With spring season right on the horizon, it’s time to start thinking about cleaning and your HVAC unit is a good place to start. The good news is it’s not all that difficult to get your HVAC ready for the warm season and it will help lower the AC bills while improving air quality at the same time.
Check Those Filters
This is something you should do monthly, but spring is a good time to remind yourself about the importance of clean filters. If you let winter go by without changing out the furnace filter, then make a spring resolution to not let that happen again. If this is your first time on filter duty, make sure to check the manual to get the correct size and type filter for your HVAC system.
Clean the Air Conditioner Drain
You’ll probably find the drainage hole on the base of the AC cabinet right under the evaporator fins. If you don’t see it, check with the manufacturer for detailed instructions on accessing it. Just poke the hole with a paper clip or wire to clear it.
Inspect the Coils
While you are there, take a look at those evaporator coils to make sure they are clean. Look around for any loose wires or obviously broken elements, too. Spring is one of the best times to get a service company in to do a tune-up of your unit and make sure you have plenty of refrigerant going into summer.
Check the Fan Blades
Fan blades tend to collect dust, so give them a once over each spring. This will improve the shelf life of your system and help it run more efficiently.
Clear Condenser Debris
Clear debris away from the outside condenser unit, as well. Over the winter months, things like leaves, branches and garbage can build up around the AC condenser and interfere with its operation. Take out the pruning shears and cut away any overgrown branches around the unit at the same time. Keep at least a foot of open space around your AC.
Dust the Vents
Move inside and inspect the AC vents for dust buildup. Remove the outside covers and use the vacuum cleaner hose to clean the ducts, too. If it has been a few years since you have had the ducts professionally inspected and cleaned, now is the time. Holes in the duct work decrease the efficiency of the HVAC system and introduce allergens into the air.
Upgrade Where You Can
Little things can add up to big savings. Consider upgrading the thermostat, for example, especially if you don’t have digital one in place yet. You can add a humidifier or dehumidifier to your HVAC system, too, and improve its efficiency, or, if it’s over 25 years old, replace it all together.
Summer is the worst time of year to need service on your air conditioning unit. A little spring maintenance and a tune-up are one of the best ways to keep your expensive HVAC system working longer and avoid a big repair bill.