As the weather gets warmer and the days last longer, summer is upon us here in Hilton Head, South Carolina. With high humidity levels and hot temperatures throughout much of the season, your air conditioning system will have to work overtime to keep up. Prepare your home for the upcoming summer and enjoy a much more comfortable experience from June to August.

Seal Windows and Doors

The first step to take before the summer arrives is sealing around the windows and doors. These cut-out areas of your home allow cooled air from inside to seep outside, leading to wasted energy and money. Use caulking materials to seal cracks and openings, giving your home an airtight seal. If your windows are old and inefficient, you may want to think about having them replaced as well.

Sit next to your window on a cool spring morning and see if you can feel any drafts coming through. If so, you can start by sealing up the surrounding area to see if that solves the problem. Look around the doors that lead outside for patches of sunlight or cool air coming in as well. Replace the weather-stripping to help improve the seal.

Schedule a Service Call

Although we don’t typically get any snow here in Hilton Head, the average low temperatures often drop to the 40s in the winter months. You probably don’t run your cooling system much during this time of the year, which means the air conditioner in your home has been on an extended break. Bring in an experienced HVAC technician for a tuneup before you switch the system back over to cool for the season.

This service may include cleaning of the condenser coils, which helps improve efficiency, calibration of the thermostat, inspection of ducts for leaks and damage, coolant level check, evaluation of the blower motor and belt, and inspection and tightening of all connections for safe operation. During the tuneup, your technician can also talk to you about any areas of concern and repair them before you start running the air conditioning more frequently.

Get the Ducts Cleaned

If your energy bills tend to shoot up dramatically during the summer months, you may need to think about ways to improve efficiency. As the heating and cooling systems run, they pull air through the ducts. That air often contains dirt, dust, pet hair, dander, pollen, and other debris. The filter within your system can trap some of the particles, but those that get through will settle in the ducts and stay there. Having an HVAC technician clean the ducts can help increase efficiency while also improving the quality of the air you and your family breathe.

Change the Filter

If you’re not changing the filter in your furnace every month or two, it’s important to at least do it at the start of each season. Filters keep dirt and contaminants out of the system but when they’re overloaded, they can no longer do their job.

When you have family members in your home who suffer from allergies, consider choosing filters with higher MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) ratings, which can keep smaller particles out of the HVAC. These filters are a bit more expensive but they can help reduce allergic symptoms. Avoid washable filters since these are harder to maintain and often can’t filter out as many of the particles.

Program the Thermostat

Now is the time to switch your system from heat to cool and take a few minutes to program the thermostat. Save money by allowing the temperature to rise when you’re out of the house, such as at work or running errands, as well as when you go to sleep at night. Relying on ceiling and floor fans can also help reduce energy usage, so keep these running when you’re home to improve airflow and create a cooler atmosphere without spending too much.

The last thing you want to worry about is having your air conditioner give out during the hottest time of the year in Hilton Head. Schedule your air conditioning tuneup before summer hits by calling Byrd Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. at 912-373-8447.

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