Spring Cleaning: A Checklist for your HVAC
Although it is still cold out, spring is definitely on its way. After a long winter of being cooped up inside, you need to start planning an annual spring cleaning. Opening windows, cleaning carpets and rugs, and getting rid of clutter are all good ways to start. However, the best way to really give your home a fresh start is to schedule a visit with a certified HVAC company and give your heating and cooling system a little TLC. Hiring a professional for your HVAC maintenance will make sure that your system lives longer and runs more efficiently. There are also some things you can do yourself to keep things going smoothly.
Check your Home for Leaks
Spring is a great time to complete a check for leaks in your home in places like windows, doors, air ducts, and other areas. If you aren’t sure how to check for air leaks, you can ask your HVAC specialist or look into scheduling an energy audit. These checks will show how much air is leaking from your home, and where the leaks are. Recommendations will be made on how to fix the leaks and how to improve your home’s overall insulation. The better insulated a home is, the better it holds in heat during the winter months and stays cool in the summer. Leaks mean that air is flowing right out of your home, rather than heating or cooling it. Leaks in air ducts can also be a problem. Air ducts that are not well-maintained may leak air under the floors, into the attic, into the basement, or other spaces.
The condenser unit is an important piece for your air conditioning system. Its job is to take the hot air from your home and remove it to make room for the cool air being pumped in during the warm months. Located outside the home, it is a big box usually on the side or back of the house. It is usually covered in slats with gaps to allow the warm air to escape. Making sure these are clear will help your air conditioner operate efficiently. Take a look at the condenser unit and clear it of any debris that may have accumulated over the winter. Leaves are the most common problem, as well as sticks and other plant matter. The condenser unit doesn’t run when you have the heat on, so it can be something you forget to check. Before turning on the air conditioning for the first time make sure you clear it off and look for any issues that might become a problem. If you have any bushes, shrubs or other plants near the unit, keep an eye on them and make sure to trim them back if they are too close. Continue to check the condenser unit every few weeks, for as long as the air conditioning is running.
Changing the air filter in your HVAC system is another simple but effective thing you can do to help things run more efficiently. The job of the filter is to clean the air by trapping dust, bacteria, pet dander, and any other particles that are floating around. A filter that isn’t changed regularly can be harmful to the air quality of your home, as well as to the HVAC system itself. A clogged filter is not able to trap airborne particles very well so you have nasty things floating around and you breathe them in. The clogged filter also makes it difficult for air to flow through it. This means that the HVAC must work harder to push the air through the clog. It puts unnecessary strain on the system which means it is working less efficiently, causing your energy bill to rise and the lifespan of the HVAC to shorten. Changing the filter is pretty easy and if you aren’t comfortable, ask your HVAC specialist to show you how during your next maintenance visit. Most filters should be changed every 3 months, however, you can buy ones that are better quality and last longer. These are great especially if you live with someone with respiratory issues. An easy way to remember that you need to change the filter is to sign up for automatic filter delivery. This way you don’t have to remember what type of filter to get and you don’t have to keep track of when to change it. You know when the filter is delivered it is time to replace the old one.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
The number one thing you can do to extend the life and the efficiency of your HVAC system is to schedule regular maintenance check ups with a trained HVAC company. They will make sure that everything is running smoothly and be on the lookout for any issues. Caught early, these issues can be resolved quickly and will usually cost much less than if a problem is left to fester. Most HVAC specialists will recommend two maintenance visits a year – once in the spring before you turn on the air conditioning, and again in the fall before switching over to heat.
Taking care of your HVAC system throughout the year is important, but it is especially vital in the spring. Having a clean and efficient HVAC unit can improve the overall health of your home, reduce your energy usage, and make your space more comfortable to live in. Scheduling an appointment with Weather Crafters this spring will ensure that your HVAC maintenance is in good shape and ready to keep you cool this summer.