In Las Vegas, air conditioning season starts early and lasts a long time. If you haven’t turned on the AC already, you likely will soon. Before it’s too late, make sure your system is running without a hitch. Here are seven steps you can take to prepare your home and air conditioner for the hot Las Vegas summer.
1. Make Sure Your Attic Is Well Insulated
Photo by Red Moon Sanctuary
Having an insulated attic can make a huge difference in your energy costs this summer. A good way to see if you need more insulation is to look at the floor joists in your attic. If you can see the majority of the floor joists or have less than 10 inches of insulation, now is the time to up your home’s efficiency. Depending on the size of your home, you could save hundreds of dollars every year by upgrading your attic insulation to an EPA rating of R30 to R45.
2. Seal Up Drafts And Other Air Leaks
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Weatherstripping is an inexpensive way to save big bucks on your energy costs. If you have never used weatherstripping in your home, use self-adhesive foam to seal off doors and windows. You should make a thorough inspection of your home to replace any weatherstripping that has become worn, sealing the leaks around doors and windows and caulking around exterior electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures.
3. Replacing The Filter On Your Air Conditioner
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A dirty air filter can limit airflow through your air conditioning system, making your unit work much harder to keep your home cool. During the summer, you should check your filter every month, especially if you have a pet. If you can see dirt and dust around the air vents in your house, it’s probably time to change your air filter. To be certain that it’s time for a fresh dirt screen, install a filter whistle that will make a high pitched sound when the filter is dirty.
4. Set Your Thermostat To Cool
Photo by Wesley Fryer
It may seem obvious, but every year many homeowners simply forget to turn on their air conditioning system. Just adjusting the dial to a cooler temperature will not activate your system, you physically have to turn the unit to cool. If your air conditioner doesn’t turn on or won’t blow cool air, contact an HVAC professional to get your unit checked out before the temperatures reach unbearable highs.
5. Clean Out The Area Around Your AC Unit
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To run at its best, the intake on your outdoor unit must be clear of debris like leaves, grass and even hanging foliage. If something is blocking your air conditioners intake, you may notice changes in air temperature and quality. Spring is the perfect time to make sure your unit is clear, just add an extra few minutes to your landscaping chores to sweep around the unit and trim back any hanging branches that could get in the way.
6. Check The Drain Line
Photo by Chad Johnston
An AC unit needs to drain excess moisture during operation. While your unit is running, you should be able to see drips coming from the drain line. If there’s not water running off the drip line, your line might be clogged, making your air conditioner sluggish and ineffective. To unclog your drip line, remove the cap and vacuum out the line. Make sure that your vacuum is set for wet suction, which should remove the clog from the line.
7. Call An Air Conditioning Professional
Photo by Red Moon Sanctuary
If you’ve tried all the steps above and your air conditioner is still acting up, it may be time to call in an HVAC professional. To make sure your system is fully optimized, call an air conditioning professional to tune up your unit. The basic elements of a tune-up include checking your refrigerant levels and replacing any worn out or mechanical components.
With rising energy costs, the smart decision this summer is to thoroughly prepare your home and air conditioning system. Do it now before the temperatures reach the triple digits.
Featured image by Alvimann