How to Prepare Your HVAC System for Florida’s Summer Heat
Summer has arrived, and Tallahassee-area residents can expect average daily high temperatures that exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit until sometime in September. As readers of our blog, you already know how to set your thermostat for the most comfortable indoor temperatures, but have thought about how how to best prepare your HVAC system to handle the summer heat?
If not, the air conditioning specialists at Tallahassee’s Air Control Heating and Cooling have some pointers for you. To optimize your indoor cooling this summer, take the following steps. And, if you feel that your air conditioning system isn’t delivering peak cooling or showing any signs of malfunction, contact our maintenance service professionals.
Are All Air Vents Open?
The first thing you should do to prepare your AC system for the summer season is check to ensure all air vents are open. Vents sometimes get closed during the cooler months, and the reduced circulation this causes can lead some people to believe there is a problem with their HVAC system. We occasionally respond to service calls for this very reason, and while such customers may be embarrassed by the oversight, at least the problem wasn’t more severe.
Assess Humidity Levels
The discomfort of Florida’s summer heat is typically associated with high humidity. Along with delivering cool air, your AC system works by naturally reducing indoor humidity levels. Thus, if indoor humidity levels seem high, it could be a sign that your HVAC system is not working properly or is incapable of handling excessive humidity levels. You can check indoor humidity with a basic hygrometer, which should be available at your local hardware store. Readings within the 45-55% range indicate that your system is running well and can handle our area’s humidity levels.
Alternatively, you can also detect humidity by checking your windows for moisture. A little bit of moisture around the edges is OK, but fogged over windows suggest high humidity levels.
If your AC system is operating normally but unable to handle the humidity, you may need to upgrade the unit. Alternatively, you can boost the dehumidification power of your existing system by directly installing a dehumidifier to it.
Clean Vents and Ductwork, and Replace the Filter
For the best in summertime cooling, replace your HVAC unit’s filter(s) at the start of the season. A new filter will ensure the smooth circulation of cool air through your house and provide you and your family with optimal indoor air quality. Likewise, check the cleanliness of your vents and ductwork, as any accumulated dust and debris in them can also impede smooth air flows.
Clear Debris from Outdoor Condenser Unit
You should maintain at least three feet of clear space around the outdoor condenser unit. Any leaves, twigs, dirt, other debris, or unwanted growth that might collect around your outdoor condenser unit during the winter can impede its release of the warm indoor air it is tasked with removing. This can stress your HVAC system, extending cooling cycles and otherwise hindering indoor cooling.
Additionally, inspect the coolant lines running from the condenser when checking the outdoor unit to ensure they did not sustain any damage during the off-season. If you spot damage, you should probably have it checked out by a professional, such as those at Tallahassee’s Air Control Heating and Cooling.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
For hassle- and trouble-free operation of your HVAC system during the summer months, consider joining an annual maintenance plan that conducts these pre-season checks and ensures that your AC system is in peak operational condition. With three membership levels, our Air Control Club provides customers with regularly scheduled maintenance, 18-point inspections, and other performance-optimization benefits.
Schedule Your Regular AC Maintenance Today with the Air Control Club
We wish you the best for a cool summer during these hot and humid summer months. To ensure optimal cooling of your home this summer, schedule an AC tune-up or join our Air Control Club by contacting us at (850) 562-1234.