Is your AC unit prepared to withstand record-breaking heat?

Posted at 1:03 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 16:30:13-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - There's nothing quite like the feeling of walking into a cold air-conditioned room after sweating in the summer sun.

With more hot days ahead, you'll want to make sure your AC unit doesn't break down, but if it does, the experts are on standby. Like at Michael & Son in Chesapeake, where business is booming.

The dog days of summer are putting their HVAC technicians in high demand. From deliveries and installations to AC unit maintenance, they're doing it all.

HVAC technician Phillip Davis said the recent spike in temperature is forcing air conditioners to work overtime.

"[The unit is] using up more energy because it's trying to pull out this crazy humidity that we're having. It's trying to pull that out of your house as well as cool your house," he said.

So when the unit is working that hard, you'll want to keep a close eye on it and change your filters every few months.

"If the filters are dirty, if the system can't breathe right, it's not going to cool your house right," Davis said.

A good rule of thumb is to change your filter every 30-60 days. However, depending on the size of your home and if you have pets or allergies, you may want to change it more frequently.

Experts also recommend cleaning your coils and making sure the drain is free-flowing, but they said to leave those more advanced jobs up to the technicians.

Davis said that preventative maintenance is paramount, especially during this time of year, because the repairs to fix something after it has broken are much more expensive.

If you're looking to save yourself some money, Davis said to turn your thermostat up when no one is home then dial it down slowly when you're back inside.

"Every system is struggling right now when it's like 100° outside, so try to work it down slowly, like mark it down 2°, let it try to get to that and then lower down another 2°," he said.

During the summer months, Davis said they see a lot of ice buildup along units, which can cause damage in your home if not properly addressed. He said if you find the unit frozen, turn it off immediately and call a technician.

He said it's also a good idea to invest in a water sensor device that will cut the system off if there is a blockage.

"It's a really small investment that will save you thousands of dollars in the long run because it cuts the system off if there’s a blockage, so it prevents it from producing more water so you don’t wake up to bubbling in your ceiling or water all over your garage floor," he said.

Overall, just keep an eye on your unit so you can keep cool and carry on this summer.