Spring is finally here. That means warm weather, blooming flowers and longer days. It also means your home’s HVAC system is probably a mess from the long cold winter. Before you start cleaning out closets and hunting dust bunnies under the bed, begin your spring cleaning with a good look at your heating and air conditioning units, and a few other things.
Your HVAC system is what keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. So it makes sense to keep it maintained and in good working order. Having the air conditioning fail on the hottest day of the year is not fun. There are a few things you can do each spring to minimize this risk.
- Replace your furnace and air conditioner filters: This should be done every month or every few months (talk to your HVAC service company and see what they recommend). The filters keep the air that moves through your house free from dust and allergens. The filters also make a big difference in how efficient your furnace and AC unit run. A dirty filter will not only let dust get blown throughout your house (resulting in all those dust bunnies under your bed), but it can also damage the unit.
The type of filters you need largely depend on your specific HVAC system, what the manufacturer recommends and personal preference. The most common filters are foam and fiberglass. The foam filter is usually reusable (needs to be washed), whereas the fiberglass filters are disposable. There are other types of filters that can catch smaller particles or even ones treated with an antimicrobial chemical.
- Clean other areas of the house: Once your HVAC filter situation is squared away, you can move on to other parts of the house. One cleaning area often overlooked is the bathroom fan. Unlike furnaces and AC units, which run seasonally, these fans work all year to keep your bathroom smelling good and suck away the steam during your hot showers. Keeping the fan clean will increase airflow, making it run more efficiently and keeping the fan motor clean.
- Get your house’s ductwork cleaned: This task is usually left to a professional. The ducts in your house are like pipes for air. If they get dirty, the air moving through them is going to eventually end up in the living areas of your home.One task you can do yourself is to remove the wall (or ceiling vents) and give those a good cleaning. Vacuuming out the area behind the vent wouldn’t hurt either.
- Have you inspected the dehumidifier? Inspect your home’s dehumidifier and ensure it’s in good working order before the humidity of the summer kicks in. All you need to do is remove the casing and clean out as much of the inside as you can. Also, make sure it’s draining properly by checking any hose lines. Ensure they’re tightly secured and there are no cracks or holes in the hose.
- Maintenance for your warning systems: While technically not part of the HVAC system, it’s very important to replace your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide batteries. This can literally save your life. After replacing the batteries, test each unit so you know each one works properly. Every home should have a carbon monoxide detector in the area where your furnace and AC unit are located. Get in the habit of changing the batteries on the first day of spring and first day of fall.
These spring cleaning tips will help keep your home running smoothly. But as always, contact a professional for regular maintenance. Give us a call and we can come give your HVAC system a thorough inspection and make recommendations based one what we find. We can also show you how to do the basics, like change the filters.