A Spring Maintenance Checklist For Your Heating And Cooling System

Construction & Contractors Articles

When spring rolls around, most people create some type of spring cleaning routine to ensure their homes start off the warm season looking and feeling fresh and clean. One item that's rarely addressed during spring cleaning is the home's heating and cooling system. Not only does the cleanliness of your HVAC system affect the overall cleanliness of your home, but spring is also a good time to make sure these systems are in good repair. This way, you don't have to worry about your air conditioner quitting on the hottest day of the year, or having to call your HVAC specialist in the fall when you're busy making back-to-school plans and preparing for the holidays.

"Spring cleaning" for your HVAC system is not as complex as you might think. If you minimize distractions and work efficiently, you can probably complete this checklist of four items in a single day.

Task #1: Have your ducts cleaned.

Your heating system has been running all winter, sucking in contaminants like mold spores, dust and cat dander. The perfect time to have your ducts cleaned is a few weeks after you've turned the heat off, since at this point, these particles have had time to settle and can be more thoroughly removed. Having your ducts cleaned will ensure this dust does not end up all over your freshly cleaned home once you turn your air conditioning on for the summer. It will also help alleviate allergy symptoms and keep your furnace running more efficiently.

Task #2: Change your filters.

Sometimes HVAC specialists will replace your furnace filter when they come to clean your ducts. Other times, they will assume you'll do this yourself. Experts recommend changing your furnace filters every 2 months, but many homeowners forget to change their filters, especially at the end of the heating season.

Take your current filter with you to the hardware store to ensure you purchase the correct size. Consider buying a whole year's worth of filters all at once, so you're more likely to change them on schedule.

Task #3: Clean your air conditioner condenser.

A dirty air conditioner condenser is more prone to malfunction and requires more energy to run than a clean one. While you can hire someone to clean your condenser, it's a pretty easy task to tackle yourself. Turn the power off to the unit, and then vacuum the fins to remove dust and fine particles. Next, remove the fan to access the interior of the condenser. Vacuum out the interior as thoroughly as possible, using the wand attachment for your vacuum. While you have the unit open, look for the lubrication points on the motor and apply several drops of electric motor oil to each one.

When you're done vacuuming your condenser, place the fan back on, and tighten the screws. Turn the power back on, and follow your manufacturer's instructions to restart the unit. Some condensers must be left in "off" mode for 24 hours before you can turn them back on again.

Task #4: Check your carbon monoxide detector.

Although your carbon monoxide detector is not technically part of your HVAC system, it is a necessary safety component. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas than can build up in your home if there is a gas leak or a flaw in the ventilation of your heating system. Take this opportunity to change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector. Also, look on the back of the detector for its replacement age. If your unit is past its replacement age, purchase a new one.

Spring is a time of renewal and new beginnings. Add these four tasks to your spring cleaning and maintenance checklist, and your HVAC system will be in great shape as summer approaches. A little preventative maintenance from a company like Christian Brothers Plumbing Repipe/Broken Water Pipe Service goes a long way towards improving the efficiency of the system and preventing breakdowns.

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