Beat the Heat!
Summer Plumbing and HVAC Tips for Your Home
Extreme heat doesn’t have to make an extreme impact on your wallet. With these simple tips, you can maximize energy efficiency, minimize costs … and cool your worries!
- Clean (if it’s reusable) or change the air filter at least once a month.
- Clear the area around your outdoor unit of vegetation by at least two feet so the unit is free to pull in air. And, don’t forget to rake away the leaves from around your unit in the fall!
- Call a professional to clear the drain. A clogged drain can lead to damage from overflows or mold issues from excessive moisture.
- Have a technician clean the outdoor condenser coil as well as remove dust and other buildup from the indoor evaporator fan. A dirty indoor fan may indicate the need to clean the indoor coil as well. This will keep your AC running efficiently.
- Seal your heating/cooling ducts and any open spaces, such as doors and windows. The less cool air that escapes your home, the less energy you’ll waste.
- Set your thermostat to around 78°. Remember, setting the AC to a colder temperature doesn’t cool down your home more quickly; it just keeps the unit working longer than necessary. As an incentive, know that you can save up to 1 percent on your yearly cooling bill every time you raise the temperature by one degree for a period of eight hours. And, setting a thermostat excessively low (below 70°) may cause the indoor unit to freeze, creating more problems.
- Check your washing machine hoses for bulges, cracks, or leaks. Not only should they be replaced about every three years, but summer usually means more outdoor fun and thus more dirty clothes and increased washer usage, elevating the strain on your hoses. Also be sure to tighten any loose fittings.
- Summer usually brings on eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, but be careful about what you put down the garbage disposal! Most disposals cannot handle cornhusks, celery, banana peels, and other fibrous foods. And, whenever you do put anything down the disposal, flush it through with cold water at full pressure for at least 15 seconds.
- Tree roots can disturb your sewer lines, leading to backups. Call your plumber right away if you notice a backup. Better yet, take preventative action by having your sewer line inspected and cleaned before problems occur!
- Finally, don’t let a broken faucet or clogged toilet ruin your summer season. Have a plumbing professional inspect all your plumbing fixtures – from toilets to showerheads – and make any necessary preventative repairs.
Of course, now is the time to make sure all your plumbing and HVAC systems are in tip-top shape. To increase your home’s efficiency, safeguard against potential problems, and give you peace of mind, be sure to contact your local plumbing/heating/cooling professional. For more information on how to hire a professional contractor, click on PHCC’s Find a Contractor referral service. Or, call our toll-free number, 800-533-7694.