Whether you have just moved to the Sunshine State or have just bought your first home here, you need to make sure that you take care of the seasonal needs of your property. Although the heat is one of the reasons that so many people flock to the state, it can also create a world of troubles for those unprepared.
Although the state does not have a winter in the traditional sense, the weather cools enough that many folks don’t need to use their HVAC system during that time of year. However, you don’t want to wait until the first heat wave hits to check on your system. Have your regular maintenance check before the temperatures rise in order to avoid the rush of calls that your HVAC repair company receives when the weather changes.
Prepare Your HVAC System for the Upcoming Spring and Summer
First of all, you should check on the placement of your thermostat. This is a big deal in Florida because of the intense direct sunlight that strikes most homes. The houses in the state are designed to maximize the amount of light that enters, which is great in many ways. However, if your HVAC thermostat is sitting in the direct path of sunlight, it can seriously disrupt normal operations.
The humidity in Florida is quite intense, for people and mechanical objects. Just as the excess water in the air can weigh you down, it can add pressure to your system. The heating and cooling system will have to work extra hard in some cases to get rid of this extra water.
A simple way to tell if your home has too much humidity is to see whether or not it feels “clammy” when the temperature is at a comfortable level. If so, have your system checked by a professional. If it is operating correctly, you should consider purchasing an additional dehumidifier for your home. This will reduce the wear and tear on your HVAC system.
It is important to realize that although your HVAC system will be used less during the winter that you should still have it serviced in the fall. Make sure that it will be capable of heating your home should one of those rare freezing nights hit this year.
Find a good HVAC company in your community that you trust. You can either ask other homeowners or look online for businesses that have been in operation for a while. Read, or at least scan, several of the reviews that have been left online for the contractor. While a few complaints are inevitable, you should look for patterns of unacceptable behavior to eliminate.
As spring approaches, you can have the unit serviced again to be sure you are ready for the blistering heat that will soon arrive. Some HVAC companies offer special deals for home and business owners. For instance, you might receive a discount on your maintenance appointments by becoming a preferred customer. It is always a good idea to ask!
You should make sure that the area around your system is clean, particularly after storms. Although your HVAC company will clean it for you, it only takes one windstorm to spread leaves all over the place. If built up on the outside of your system, near the intake, it can create additional stress on your system. Although you might not notice that inside of the home, the increase in your bill and possible breakage of the unit are sufficient reasons to double-check.
In order for your system to run well, you need to have your home properly sealed and insulated. Otherwise, it will wear out faster. If you have not yet checked your windows for leaks, now is the time to do so. Turn off your HVAC and fans on a windy day.
Close the windows and light a candle. Walk around each room in your home, holding the candle around your windows and outlets. If the flame flickers, your home is not properly sealed.
You can either fix them yourself or hire a professional contractor, depending on your skill, knowledge levels and budget. Good windows are an essential part of your home. Choose ones that are functional and attractive for the best results.
Change the air filter regularly. Although routine maintenance is essential, this is a step you can handle yourself. Every month or two, you should replace the filter. Go no longer than three months in a hot state like Florida to ensure that it is always clean.
Your unit was designed to work with all of the vents opened. Although you might think that you can save money by blocking off some rooms, it will likely make the unit work harder. Unless those rooms have an airtight seal, that hot air is continually seeping into your home and heating the walls, which can cause adjoining rooms to heat quickly.
Another issue many folks do not address until it is too late is the use of a surge protector. While you might have one hooked up to protect your computer, have you thought about your major appliances? Fortunately, there are surge protectors that you can use specifically for such needs.
When it comes to keeping your Florida home in great shape, you need to be sure that you are well protected from the various troubles that can head your way. While you might not be able to avert everything, such as hurricanes and heat waves, there are many areas where you can take a proactive stance.
One of those is your HVAC system. Find a reputable company in your city that performs HVAC services and arrange for an appointment. Find out if you can get any type of discount and look online for coupon codes or other potential discounts.
Keep this information in your files, along with the other important contractors that help you maintain your home. This way, you can quickly and easily arrange for your semi-annual maintenance visits to keep your HVAC operating smoothly and efficiently for years to come!