HVAC Spring Cleaning Steps:
It might not feel like it yet, but spring is just around the corner, and that means summer will be hot on its heels. So when it’s time for spring cleaning, if you are just paying attention to the parts of the house that you can see, you are only doing half of the job. When you maintain large appliances, like your HVAC unit, each spring, your entire house will be clean and dust free. Additionally, by taking some time to work on your air conditioning unit, you will ensure that it is ready to go when the first hot summer day arrives. Here are five tips for getting your HVAC unit ready for another season of service.
Filters are the first step in keeping dirt and grime off the moving parts of your air conditioning unit. You may want to buy a case of filters and stash them in the closet since they need to be changed monthly when the HVAC unit is in regular use. Dirty filters will affect the energy efficiency of your unit, and they can also make the air conditioner freeze up. Additionally, keeping the filter clean will reduce the dust and allergens in your indoor air.
2. The Outdoor Unit
Check around the outdoor part of your unit (known as the condenser). Trim back any shrubbery and plants at least one foot away from the unit or you can check the manufacturer’s recommendations, and remove any miscellaneous items from around the unit to make sure that the air can flow through the screens unimpeded. You may want to take a leaf blower and blow out any dirt or leaves from the inside of the cage or vacuum them out. Either way a clean unit runs more efficient.
If you are able, you should crawl under the house, go into the attic, or head into the basement and examine your ductwork. Any holes mean that you are wasting money by allowing conditioned air to escape to the outdoors. Patch these holes with duct tape or caulk. This will improve the air flow in your ducts, which will increase the efficiency of your HVAC unit.
4. Install a programmable thermostat
If everything above is working properly, then there’s one more easy way to help you save money. Programmable thermostats are an easy way to eliminate the money-sink of heating or cooling your house when nobody is home. These adjust temperature at pre-set intervals, allowing you to save on energy costs during the day, and to set the perfect temperature for sleeping. Many newer models even come with phone or tablet applications. Some new systems can automatically detect when you’re at home and when you’re not, thereby eliminating the need for programming. These systems are more expensive, but can pay for themselves in a few years. Traditional programmable thermostats don’t offer the same level of convenience, but will often pay for themselves in a much smaller amount of time.(If you’re not quite sure if you can tackle a thermostat change call a professional for help).
5. Test Your Unit
Before the temperatures get too hot, you may want to switch on the unit for a few hours to make sure that it is working properly. If you don’t find out that there is a problem until the first hot day of summer, you may have to sweat for a while until a technician can make it to your home.
Schedule Your Maintenance Appointment
While you can do these basic things to help maintain your system, you should call a professional each spring to check your unit and make sure that it is working properly. This appointment will lengthen the life of your unit and improve the unit’s efficiency. You may want to sign up for a maintenance plan. If you do find that something that needs attention, or if you need assistance with any of the above, call a SMART contractor today. We’ll be happy to get you ready for the warm weather ahead!