty A/C. So, let’s get those A/C units ready.

Let’s first state the obvious, if you take good care of your A/C unit throughout the year, it will be ready for the summer fun. Here are a few tips to help you keep your A/C ready for summer, and keep you cool after you enjoy your outdoor activities.

1. Schedule annual check-ups with your local HVAC pro

Don’t underestimate the importance of having a reputable HVAC company out to clean and inspect your system annually. No one will keep your A/C ready for summer better than an HVAC professional. The balance of the tips on this list really only helps in the margins, local experts regularly inspecting your unit is the real tip. The local HVAC professionals will help identify and diagnose potential issues before they become problems. Or, most importantly, before that summer heat wave.

Think ahead, summer is the busy season for HVAC companies. So, schedule ahead of the season. In fact, if you schedule before peak season, you may even get a better rate.

2. Keep those filters clean

This is the one that got my family. We totally spaced on checking our filters and the A/C went down in the summer. So, it is highly recommended that you take proper care of your filters. In fact, this is likely the easiest thing to do on this list, and it goes a long way toward keeping your  A/C unit healthy.

Once you know the best or recommended filter for your air conditioner, adhere to the appropriate guidelines for cleaning or changing them. 

If you’re using reusable filters, make sure to vacuum and rinse them between maintenance visits.  and replace them every few years for optimum air quality. If disposable filters are used, make sure to write the date on the filter when you replace it, this will help you recall how long it’s been in use. Additionally, make checking your filters a habit or mark it in a calendar with an alert – like on a smartphone.

3. Keep obstructions away from outdoor units

Debris, plants, tall grasses, and weeds can all block airflow, preventing your A/C from working properly or most efficiently. Keep the surrounding area neatly maintained to ensure nothing interferes with the system’s ability to function.

4. Avoid opening and closing your doors and windows too much

Your A/C unit is continually sensing the ambient air temperature in the home, and cycling on and off to achieve your set preferences. If you open doors and windows frequently or for long period, this will change the ambient temperature more frequently and cause the A/C unit to turn on and off continually to maintain the set temperature. This put a lot of strain on the A/C unit. So, while it’s nice to enjoy a summer breeze, think twice when the A/C is running.

5. Maintain window and door seals

If your walls, doors, or windows have gaps, cracks, or seams that allow air to escape the home, then your A/C has to work harder to keep the ambient air in the home cool. Essentially, the A/C is continually adding more air to compensate for the air that is escaping through the wall, door, and window faults. Typically, these types of cracks, seams, and gaps can be easily repaired by applying caulking, weather stripping, and insulation as needed to prevent cool air loss.

6. Don’t run the A/C when you’re not home

When you’re home, it’s most efficient to maintain a consistent temperature. This will also save you money. However, there are some who believe consistency also applies when you’re not at home. It’s our opinion that this depends on how long you’ll be away from the home. For short errands up to a few hours, it’s likely best to leave the unit on. However, for longer trips and vacation travel, you’ll definitely want to reduce the temp or turn the unit off entirely.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends you set your thermostat at 78°F when at home and turn it up several degrees when you’re away. If you know you’re bad at remembering these things, consider a smart thermostat, like a Nest.

7. Make good use of fans

Employing a good fan strategy during the year can help you run your A/C a few degrees warmer, yet get a similar result. If you have a ceiling fan, make sure to rotate the blades clockwise, which directs airflow downward. This will keep the hotter air from rising up and triggering the A/C unit to turn on.

8. Keep your vents clean

You should regularly clean your vents. In fact, keeping your vents clean ensures that dust or debris is not obstructing air flow from your A/C unit to your home. This can also be helpful for family members who have seasonal allergies.

If you keep vents open in bedrooms, make sure to keep the doors closed. This will help the room reach the desired temperature sooner given the smaller area.

9. Where possible, use window tints and films

Here’s an idea many haven’t considered. If you want to help control your heating costs and reduce strain on your A/C unit, maybe tinting your windows or installing a film will help keep your home cooler. When you tint or place a film on your windows, you are effectively tempering the effects of the sun. If successful, your home will become less affected by the sun shining in. As a result, you can keep your thermostat set a degree or two higher, and your system won’t have to work as hard to maintain your target temperature.

10. Hydrate

It won’t hurt to remain hydrated. Drink plenty of water, and eat healthy, chilled snacks, like fresh fruit or veggies. It may sound too simple, but remaining hydrated and eating cool, fresh snacks won’t only keep you cool from the inside, but they keep you from using the oven, which can reduce radiated heat in the home.

11. Buy a home warranty

Even if you employ all the tips on this list, you’re A/C unit can still suddenly stop working. Mechanical appliances are subject to breakdown for reasons often out of your control. One way to help mitigate the expensive repair costs of your A/C unit, and help to keep it ready for the summer, is to purchase a home warranty. Ask your insurance agent if your home insurance policy has a mechanical breakdown or home warranty coverage. There are also some stand-alone options you can consider.


The summer brings several responsibilities for homeowners. You’ll need to prepare your home for vacation, consider methods to reduce home theft, and remember your strategies for being safe in a hot car. The one thing you certainly have to prepare for, however, is getting your A/C ready for the summer.

If you want to discuss a home insurance policy, that includes a home warranty or mechanical breakdown, contact us and one of our agents will happily run you through your options.

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