Scheduling Spring HVAC Maintenance
Things you can do in advance
Should I Schedule Spring HVAC Maintenance?
When spring rolls around we hear tons about spring cleaning – cleaning out the winter gunk to get ready for the summer sunshine. But, how does this apply to your air conditioner or heat pump? Did you know that getting your air conditioner or heat pump ready for summer with preventative maintenance is in fact one of the most important things you can do to ensure comfort throughout the hotter summer months? An inefficient cooling system can be a money pit when temperatures soar, and a broken air conditioner in the middle of July can leave your family uncomfortable for more than a few days.
Things you can do
Keep your condenser clean and clear
Debris. Build up. Plants. They can all result in reduced efficiency when they choke off airflow to your condenser (the exterior portion of your air conditioner or heat pump). A quick way to start off HVAC maintenance season right is to clear away any debris from this critical component – making sure plants are a safe distance away. A way to avoid condenser buildup is through the use of a cover during the off season. But, a word of caution. If you are using a cover, make sure you remember to remove it before kicking the air conditioner on. Condenser covers can block airflow and reduce efficiency if they remain on your unit.
Keep up with regular filter changes
Your furnace filter acts as a buffer between the air you breathe and any potential contaminants. Making sure it is clean is important not just in the spring, but during each season. Some homes may only need two changes (during the fall and winter) while other homes may need filter changes as frequently as once per month. It all depends on your particular home. Make sure you are regularly checking your furnace filter.
Tip: If you can’t find your furnace filter, it may actually be located inside your furnace or air handler. If this is the case stop and check with a contractor.
Make sure power is being supplied
Both your condenser and air distribution component (either an air handler or furnace) need power in order to work. This may seem ridiculous, but a switch or fuse may have blown and you wouldn’t even know it. If your air conditioner won’t turn on, this is the first good place to look. If it doesn’t seem like this is the issue, make sure you turn off your equipment immediately and call a professional.
Anything beyond cleaning your condenser, regularly checking your furnace filter and making sure the unit is turned on (when you are ready for cooling) should be handled by a professional contractor. Heating and cooling equipment is tricky and requires a level of expertise to properly maintain and repair – DIY HVAC maintenance is STRONGLY discouraged.
Schedule preventative maintenance with an HVAC contractor
Nobody is going to be able to service your air conditioner like a licensed heating and air conditioning contractor. Although it could be tempting to save on the cost of an appointment, you could end up paying for it down the road.
When a contractor comes to your home to check out your HVAC system, these are some of the things they look at:
- They inspect the indoor evaporator coil for cleanliness. If the coil is dirty, they will clean it.
- They will check your indoor furnace or air handler to make sure it is clean and functioning properly.
- They will check all electrical connections for proper function.
- They will check your unit’s refrigerant levels – if levels are low, they can check for any leaks that could cause potential problems.
- They will check the operation of the outdoor fan motor and compressor (the compressor is the most important component in your air conditioner or heat pump).
If a contractor finds an issue with your unit they will be able to address the problem BEFORE peak cooling season. This way you can avoid an emergency service call during peak cooling season.