When thinking about summertime in Florida, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? We would argue that it should be your AC unit! Walking into a cool house after being out in the Florida heat all day is a rejuvenating feeling. To prevent any AC malfunctions in the middle of summer, there are several things you should consider to properly prepare your unit for surviving a hot Florida summer. It’s essential to ‘Florida proof’ your home now so you don’t suffer any cooling consequences later.
- Avoid condensation clogs
Modern air conditioners have a condensation float switch installed in order to shut off the unit if there is a condensate backup or clog. However, older units, those made five years ago or longer, were not required to have them. If the condensate drain does back up and you don’t have this switch installed, you could experience water damage inside your home. Installing a shutoff switch is the best way to prevent that sort of leakage problem from occurring.
- Caulk the air registers
Caulking around the vents in your home can prevent sweating on the ceiling, which helps to preserve the paint and ceiling itself. Make sure to check for any cracks occurring in the caulk.
- Install surge protection
Surge protection is important for both the interior and exterior AC system components. They protect the unit against electrical surges, such as those caused by lightning strikes. Generally, electricians recommend having a whole home surge protection system, in addition to individual surge protectors for appliances and electronic devices.
- Install a dehumidifier
A dehumidifier reduces the workload of your HVAC system. Florida is known for its humid summers and too much humidity isn’t good for the inside of your home. Installing a dehumidifier in your home will help reduce humidity inside, even while the AC is off. Most air conditioners do have a dehumidifier, but it only works while the unit is on. Without a separate dehumidifier, the HVAC system has to work harder to cool the home when it is turned back on.
- Install a programmable thermostat
In order to get the most out of your programmable thermostat and save money, you should take advantage of the scheduling functions. A programmable thermostat is all about efficiency and convenience. You can program the thermostat to turn the system off or raise the temperature during the day when you are out. As well as schedule it to lower the temperature before you arrive back home. This capability ensures that your home is at a comfortable temperature when you are most likely to be awake and moving around the house and saving energy when you aren’t.
- Never leave the HVAC system off for prolonged periods of time
When you are going away on vacation, you might be thinking that you can save some money on the utility bills by shutting the system down. However, this is only likely to promote mold growth in the air ducts. Leaving the AC off for long periods of time during a hot, humid summer provides the perfect environment for mildew or mold. This can be prevented by using the vacation mode on your programmable thermostat. It will help keep your home’s environment stable while you are away and can more easily cool the house upon your return.
- Turn your AC system on before summer starts
As the days start warming up, it is a good idea to go ahead and let the AC come on at least once, to make sure that the air conditioner is properly functioning. This allows you time to get it serviced or replaced should there be a problem.
- Inspect the area around your outside equipment
Sometimes leaves, sticks or other debris can fall into the top of the unit causing problems when the unit is switched on. Clearing away the overgrown shrubs and bushes will help the system to run more efficiently and safely.
- Pre-season maintenance improves efficiency
It is a smart idea, and mandated by some manufacturer’s warranties, to have a professional pre-season maintenance call for your HVAC system. Just like your car, HVAC systems require routine maintenance checks to keep them running efficiently and catch issues before they become costly problems.
- Change your filter regularly
High quality air filters improve efficiency. Using thicker air filters, such as a four inch filter, can help improve the efficiency of your air conditioner while also improving the air quality. They help to remove more pollen, cat hair, and dust from your home’s air and can typically last 6 months to a year, compared to smaller, traditional filters. If you have busy home environment or several pets, more frequent changes might be necessary.
- Avoid closing off vents inside your home
You might have heard that you can save money by shutting the vents in rooms that are unused. However, this doesn’t stop the unit from blowing air to that room. The HVAC system still puts out the same amount of air but the circulation will not flow as efficiently.
You know how hot summers in Florida can get, why risk an AC breakdown in the middle of it? Florida proof your system now so you can enjoy a cool home after hot days out in the sun. For more information on preparing your system or to schedule a maintenance check with one of our professionals, click here.