Summers in El Paso, TX are hot and dry. With local daytime temperatures often holding steady in the mid-90s, you definitely need a functional HVAC system. Having your air conditioner or heat pump fail between June and October creates a high risk of heat stroke and heat exhaustion for building residents. Fortunately, there are eight things that you can do to prime your cooling equipment for all that lies ahead.

1. Practice Diligent Filter Maintenance

Throughout the year, you should inspect your HVAC air filter once each month. According to HVAC equipment manufacturers, it’s also best to replace these components every 30 to 90 days. Start the summer off with a clean filter and stock up on enough of these components to see you through the season. This way, if your air filter is dirty but local store shelves are empty, you won’t have to contend with icing, overheating, or other filter-related AC performance issues.

2. Schedule AC Tune-Up Service

Irrespective of their age, all residential air conditioners need professional maintenance at least once each year. In fact, when air conditioners are still covered by their manufacturer warranties, AC manufacturers require it. Our technicians replace air filters, clean indoor air handlers and outside condenser units, calibrate thermostats, and verify the integrity of electrical connections among other things. Annual AC, heat pump, or swamp cooler maintenance ensures safe, efficient operation. It also greatly reduces the risk of experiencing mid-season home cooling emergencies.

3. Schedule Professional HVAC Air Duct Maintenance

While our technicians test and check HVAC air ducts for leaks during annual AC tune-up service, this doesn’t constitute duct maintenance. Much like air conditioners, HVAC air ducts require professional maintenance at least once annually. If your air ducts weren’t maintained in winter, you should schedule this service now. According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA, homeowners can additionally benefit from scheduling professional air duct cleaning every two to three years.

4. Clean Your HVAC Air Vents and Check Their Positions

Check the HVAC air vents throughout your home for thick, lint-like build-ups of debris. You can wipe accumulated debris off of vent covers with a soft, damp cloth. If necessary, you can additionally remove your HVAC air vent covers and use your vacuum cleaner’s hose attachment to remove build-ups just behind them.

You should additionally make sure that none of the air vents throughout your home are completely closed. Operating your air conditioner with closed air vents creates a dramatic rise in in-duct pressure. Increased static pressure in HVAC air ducts can cause air conditioners to overheat, short cycle, or shut down. To further limit the risk of pressure-related performance issues and ensure even air distribution, you may even want to schedule air balancing services.

5. Learn How to Operate and Protect Your AC During Times of Wildfire Smoke

Wildfires and wildfire smoke are common problems in El Paso summers. Fortunately, you don’t have to swelter indoors while waiting for the outdoor air to clear. Simply learn how to set your AC to recirculate mode to keep cool, conditioned air flowing. When local air quality improves, you’ll need to replace your HVAC air filter and have your air conditioner serviced and cleaned.

6. Clean the Area Around Your Outdoor Condenser Unit

Your air conditioner or heat pump’s outdoor condenser requires two feet of clearance on every side. Clear away all fast-growing shrubs, grass, weeds, and tree branches to prevent airflow problems at this unit.

7. Clean Your Gutters and Maintain Your Roof

Keep your outdoor condenser unit protected from heavy, fast-moving objects by cleaning your gutters and properly maintaining your roof. Replacing or repairing loose shingles will keep them from landing on your condenser and causing impact damage. Gutters that are loaded with heavy, damp debris can detach from buildings and cause condenser damage as well.

Schedule Tree Care

Having your trees limbed throughout the year will prevent weak, dead, and dying branches from breaking off and crashing down onto your condenser. If you have larger trees towering over your condenser, your tree care specialist can also thin out their canopies to make them more stable during times of high winds.

8. Consider Integrated HVAC Accessories

Humidity levels in El Paso can fall as low as 31% during the summer months. Given that indoor moisture weighs dust, dander, and other airborne particulates down, the hot, arid climate of the region can diminish your summertime indoor air quality (IAQ). It can also leave residents struggling with dry-air symptoms, such as dry skin, irritated nasal passages, congestion, and frequent bloody noses. To optimize your IAQ and support balanced indoor humidity, consider integrated HVAC accessories like whole-house humidifiers, air purifiers, or air scrubbers.

Residents of El Paso, TX can count on us for top-notch heating, cooling, and appliance repair services. We also provide swamp cooler installation and repairs. For help getting your HVAC system summer-ready, contact SoBellas Home Services now.

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