When the cold winter weather finally decides to settle down, it’s time to think about preparing your HVAC system for the warmer months. You want to ensure that your system is operating in peak condition so that you don’t waste any of your hard-earned money on excessive energy. If you’re new to springtime HVAC maintenance, there are various tasks that you’ll want to ensure that you complete at the start of the season.
Schedule Professional Maintenance Service
The first task on your list should be to contact a licensed HVAC professional to perform maintenance on your system. This will help to extend the overall life of your system and will alert you to any potential problems that you’ll need to get addressed before the hot summer weather hits. While you may try to skip professional HVAC maintenance to save some money, that’s not a favorable idea. Most cooling system manufacturers require that your system be serviced by a licensed professional each year to keep your warranty valid. Skipping just one year can void your warranty and leave you paying out of pocket when repair bills crop up.
Clean Up Your Condenser Unit
Your outdoor condenser unit plays a big role in dispersing the heat transferred from inside your home to the outdoors. For this unit to work efficiently, it needs to be free of debris and to have room to breathe. Start by removing the AC grille cover. Be sure to clean out any loose debris inside the unit and in the fins. Any bent fins should be straightened back out. Additionally, you’ll want to remove any low-hanging branches or shrubs that are within three feet of your condenser unit.
Inspect the Refrigerant Lines
Important components of your HVAC system are the refrigerant lines that connect your indoor unit to the outdoor condenser unit. You’ll want to inspect every inch of these copper lines to see if there are any holes, dents, or other damage to the lines. When there are issues, refrigerant can leak out. This is not only dangerous to your health, but it can also drastically reduce the performance of your cooling system.
Clean the Condensate Drain and Lines
As your cooling unit pulls the heat out of the air and transfers it to the refrigerant inside of the copper piping, excess moisture from the air is released. This drips off the evaporator coil and down into the drain pan. The drain pan has a drain that is connected to a condensate line that runs either outside of your home or to another drain. Over time, loose debris can clog up the drain and the condensate line. You should pour some vinegar down your condensate line to bust up any grime, and then you should test that it’s open by putting water down the line.
Clean the Vents and Registers
As air is forced in and out of the vents and registers of your home, dust and other airborne particles will adhere to their grates. Now is the perfect time to give those vents and registers a good scrubbing. It’s best to take them out of the wall, if they’re removable, to do your cleaning. This will ensure that you don’t get any excess water stuck in your ducting. Make sure that all of your vents and registers are adequately dry before reinstalling them, as excess moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth very quickly.
Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat
Another great summertime tip for ensuring optimal HVAC efficiency going into the hot summer months is installing a smart thermostat. This type of thermostat will monitor your regular thermostat settings and will make recommendations about the best settings to keep you comfortable and to allow you to cash in on energy savings. Additionally, a smart thermostat allows you to easily alter the settings on your thermostat anywhere your smartphone has internet connectivity. Are you leaving work early today? You can use your smartphone to turn down the temperature on your thermostat to ensure that your home is nice and comfortable when you walk in the door.
The spring season is the right time to schedule professional duct cleaning for your HVAC system. You’ll want to schedule this every few years to help remove dirt, grime, and other debris from your ducting. If you omit duct cleaning on a regular basis, your ducting will become fully or partially clogged with debris. This can drastically reduce the performance of your cooling system.
Inspect Exposed Ducting
Another great HVAC maintenance task to undertake is to inspect your exposed ducting. Look for any notable gaps or leaks in your system. These should be properly sealed with foil duct tape to ensure there’s no longer a leak. Make sure that you utilize appropriate tape for the job because the constant expansion and contraction of the metal ducting can easily rip your average tape and re-open the leak.
Give It a Test Run
The springtime is the perfect opportunity to give your cooling system a test run. You should set the thermostat below your ambient indoor temperature and ensure that it will turn on. Let it run through at least two cycles to ensure that your cooling system is working correctly. Make sure you check all your vents to verify that cold air is coming out of them. Additionally, listen and look at your cooling system while it’s running. Take note of any water that is leaking, unusual noises, or odd sounds. These issues should be addressed by a licensed HVAC professional before running your cooling system again.
Replace the Air Filter
It’s good practice to change the air filter on your HVAC system when you’re doing your spring maintenance. This helps to ensure a nice fresh filter for the upcoming summer season. You should also consider investing in a spare filter or two so that you can easily replace your HVAC filter whenever it becomes clogged. If you suffer from severe allergies in the summertime, you may want to consider investing in a HEPA air filter. This type of filter will remove 99.97% of airborne particles, which can result in fewer allergy flare-ups this summer season.
Change the Settings on Your Ceiling Fans
Using ceilings fans is a great way to help regulate the comfort that your family feels inside of your home throughout the year. In the springtime, you’ll want to change the settings on your ceiling fans to have your fan blades spin in a counterclockwise direction. This will force air down towards the ground, which can help to provide a breeze to make your family feel colder. Active ceiling fans spinning in a counterclockwise direction have been shown to provide the same amount of comfort as decreasing the room temperature by 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Reliable HVAC Services
Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating offers reliable HVAC services for the entire San Antonio, TX area. We also provide quality ductless, VRF, indoor air quality, air duct repair, and air duct cleaning services. Call us today to get the assistance that you need!