As you get started on your spring cleaning list this year, your HVAC might seem like a low priority compared to all of the dusting, vacuuming, and decluttering. But keeping your HVAC clean and well-maintained improves your indoor air quality and can lengthen the lifespan of your unit.
At Freedom Air and Heat, we always encourage our customers to maintain their HVAC units throughout the year. Scheduling annual service with a licensed HVAC technician ensures the unit continues to operate efficiently. Here are some ways you can integrate HVAC care into your spring cleaning routine.
While you’re outside working on pulling up weeds, planting spring tulips, or repainting your siding, check on your HVAC unit too.
- Remove any cold weather covers you might have placed over your unit during the winter. While these can be tremendously helpful for keeping your unit protected from harsh weather conditions or stray leaves, they limit airflow and heat transfer. If you start up your unit to cool your home as the temperatures heat up again without removing the cover first, it can be dangerous for your HVAC.
- Clear away leaves, grass, dirt, and other outdoor debris from the coils and area surrounding your unit. If pollen and dust have collected on the coils, you can easily wash them away with a hose. Just be careful not to spray anywhere near electrical panels.
- Visually inspect your unit and check for any signs of leaks or damage. If you do see some problems with your HVAC, go ahead and call a trusted technician at Freedom Air.
- Make sure the insulation around the refrigerant pipes running to and from your outdoor HVAC unit is still in excellent condition. If the insulation around these pipes becomes damaged, it can reduce cooling ability or force your HVAC to consume more energy to make up for the lack of proper insulation.
Inside your home, you can use routine HVAC maintenance tactics combined with thorough cleaning to improve your indoor air quality for the spring (and reduce symptoms of spring allergies while you’re at it).
- Replace your filters. Filters are supposed to be replaced once every three months, or sometimes as often as once per month in households with lots of pet hair. Replacing your filters is the number one way to help your HVAC operate more efficiently and make sure it removes dust, pollen, and other allergens from the air. When you purchase new filters, pay attention to the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) Rating. The MERV rating on a scale from 1-16 indicates how efficient the filter is at trapping airborne particles. The higher the MERV rating, the better.
- Check the coil condensate drain on your indoor air handler. It is important to make sure condensation dripping from the coils has an exit route so that it doesn’t collect inside your home.
- Clean out your vents and grilles so that as fresh cold air starts to flow through them again, it won’t bring dust and other airborne allergens along for the ride.
- Adjust or reprogram your thermostat to stay at ideal temperatures throughout the day. Remember to adjust the settings for energy saving when no one is at home.
- To help stop allergens at the source so that they won’t flow through your HVAC and into your air, remove dust, dust mites, and pollen from your home as much as possible. Vacuum sofas, chairs, and cushions along with your floors. Wash all your bedding. Wipe down all surfaces where dust likes to collect.
After you have finished up spring cleaning with your HVAC, it’s always a good idea to schedule an annual maintenance check for your unit. If you need heating or cooling maintenance, repair, or installation, contact Freedom Air and Heat at 321-631-6886.