As temperatures rise and you realize you’ll be using your air conditioner even sooner, it’s important to check that it’s in working order.
When you work on your home maintenance in the spring, don’t forget to concentrate on HVAC maintenance as well. Be sure that your air conditioner is ready for the summer by following these seven tips.
Change your filters regularly
Filters should be changed regularly, based on the type of filter you are using. The most common filter – pleated filters – should be changed every 1 to 3 months, depending on the thickness. For other filter types, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. This helps to keep your home air cleaner and to allow your furnace and AC units to operate properly. When dust and particulates build up on the filters, it’s much more work for your HVAC units to push warm or cool air through your home, which causes more wear and also decreases the unit’s energy efficiency.
Look into your vents
Check all of the vents by walking around the house to make sure they’re open and not blocked by furniture, curtains, or other items.
Keep any vents in good working order. If the dust and debris clog the vent, pull the cover off and clean it. It is less likely that ceiling vents accumulate dust, but still need to be cleaned of cobwebs.
Watch for ductwork leaks
It’s likely that your home’s ductwork is older than the AC unit itself if it’s been installed for over ten years. These leaks let cool air out and into your attic or basement. Seal the leaks with A/C tape.
Set up a programmable thermostat
The air conditioner should start humming as soon as you switch your thermostat to cool. You should hear the air conditioner start up and the indoor unit should be much cooler than the current indoor temperature. If that doesn’t work, consider installing a programmable thermostat.
A programmable thermostat adjusts the temperature according to your set schedule when you are away or sleeping. These thermostats allow you to save money by saving on cooling while staying comfortable.
Check your outdoor unit
You should clean all the debris away from around your outside unit during the fall and winter. If there is vegetation around the unit, cut it back. Make sure the fins on your outside unit don’t bend when cleaning them with a soft brush. You should check for damage from the harsh winter months, as well as insulated lines leading from the unit into your home.
Make sure your outdoor unit is stable
A concrete slab keeps the outdoor unit steady. Put a board under it to lever it up and then place gravel at low spots. Do this until it is leveled. Then remove the board. Make sure it is level before using the cooling system.
Get your HVAC system inspected
Schedule routine maintenance on your HVAC system in the spring, so you can get the most use out of it before the summer heat arrives.