We just survived our first super-hot summer weekend in Northern Virginia and it is only mid-June! With temperatures in the 90°’s and humidity running at 70%+, this is the time of year that home owners start to see their central AC units crash.
I always recommend to my clients after they buy a home to look into service contracts with local Heating and Cooling contractors because problems always happen when temperatures are extreme. For example, a client living in Vienna once called me when it was 12° and her furnace had quit, and another called when it was 95° to say that there was a block of ice on her AC unit and her house was boiling!
Luckily I had provided them with one-year Home Buyer Warranties when they bought their homes so they had someone to call. From personal and professional real estate agent experience, I know that clients will typically call me when there isn’t heat or AC, so providing a little extra “peace of mind” for them at closing with an action plan is like putting money in the bank!
A Home Buyer Warranty plan only lasts one year… but it’s good to have.
Here are some ideas for keeping your home cool:
- keep shades drawn on extra hot days or when you are at work
- adjust plantation shutters so the slats are deflecting the sunlight
- install ceiling fans
- keep your AC set at a manageable temperature during the day
- make sure your windows are locked tight
- turn off recessed lights
- consider getting a professional “energy audit” of your home
- Switch the thermostat fan to “on” from “auto” to circulate inside air
If your AC fails on a weekend, here are a few ideas:
- check your thermostat to make sure it is on AC (move the darn switches)
- make sure the service shut-off switch (looks like a light switch) on the air handler hasn’t been accidentally switched off.
- check your circuit breaker box and make sure it hasn’t tripped the switch
- if there is a block of ice outside, let it melt and call an AC guy
- check the overflow drain pan for water
I always have home buyer clients get home inspections but problems with any HVAC system are impossible to predict. Your inspector probably gave you a report that describes your HVAC system so go back and take a look because it will refresh you memory.
If you can’t get your AC purring, then it is time to call a professional to tune up and repair the system. If it is old then be prepared to buy a new one since most older systems can not be repaired any more… read more.
Okay, I’m open to learn about your worst AC or furnace problem, anyone?
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