Springtime HVAC Preparation Tips
As the warm weather starts to break through the winter chill, it’s time to start undertaking some of those seasonal household maintenance tasks. One of these is preparing your HVAC system for its long summer run ahead.
Change Your Air Filter
Your HVAC system has an air filter that works to filter out harmful airborne particles. As the filter reaches the end of its useful lifespan, it will be clogged full of debris. The spring is the perfect time to change out your used air filter and replace it with a fresh one. If persons in your household suffer from bad allergies, you may want to consider investing in a HEPA air filter that can remove more debris than your standard air filter does.
Assess All Exposed Ducting
While you probably don’t have access to all of the ducting throughout your home, there are likely to be some sections running out of your basement that you can physically see. Take a few moments and look over these sections of your ducting. You want to pay particular attention to any small breaches and holes. They should be treated with proper ducting tape to get rid of the exposed gaps and leaks. Make sure that you utilize foil ducting tape and not regular duct tape, as foil tape is meant to expand and contract with the temperature of the ducting.
Inspect Your Condensate Drain Line
As your air conditioning system is transferring heat from the air inside of your home to the outdoors, it naturally removes excess humidity. This moisture drips off the coils, into the drain pan, and into the condensate drain line. This line is typically drained to the outdoors via another plumbing fixture. You should take a few minutes to pour some water down your condensate drain line to ensure that it flows freely. If not, you’ll want to unclog any debris that can be blocking your drain line. Forgetting to do this could unintentionally allow water to back up inside your home and create damage.
Replace Damaged Pipe Insulation
The piping that runs from the outdoor condenser unit inside to your air handler has insulation. This is typically a foam piece that wraps around the pipe. The insulation helps to keep the piping at an adequate temperature while the air within moves from inside to outside and vice versa. Any loss in insulation can make your HVAC system work harder to control your indoor air temperature. Take a moment to inspect all of your pipe insulation and replace any sections that are missing or have become damaged.
Schedule a Professional Tune-Up
Before the summer rush, it’s time to schedule your annual AC tune-up with your chosen HVAC professionals. While you may be tempted to do HVAC maintenance on your own, it’s vital that you have a professional technician service your equipment for your system warranty to remain active. A professional has the knowledge, equipment, and expertise to ensure that your unit is working efficiently and prepared to take on the upcoming summertime heat.
Consider Professional Duct Cleaning
You should have a professional clean your ducting every two to three years during the spring. Over time, as air is pulled into your ventilation system, it can drop airborne particles. These particles can cling together and gradually build up. Not only does this debris partially obstruct the flow of air throughout your ducting, but it can also drastically reduce the quality of your indoor air. A duct cleaning professional can utilize specialized cleaning equipment to clear out excess debris inside your ducts.
Clear Away Foliage
Once the wintertime snow has cleared out, it’s time to clear the area around your outdoor condenser unit. You should be clearing away any foliage that has grown up around the unit and removing any debris that is stuck in the grates. You want to have a clear three-foot radius surrounding your entire condenser unit to ensure that air can flow freely in and out of it.
Evaluate Your Condenser Unit
During your springtime HVAC maintenance, you should evaluate the state of your outdoor condenser unit. Take the cover off and remove any debris that is stuck on the inside of it. Check over all of the fins to ensure that they’re straight. If any of the fins are bent, you’ll want to straighten them back out so that they can properly disperse heat. Be sure to assess the refrigerant lines from the condenser unit into your home. Any notable dents or damage should be evaluated by a licensed HVAC professional. The refrigerant that runs through these lines can be dangerous when exposed.
Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat
If you’re still running your HVAC system on a dial thermostat or an outdated programmable one, it’s time to upgrade to a new smart thermostat. These thermostat options allow you to easily cash in on energy savings by better optimizing your energy usage. Smart thermostats will monitor your thermostat settings and make suggestions over time to help reduce your energy usage. You can even control these thermostats via your smartphone, so you can change your thermostat settings whenever your plans change.
Check Your Vents
You should take a few moments and locate all of the supply and return vents throughout your home. Be sure to remove any objects that block the free flow of air around the vent. You want air to be able to shoot out across the room and not be pushed into any solid object like a stand or a couch. Just having one of your vents partially blocked by an object can mess with the entire pressure of your ventilation system and make it more difficult for treated air to be delivered throughout the rooms of your home.
Switch Your Ceiling Fan Direction
As you perform the above springtime HVAC maintenance, it’s the perfect time to remember to switch the direction of your fan blades. During the wintertime, your fan blades should be set to spin clockwise. This forces the air toward the ceiling, out toward the walls, and down to the floor to keep you feeling warm. During the summertime, you want the fan blades to turn in a counterclockwise direction. This forces air down onto you and helps to keep your family feeling cooler than they would just sitting in an air-conditioned room without a ceiling fan.
Conduct a Test Run of Your AC System
You never want to wait until you need your air conditioning system to try it for the first time of the year. Rather, you should give your air conditioning system a test run to ensure that everything is working appropriately. Walk around to each supply vent and ensure that cold air is blowing out of it. Make sure that your system goes through a whole cycle before it shuts off.
Outstanding HVAC Services
Brennan Heating & Air Conditioning provides excellent cooling and heating services for the entire Seattle, WA area. That includes the full range of installation, maintenance, and repair. We also offer quality water heater, electrical, indoor air quality, and air duct cleaning services. Call us today to schedule your next service appointment.