With summer in full swing, now is the time to be thinking about the things you can do around the house to help keep your heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit, or HVAC, at its peak.

When you work to make your home and your HVAC unit complement each other, you can save more money on your utility bill. If you’re trying to avoid replacing your unit, you can help keep it going for years to come by making sure it’s not going to be overloaded or overworked unnecessarily. You can also enjoy a much more comfortable home at the perfect temperature, no matter what the thermostat reads outside.

Here are 3 ways to ensure that your HVAC will be ready to take on the summer.

  1. Focus on the Filter

The first thing to check when it comes to your HVAC system is your air filter. Depending on your system, you may need to use a disposable type filter or a more permanent one. With a disposable filter, it’s essential to replace your air filter at least once a month. Other types of filters need to be thoroughly cleaned roughly once a month in order to keep things working effectively. You may need to clean or replace your filters more frequently if you have pets in your home or are a smoker.

Once you’ve got a fresh or newly cleaned air filter, your HVAC won’t have any dust or dirt blocking or restricting the cool air from circulating freely throughout your home. This will help your furnace last longer, by taking the strain off the blower motor saving you from the cost of a service call in the middle of the busy season, where you may be without AC for several days before someone can come to your home.

  1. Keep Outdoor Areas Clear

If applicable, the next thing to do is to go outside and examine your HVAC unit. You want to make sure the area is clear and free from debris. If there are any plants, branches or other items that are blocking the area or touching your air conditioner, you need to clear it away. Make sure you do not grow any shrubbery too close to the unit.

This also means you must make sure all leaves are removed completely away from the appliance, especially during the autumn season. While we are discussing how to prepare your HVAC for the summer, this is a task that takes year-long proactive treatment. If you choose to wait until spring to clean everything away, material that has been collecting in the unit all year long may be stuck between different parts of the HVAC interior, making it difficult to thoroughly and completely clean. A good rule of thumb is to have an open space of around two feet surrounding your HVAC to avoid debris getting inside of the machine in the first place.

  1. Reduce Heat From Other Appliances

Next, it’s a smart plan to avoid using big appliances that generate heat throughout the day. If you’re cooking a large dinner, instead of assigning the job to your oven, consider using an outside cooking source like your grill. Turning on the oven can add to the extra warmth of your home and push your air conditioning unit to the limits.

Additionally, instead of throwing all of your laundry into the dryer only to have that appliance’s heat push the temperature of your home up even more, try hanging your clothes to dry outdoors. Let the sun help you rather than hinder you, and your clothes can have that fresh smell of sunshine.

These practices are not only great for promoting the health of your HVAC system, but you will also see significant energy savings too.

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