9 Spring Cleaning Tips for your HVAC System
Homeowner Spring Cleaning Tips for your HVAC System
We can’t wait for spring!! What does a groundhog know about the weather anyway? Warmer temperatures, Little League baseball, grilling outdoors, and entertaining again are just around the corner. It also means that the air conditioning season will start soon.
Having a central system that both heats and cools your home is an excellent modern option. In Texas, it might as well be called the HVAC System, since we run the air conditioner twice as long as the furnace. While you’re considering the benefits of air conditioning in south Texas, let’s also consider some things you can do to keep the system working all summer long.
- Use the shade to your advantage. You might consider yourself directionally challenged, but figuring out the south face of your home is easy—it gets the full sun all summer long. Optimally, you will have a tree or two planted on the southern exposure, but if not, make sure the window treatments on the southside block the solar energy from entering the home. The increase in temperature from solar energy is 100 F or more; reduce the runtime of your HVAC System by closing the drapes or blinds.
- Change the air filter. A clogged air filter will reduce the airflow through the evaporator (cooling) chamber. While the AC is working hard, insufficient air is circulating due to a clogged air filter. Change the filter about every three months.
- Weatherize is always a plus. This includes sealing gaps around windows, doors, and pipe/wire penetrations to keep the summer heat from making its way inside. Also, ensure the attic insulation is at least 12” deep.
- Update your thermostat. The thermostat is the wall-mounted switch that senses when the room is getting too warm. If your thermostat is analog, consider replacing it with a new smart thermostat. These switches are programmable and can be accessed with a cellphone app. A cooling schedule might raise the temperature during the heat of the day while everyone is away and cool the house down 30 minutes before the family returns. This saves energy, money, and wear and tear on the HVAC System. Avoid extreme temperature settings—either too high or too low.
- Keep the condenser clean. The condenser is the outdoor unit for the air conditioner. Its function is to release the heat that the system collects from the inside; it is vitally important that air flows through the condenser to cool the coils. Make sure that shrubs and tall grass are trimmed at least 2 feet around every surface of your a/c unit. Use a garden hose to gently wash away the dust that collects between the fins and grass clippings that cling to the walls.
- Uncover any registers. It is not uncommon for furniture, accessories, or drapes to be rearranged to cover supply vents or return air registers. Do a check to make sure all registers are uncovered for your home to have adequate air circulation.
- Use fans to help circulation. Ceiling fans should turn in a counterclockwise rotation during the summer to push the air down and circulate cold air. Also, your thermostat has an ON setting for the fan. Keeping the fan switched to ON all the time uses less energy than increased cooling cycles.
- Maintain your system regularly. Schedule a visit by an HVAC professional to clean, inspect, and service your HVAC System annually. This is a solid plan to keep your air conditioner functioning efficiently for a long time.
- Prepare for replacement. The average serviceable period for an air conditioner ranges between 15 and 20 years. Maintenance and timely repairs can extend function, but it will need to be replaced eventually. Determine a timeline and sock away some money to ease the capital expense that is looming.
Have Questions about HVAC System Spring Cleaning?
Let us help with your HVAC System Spring Cleaning. Call Doctor Cool & Professor Heat today at 281-338-8751 or email Doctor Cool and let our professional Residential HVAC Replacement technicians assist with all of your HVAC System Spring Cleaning questions.