Spring is in the air and your HVAC system finally gets a break as the temperatures are mild. But this won’t last forever. Soon you’ll need to cool your home rather than heat it. However, your cooling function hasn’t seen action since the fall. So, before summer gets here, it’s time for some HVAC maintenance to save you from any nasty surprises that’ll leave you sweating in front of a fan. Here are some quick HVAC maintenance tips to help you along.
Check and Change Your Filters
The filters on your HVAC system need to be replaced every 90 days at the least. Moreso if you live in an area with heavier than average pollution or have multiple pets. Spring is a perfect time. It is the season of new beginnings after all. More importantly, replacing your filter ensures that your system is working at peak efficiency. A clogged filter reduces airflow – forcing your unit to work harder and longer to heat or cool your home. What’s more, a clogged filter means there is dust and dirt circulating back into the air of your home and ultimately reduce the lifespan of your entire HVAC unit.
Clean Your HVAC of Debris
A lot of debris gathers from the winter months between the winter storms and leftover leaves from the previous fall. So, if your heating and cooling systems are outside, spring is the time to check them for any debris that may have found its way into your system. Keeping the coils clear will help your system run properly for the rest of the season.
Clear All Vents
As the air starts to warm up, it’s the perfect time to check your external vents. This should be done every season, but as we just discussed, winter is notorious for debris build-up. So, get out there and check your intake vents and ensure there’s nothing obstructing them. Otherwise, your system will struggle to take in and expel air from your home. Additionally, spring is the best time to have your ducts thoroughly cleaned before you run your cooling system in the coming summer. This will remove any dust or other contaminants that have gathered in your vents.
Insulating your ducts and relevant HVAC pipes (such as the condensate line) is important to keep your system running smoothly. As such, spring is the time to check for any damaged insulation, and replace it if necessary. Neglecting this inspection risks both higher utility bills and damage to your property.
Check for Air Leaks
Air leaks are rather common. According to Energy Star, 20 to 30 percent of the air moving through the ducts of your average home is lost to leakage. An HVAC system depends on the flow of air. Any leaks in your ductwork or insulation mean your system will struggle to compensate. Again, here we see a risk of higher utility bills. You can check for leaks yourself by feeling your hand along for unusual airflow, or you can hire HVAC professionals to inspect your system for you. Either way, don’t forget to check all of your vent connections and registers are sealed where they meet your walls, ceiling, or floor. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you’ll want to seal these leaks using mastic sealant or metal tape.
Check the Cooling Function Early
The middle of spring is that lovely time of year when it’s neither cold nor hot. So, you won’t be running your cooling system just yet. However, that won’t last forever and it’s better to prepare now than have your system fail on the first hot day. Simply set your thermostat a few degrees lower than the current temperature. Once the air kicks on, check the air coming from your vents around your house to ensure that it’s actually cool. If that checks out, listen for any clicking or unexpected sounds from your unit while it runs. Catching any problems with the system now will save you from any nasty surprises in the coming summer.
Schedule an Annual Servicing
You should have your HVAC system serviced at least once per year. Spring is arguably the best time for this. You’re likely not using the unit, and you won’t need to go without while the system is powered down for inspection. Regular maintenance is essential for ensuring that your HVAC stays in working shape for years to come. That’s not even to mention that regular repairs can save you a lot of money and time down the line. Plus, HVAC professionals can catch problems you can’t. Unless you’re trained yourself, you’re unlikely to notice loose electrical connections or hoses. A professional technician will. We also check for signs of wear and tear on the key components such as the rubbing, compressor and motor blades.