With temperatures already nearing 100 degrees, staying cool could be a challenge this summer. Trane Residential has DIY summer maintenance tips and ways you can keep your home naturally cooler for the warmer days ahead. 

Brought to you in partnership with Trane Residential.

Trane experts share tips to keep your home cool while saving on the energy bill!
Photos by Trane Residential

When it comes to HVAC maintenance, what can homeowners DIY and when should they call a pro?   

DIY maintenance tips:   

  • Clean what you can: Clean or replace any filters inside your system’s indoor unit every 30-90 days. Clear away dirt, leaves, and debris from your system’s outdoor unit.  Keep plants, weeds, shrubs, and other vegetation at least 18 inches away from your outdoor unit to avoid debris buildup.  
    • Pro tip: Through Trane Filters powered by FilterTime, homeowners can purchase air filters using the Trane Home app or visiting TraneFilters.com, either with a one-time purchase or by signing up for ongoing subscription options.

 

  • Watch out for leaks: Have an HVAC pro check for leaks or holes in your system’s ductwork, evaporator coil, or cabinet (the outside “shell” of your unit that holds all the parts inside together).  
  • Keep your ears open: Listen closely for any strange noises when your system starts. If you hear any, call a technician to inspect the problem more closely.  
  • Perform a smell test: Take note of any suspicious or unusual odors when your system starts. If you smell anything strange, call a technician to identify the issue.  
  • Keep your vents clear: Make sure you move any furniture, drapes, rugs, etc. that could be blocking your supply and return vents.  

Call a pro if…:   

  • Your energy bills keep rising: If your utility bills increase but your overall usage remains the same, one or more components of your system may not be working as they should.

  • Your comfort isn’t consistent: If your air conditioner, furnace, or heat pump can’t maintain a consistent temperature, it could signal an issue.
  • Your unit’s fins are damaged: Bent or damaged fins on your air conditioner or heat pump’s outdoor unit can trap heat inside your unit, causing performance and temperature issues. 
  • Your unit takes on a lot of water: Excessive water, such as from a flood, can seriously damage your unit’s electrical systems. If you suspect that your unit’s mechanical equipment might have water damage, do not attempt to resolve the issue yourself. **Call a technician. Electrical problems are potentially life-threatening and should only be handled by a professional. **
  • You smell electrical burning: Turn off your unit immediately and call a technician. A burning smell could mean your unit is experiencing a malfunction or electrical issue requiring professional attention. 

In addition to bumping up the thermostat setting during summer months, using ceiling fans, and scheduling AC maintenance, there are simple ways to make your home cooler: 

  • Close shades, blinds, and curtains to keep the sun out during the day. Blackout shades and curtains work wonders. 
  • Open windows and turn off your air conditioner at night to let in cooler air. Then shut the windows and shades in the morning to trap the cool air in your house. 
  • Weatherstrip doors and windows to keep cool air in and hot air out. 
  • Use heat-generating appliances like your stove, oven, dryer, and hair dryer only after 8 p.m. to avoid heating up an already hot house. Appliances can raise the temperature as much as 10 degrees!