Spring is here, and if you’re like most homeowners, you’ve started making a list of spring cleaning projects to tackle in the coming months. Make sure you don’t forget about your HVAC system maintenance when putting together your list!
Did you know that a rising body of scientific research has shown that the air inside your home can be more contaminated than the air you breathe outside? Air circulating from a dirty HVAC filter or system can put your family at risk.
Preparing your AC for summer doesn’t have to be a difficult task. A little cleaning and upkeep now will get your system ready for the warmer months ahead and reduce the number of repair calls you’ll have to make. Here is a simple HVAC maintenance checklist of what you should include in your spring cleaning.
Change Your Air Filter
Although it should be on your monthly to-do list, many people fail to change their air filter regularly. But, it’s better to change it late rather than never.
Check the size of your HVAC filter and go to your local hardware store to get a new one. Or, you can purchase AC filters online!
For most houses, a simple, disposable pleated cotton filter will suffice. If someone in your family suffers from allergies, you might want to invest a little more in a high-efficiency filter.
Your entire home will be cleaner with a fresh filter. It will also increase the energy efficiency of your system.
Vacuum the Vents
Dust collects in air vents. If you clean up the dust now, it won’t be blown around your house when the air conditioner kicks on in a few weeks.
Using a screwdriver, remove each air vent. If the vent is filthy, wash it with simple soap and water and allow it to air dry.
Or, you can suck the dust from the vent with your vacuum wand attachment. Also, vacuum the inside of the duct where you can readily reach it. Replacing the vent is a simple matter of tightening the screws.
Change Your Thermostat Batteries
When the batteries in your thermostat are close to dying, you will usually get a warning. What if you’re out of town when the light turns on, and the batteries run out before returning?
If the batteries in your thermostat are dead, your AC unit will not turn on. Thermostat batteries typically last a year or more. If you replace them in the spring, you won’t have to worry about them failing when you need them the most.
Adjust Your Thermostat
A programmable thermostat keeps your system at the perfect temperature all day. It also saves electricity because your air conditioner only turns on when you need it.
Set your thermostat before you leave for work. Your home will be nice and cool when you return. Consider getting a smart or programmable thermostat installed if you haven’t already.
To replace the batteries in most thermostats, slide the thermostat up and off the wall, remove the old batteries, and replace them. Know whether your thermostat requires AA or AAA batteries before going to the store. Keep a few extras on hand in case something goes wrong.
Clean the Condenser
The condenser is the part of your air conditioning system that is outside. It can get very dirty in the winter from grime, leaves, and other debris that accumulate around your HVAC system.
Thankfully, the condenser is simple to clean. Deep cleaning in the spring will ensure that your air conditioner runs well throughout the summer.
Turn off the electricity to your AC condenser first. Then suction the dirt particles off the fins (the thin, comb-like metal parts that cover the condenser) with a vacuum using a soft brush attachment.
Straighten any bent fins with a dull knife. After that, hose down the fins to remove any stuck-on filth. Allow the unit to dry before turning it back on.
Check your unit’s external panels for signs of damage or misalignment while washing the HVAC unit. Also, check the foam insulation around the refrigerant line that leads from your home to the unit.
If anything appears broken, contact an HVAC service specialist. Before turning on the system, you’ll need to ensure it’s in good condition and functioning correctly.
Clear Away the Weeds
Take a minute to pick any weeds growing up around the condenser while cleaning it. Trim back any plants or shrubs too close to the unit as well.
To get the optimal airflow from your HVAC, your air conditioner needs a few feet of room on all sides. The system may freeze over or fail to sufficiently chill your home if weeds are growing too close and restrict the ventilation.
Leaves, debris, and dirt, often accumulate around the external HVAC unit during the winter months. Clearing away leaves, soil, and mulch from this area should be one of your top spring cleaning activities.
Spring Clean Your Home
During the spring, it’s vital to clean and mop your home, especially if you’ve been opening your windows. On surfaces near open windows and doors dirt, allergens, and dust readily build up. In the spring, clean your windows to make your home feel new and clean.
Turn On Your HVAC Unit
Now that you’ve finished your spring cleaning checklist, it’s time to give your HVAC system a test run to see if there are any problems. Run your AC for a few minutes and verify it’s working well and that cool air is flowing.
If your AC is not doing its job, check the thermostat to see whether it’s been set correctly and if the unit is cooling the air efficiently. If that isn’t the issue, have your system tuned or the coolant replaced by an expert.
HVAC System Maintenance Doesn’t Have to Be Overwhelming
If you commit to the above list and check off each step, your spring HVAC system maintenance will be a breeze. Remember, doing it now will save you headaches in the future.
Are you confused about which air filter is right for you? We can help! Contact us, or check out our blog chocked full of helpful information to get your home’s HVAC system spring ready.