Now that we are at the peak of summer, temperatures are at an all-time high. July and August are prime times for heat in Massachusetts, which means your home generates some air conditioning to fight off the summer heat.
Getting your home prepared for the summer months is crucial for your comfort. No one wants to sweat a swimming pool inside their home. If you haven’t checked your cooling system lately, t’s not too late to take action with our tips to prepare your home for the rest of the heat you can face in the Reading, MA, area until winter arrives.
Since Massachusetts is in the nation’s northern region, Reading, MA, typically sees fair temperatures for the summer months compared to Southern states that experience sweltering heat.
The average high for Massachusetts weather in the summer is a little over 80 degrees, which is fairly comfortable compared to other areas in the nation. However, that doesn’t mean your home is safe from extreme heat. Massachusetts saw record-breaking heat last year as opposed to normal. It’s known that Massachusetts experienced harsh winters with it being a Northern State, but no one expects there to be intense summers.
Last year taught us that northern states are not omitted from the possibility of hot summer weather. With that being said, Preparing your home for the possibility the summer can bring is important to make sure you stay comfortable during this time.
Not only is the summer weather important to prepare for with your comfort, but it’s also important for your safety. The system you have in your home can run excessively during the summer months to keep the house cool, and if you have an outdated system, this poses the risk of shock or fire since it can stress the electric system.
Preparing your home doesn’t mean getting mentally prepared for the summer months, but checking to make sure your air conditioning system is ready as well.
So, how do you prepare your home for summer? There are tips you can follow to keep your home safe and prepared to tackle the heat.
One of the first things you can do to prepare your home for summer is to check your system. Your HVAC unit should undergo an inspection by a technician twice a year. Once before summer and the other before winter.
Having a technician come out to your home can be great since a professional can look over your equipment and investigate to make sure everything looks good and runs efficiently.
To keep your ac unit from running so much in the summer is to turn it off and use natural air on the days that are not so sweltering. Give your unit a chance to breathe and take a break by opening some windows or using your screen door for natural airflow when you can. This eliminates the stress on your electric system and still allows cool air to come into your home. Along with this, ceiling fans or small plug-in fans can work too.
A smart way to keep your thermostat from turning on when you don’t need it to is to keep lamps, chargers, or other heat-inducing items away from your thermostat so that it doesn’t pick up on hotter temperatures and turn the cooling system.
You can also add more insulation to your home with the help of a professional. The insulation in your home can keep the heat out of your house during the summer months, which can trim down on how often your ac unit runs.
Although to best prepare your home for the summer heat, it’s always best to call a professional over to check on the status of your unit’s performance to see if anything needs to be repaired before the heat gets here.
If you’re at the beginning of summer and notice your home is not as cool as it should be, it might be time for you to upgrade your cooling system. Other signs that it’s time to upgrade your ac unit include:
HVAC systems and air conditioners are not intended to need replacing every few years, but if you have never had your ac unit replaced, it’s time to get a new one. Older units do not work as efficiently as modern cooling systems do, and your house can suffer from the lack of updates.
Air conditioning systems are supposed to last between 15-20 years. If your system has reached its lifespan and you’re having to constantly repair it, put the money your spending on repairs to a newer system.
You can tell your system is needing replacing when your old unit’s increasing your energy bills. Likewise, as your older system works hard to cool your home efficiently, it may require more energy if its performance is waning.
Thanks to newer technological advancements, modern cooling systems are being made with higher SEER ratings than ever before, which is a quality you need in an ac unit. AC units with a high SEER rating show how well your unit will cool your home to the temperature outside. Replacing your unit for a newer one with a higher SEER rating can save you money on your energy bills since newer units are more efficient not to overuse energy when cooling your home.
If your older system is not cooling your home to the temperature you have it set at, or you’re noticing weird smells or sounds, these are other indicators that your older unit needs to be replaced. Uneven temperatures come from systems not working like they used to, and they are breaking down, using more energy to try and cool your house.
When the summer months arrive, your ac unit should be working to keep the humidity levels in your home almost non-existent. If you’re noticing humidity in your home during the summer, it could become very uncomfortable and be a telling sign that your ac unit is not working as it should.
When it comes time to replace your cooling system, you may want to consider the choices you have for a system upgrade. You do not have to stick with the central air unit you have, although they are the most popular.
Another excellent option for cooling your home is through the use of a ductless system. Ductless air conditioners offer homeowners more control than a central unit since these systems can be placed in certain rooms of your house.
Instead of working to cool the whole house at once, you have the choice to set the individual rooms using a ductless system to your preferred temperatures. In addition, ductless systems do not need to run through air ducts to filter correctly, which is another plus to using these systems.
Ductless systems are great to add to your home if you have any recent additions or want to reduce your monthly energy bill. Homeowners who use ductless systems see a 30% decrease in their monthly energy bill since they are not using a lot of energy to power a whole house.
If it’s time for you to upgrade your system to prepare your home for summer, then preserving your system is just as important in making sure your system lasts through this summer and next.
The first thing you should do for maintenance is schedule the first annual check-up sometime in the spring. This is the first step in preparing your home for the summer heat since your professional can spot any significant leaks or repairs that needs to be made before your system starts to run more during the warmer months.
A lot of the maintenance tips you can do yourself, but one thing you can get your technician to do during their check-up is to clean the outdoor compressor. Cleaning the outdoor compressor is simple, but if you feel uncomfortable because of how big and technical it can be, it’s okay to pass it onto your hired professional.
All you need to clean to clean the outdoor compressor is a garden hose, coil cleaner, and brush. Turn your power off before you spray down the coils and apply the cleaner. Let the cleaner sit for 15 minutes before you scrub the coils with the brush and rinse it back off. While cleaning the outdoor compressor, clean up the area by removing any leaves or outside debris that may have gotten in the fans.
Another simple task you can do to keep up with your ac unit maintenance is to change the air filter frequently. These are inside and recommended to be changed every 90 days, so the air quality in your home stays pure and ice does not form on the indoor coils.
When you forget to change your air filter, the filter can clog from dust and other trapped pollutants, which will keep the air from entering your house, and instead, it stays inside the ducts. The air will form ice on the coils and freeze them up to where they will not work correctly, damaging your system.
Every so often, do not forget to clean out the ducts of any dust and check for leaks. If there are leaks in your ductwork, then the air will not travel into your home. Instead, the air will seep into the leak, and your unit will have to work harder to cool the house to its set temperature. This will cause your air conditioning unit to work overtime and use more energy to cool the home, increasing your energy bill.
The key to preparing your home for the summer is staying on top of the regular maintenance your ac unit requires to work correctly. By having your technician over twice a year and performing the simple tips we’ve laid out, your home should be prepared to keep cool and not act as a sauna during the summer.
Make sure you stay cool this summer with an up-and-running cooling system! Let the pros at 128 Plumbing help you find the right system to keep your home cool and comfortable whenever the heat strikes.
We have been assisting residents in the Reading, MA, area for nearly 30 years to prepare their homes for the summer months. Call our office at 781-670-3261 today to ensure your home is prepared for the next few months! Don’t get caught in the heat and having to use paper fans to feel refreshed.