Spring HVAC Checklist: Preventative Care for Your Home
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Spring HVAC Checklist: Preventative Care for Your Home
Written by: Jackson Systems
We made it to springtime and with the wonderful change of weather comes a checklist of things to keep up, improve on, and provide preventative care for. Like anything else, your HVAC system requires a similar level of attention. If your system is dirty or running improperly it could mean you’re breathing unhealthy air. In severe situations, mold could be growing inside your system forcing you to breathe in harmful toxins.
Luckily there are simple, at-home solutions to HVAC maintenance that are great for improving the longevity of your system and the air health in your home. Let’s dive into some safe, common practices everyone should be doing around this time of year and tackle some common questions.
HVAC Cleaning for Spring
Inspect Your Outdoor HVAC Unit
Before beginning, double-check that your system is completely turned off and begin your checkup by removing the top of your outdoor AC unit’s grill. This is a great place to start when inspecting the unit for any damages, gunk buildup, or suspicious parts/debris. Look for any signs of leakage in the pipes and coils. If you see anything suspicious, call an HVAC professional immediately and do not continue to clean. You do not want to put yourself at risk of harm or potentially damaging the equipment further.
Cleaning the Inside of Your HVAC Unit
Now that you’ve assessed the inside of the unit, it’s safe to start some light cleaning. Use a shop vac to remove any buildup of dirt and debris that might be visible. A common garden hose with an attachment nozzle is useful for spraying dirt out of the fins of the outdoor condenser unit. These fins can be very delicate so be careful and choose a lighter wide nozzle instead of a jet stream on your hose attachment. Don’t hesitate to call your local professional if you feel out of your comfort zone with this process.
Clear Drain Piping
Your AC drain line needs to always remain open. Clogging in the exit pipe is a common thing to find during a spring inspection. Locate the drainpipe or hole along the outside of the home, it’s typically a skinny PVC tube that runs along the house. Use a water-safe shop vac and place a rag or tissue around the outside of the tube to create a vacuum with the hose for optimal suction. Run the shop vac for about a minute to ensure you’ve given the vacuum enough time to remove gunk that might be clogging the drain. If you want a simpler solution, an unwired coat hanger or metal rod can be an easy way to dislodge any blockages inside the tube that may be present.
Replace the Filters
This is becoming one of the easiest ways to stay on top of your home HVAC maintenance with very little work. It is recommended by most professionals that you replace your home air filters every month or at least every other month. Either way, checking and replacing air filters should be one of your top priorities in the spring to start off the season with healthier air inside the home.
If you find buying filters to be a burden, ask your service provider about FilterFetch. It’s a great way to save time and money on your home air filters. They take the hassle of remembering to change your filters away by allowing automatic shipment options based on your chosen timeframe.
Trim Back Anything Near the Outdoor Condenser
Another common issue come springtime is the overgrowth of trees, bushes, or other foliage around the home’s AC condenser/unit. This is an easy fix that your local contractor will thank you for in any future house calls you might need. Clear up the surrounding area and make sure nothing is hanging directly above the unit that might fall or cause a lot of brush to build up. Condensers see lots of wear and tear from outdoor weather, any chance you have to limit the exposure to mother nature, the better chance your equipment will last longer.
Turn on AC
Once you’ve finished everything on the spring checklist, it’s time to turn on your HVAC system to see how it’s running. Pay attention during the startup and listen for any odd noises or suspicious odors that might be coming from the vents or outside of the unit. Go into every room to make sure you’re getting proper airflow from all registers. If you notice one room remaining stuffy and full of still air, it might be time to call a professional to look over the system.
HVAC Cleaning Q&A
How Often Should HVAC Maintenance Be Done?
Typically, HVAC maintenance and upkeep should be part of a homeowner’s monthly routine. Keeping an eye on your system is always going to allow you to catch issues before they snowball into something more severe. If you stay on top of maintenance checklists like this one, you’ll notice less of a need for service calls in the long run. Again, if you don’t feel comfortable trying out these techniques or involving yourself in HVAC maintenance, don’t hesitate to call your local HVAC contractor to assist with any routine maintenance or repairs.
What is Done During HVAC Maintenance?
Contractors operate on similar checklists for routine maintenance calls. They’ll be looking for signs of wear and tear, offering advice like this to upkeep your home’s equipment, while getting more in-depth with inspections that require specific instruments and techniques. AC Tune-Ups usually include cleaning coils, drains, and elements while inspecting connections, and the functionality of the system. They’re a great way to ensure your system is ready for the busy season and running at its full capabilities.
How Much Does HVAC Repair Cost?
Repairing your equipment can get expensive quickly. To avoid costly repairs, stay on top of routine maintenance and expand the lifespan of your system. On average HVAC service, calls can be anywhere from 150 to 500 dollars. If equipment needs to be replaced, that cost can keep going up.
Find the right tools for your HVAC system and much more. Shop for all your maintenance needs right here at Jackson Systems & Supply