Spring Cleaning: HVAC Maintenance
Tips from a Greenwood HVAC expert on keeping your system running smoothly all year long
Spring has sprung! Most of us are beginning to think about spring cleaning. It’s a part of our cultural DNA to welcome the warmer weather with this annual ritual. The entire house will get a cleaning top to bottom. We’ll change the batteries in smoke detectors, plant new flower beds, and wash the windows.
The list of what we may do around the home to prepare for warm weather can be endless. Some are cosmetic, others annual maintenance. Make sure to include a spring professional check-up of your HVAC system on the list. After sitting idle for months, scheduling a maintenance now can save you long waits, expensive service calls during peak air conditioning weather, and extend the life of your system.
Preventive maintenance allows your HVAC technician to find any potential problems before they become major repairs. Although it could be tempting to save on the cost of an appointment, if you neglect a spring checkup, your air conditioner may not cool your home as well as it could. You could end up paying for it down the road. There are a few easy steps you can do yourself, but for peak performance, it is best to make an appointment with a licensed heating and air conditioning contractor.
Below are a few of the tuning points a HVAC professional will check.
What can You Expect from the HVAC Technician?
• An overall visual inspection for any signals of an issue with your HVAC system. Warning signs could be rust, corrosion, standing water, moisture stains on equipment or signs of overheating.
• Check refrigerant levels are proper and there are no leaks: low levels can burn out compressor, which is costly; replacing or filling the sealed refrigeration system should only be done by a professional.
• Inspect thermostat control for proper operation: this includes calibrating the thermostat so your air conditioning system isn’t working overtime.
• Inspect filters, and change or clean as needed: many consumers don’t realize you need to or how important it is to change the filter on a HVAC system. The 1-inch filter should be changed on a regular basis (every month). A dirty filter can cause your coil to freeze up and shut down your cooling system.
• Check all electrical connections, components and controls: testing contacts, capacitors, switches, circuit boards, etc.
• Check all values for leaks or rusting.
• Oil motors as needed.
• Clean evaporator and condenser coils.
• Check insulation form on coolant tubes: replace frayed or missing insulation on coolant lines leading into the home if needed.
• Clean condenser unit: clear away debris on or around base of unit, wipe down fan blades, tighten nuts that may have loosened with last year’s use, and clear the drain of debris.
• Check air fuel mixture, where appropriate.
What can You do in the Spring and Throughout Warmer Months?
• Before turning on air conditioning unit, be sure the condensing unit (located outside) is not covered up. Some people might cover their condenser during the winter to protect it from the elements. These units require no protection since they are designed for outdoor installation.
• Be sure all access panels are secure, with all the screws in place.
• In the spring, clear obvious obstructions such as covers, outdoor furniture that may have been stacked on the unit, leaves, and overgrowth from around the exterior of the unit. Throughout the season, remove anything that accumulates or grows over the unit to ensure proper air flow. The unit needs to draw air into the system in order to have something to cool and circulate inside, but the process is hindered if it cannot pull in enough outside air.
• Keep all larger landscaping vegetation (like bushes and shrubs) at least 3 feet away from the condenser to allow proper air flow to the unit.
• After checking outside, look around inside the house to ensure all vents and registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators have not been blocked by furniture, rugs or clutter over the winter. Remember to open the vent if were closed or turned off for the winter! If they are blocked the system has to work harder, placing a strain on the system.
• Wipe off the vent and return air duct grills for pet hair or dust that may accumulate on the grills. Most grills easily pop or screw off. You may also want to vacuum just inside the vent. With pets and children, you can never know what may have fallen into a vent. You may want to consider scheduling an appointment to have the entire air duct system cleaned. Having the ducts thoroughly cleaned in the spring will also help to eliminate any stuffy or musty smell after the winter.
• Clean or replace filters: a clogged filter restricts air flow and recirculates dust back into your living space. When the technician is doing routine maintenance ask what filters are best for your system and how you could change the filters once a month yourself!
• Check that the thermostat is set to cooling mode. Setting the dial below room temperature will not activate the air conditioning if it is set to off or in heat mode.
Like most anything you own, regular maintenance is far less costly than repairs or even replacement later. Keep your HVAC system running smoothly and it will serve you well for this season and many others.
Need HVAC repair and maintenance in Greenwood, IN?
Contact the HVAC experts at Patriot Heating and Air Conditioning today! Our customers love us and so will you!