The mercury will is now hitting 100 degrees in Southern Arizona, and that means it’s time to prepare your home for the hot temperatures. As all Southern Arizona residents are aware, utility bills can skyrocket during the summer months, but there are some things you can do to stay cool without breaking the bank.
BBB offers the following tips to keep your home cool, comfortable, and running efficiently in the summer months:
- Check your filter every month. If it looks dirty, change it. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you cool. This wastes energy and leads to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure.
- A yearly HVAC tune up of your car can improve your gas mileage. Likewise, a yearly tune up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency and comfort. It’s a good idea to have a contractor perform an annual pre-season check up can help maintain your equipment and prevent future problems…and unwanted costs. A typical maintenance check-up should include the following:
- Check thermostat settings to ensure the cooling and heating system keeps you comfortable when you are home and saves energy while you are away.
- Tighten all electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors. Faulty electrical connections can cause unsafe operation of your system and reduce the life of major components.
- Lubricate all moving parts. Parts which lack lubrication cause friction in motors and increase the amount of electricity you use.
- Check and inspect the condensate drain in your central A/C. A plugged drain can cause water damage in the house and affect indoor humidity levels.
- Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation. Check the starting cycle of the equipment to ensure the system starts, operates, and shuts off properly.
- Clean evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils. Dirty coils reduce the system’s ability to cool your home and cause the system to run longer, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
- Check your central A/C’s refrigerant level and adjust if necessary. Too much or too little refrigerant will cause your system to run less efficiently, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of your equipment.
- Clean and adjust blower components to provide proper system airflow for greater comfort levels. Airflow problems can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 15 percent.
“Finding potential problems before they arise will save you emergency repair bills and will help avoid costly repairs down the road”, said Kim States, BBB President. “It’s a good idea to check now that your home is ready for the summer heat”.
For more tips on being a savvy consumer and to find contractors you can trust, go to www.tucson.bbb.org.