We know it’s still officially Winter, but the first official day of Spring is only a few weeks away. And with the mild temperatures we’ve had this heating season, we can only guess that our thermometers are going to sizzle this Summer.
We believe the best time to prepare your Air Conditioner for the blistering heat of the cooling season is well before you need it, especially if you want to keep your family cool and comfortable all Summer long.
As you probably know, proper maintenance of your HVAC system can help keep it running at peak capacity; at its highest efficiency level; help you save the most on your energy bills; and allow you to avoid the need (and cost) for emergency repairs.
Spring AC Checklist
Run through this quick checklist to ensure your home’s air conditioning equipment is running at its best for the entire cooling season.
Replace HVAC Air Filters
This is one of the most cost-effective ways to maintain your home’s heating and cooling system. For just a few dollars per month, you can keep your system running at peak efficiency and maintain the quality of indoor air in your system.
When the air filters get clogged with dust and dirt (and they will), your HVAC system must work much harder to keep the air circulating and the temperature in your home comfortable. Another result is higher energy bills, because the system has to work that much harder.
If you’re not sure how to replace your air filters, or what size or MERV rating, contact a professional HVAC technician to show you how. We can demonstrate during a tune-up or routine maintenance session.
Remove Outdoor AC Unit Covers
If you cover your outdoor AC compressor during the Winter months, it’s time to remove it and pack it away for the season. While we don’t generally recommend using a cover, if you do, it’s a must to remove it. Your home’s AC system can’t breathe and move air properly with a cover suffocating it!
Clean Around the Outdoor AC Unit
Over the course of a year, your system can accumulate dirt, dust, and organic debris around this outside unit. Be sure to trim back any plant matter (especially grass, shrubs and trees), remove leaves and any other tree debris. The unit should have a clear path of air into and out of the area. Check to be sure there are not insects or small animals that have made a next in or near your AC unit. Spray off the exterior with a garden hose. Don’t use too much force, you can damage the tiny fins on the outside of the cooling unit. You just want to be sure there are no blockages on the grille. Perform a cursory check for the wires and tubing that run between your outside unit and the building, and make note of any missing or cracked insulation. We recommend you not try to repair this yourself, just make a note to show the technician when you have maintenance performed.
Any cleaning inside your unit should be performed by a trained AC technician. In addition, we have a special solution that we can spray on the system to remove any built-up dirt and debris.
Clean All Interior Registers and Air Vents
We all know that HVAC filters can become clogged with dirt and debris. But the air has to travel from within the house through a return air vent, pass the air filter, get heated or cooled, then blow back out into the house. When any of these pathways are clogged or blocked, the system can get bogged down and run in a less than efficient fashion. As a homeowner, you can vacuum around the ductwork, remove the grates and vacuum around the edges and inside. Any cleanup beyond that will require a professional cleaning, which we recommend annually to keep your system running at peak performance levels.
Spring is a great time to schedule a professional duct cleaning to improve your HVAC system’s airflow and the home’s indoor air quality.
Test the Thermostat (Possibly Upgrade)
The thermostat’s job is a simple one: measure the indoor temperature of your home, then send a signal to the furnace or AC to adjust the temperature to the desired level. Turns out that’s a pretty important job, and if the thermostat fails, the system can’t really function. For these reasons, we recommend testing the thermostat to be sure it’s working properly, but you’ll have to wait until the outside temperature is warm enough. Our HVAC service technicians can electronically and thoroughly test the thermostat to ensure it’s working properly during any routine maintenance or tune-ups, regardless of outside temperature.
Something to consider: in this age of “internet of things,” is to upgrade to a programmable WiFi thermostat. There are simple programmable models that work on a simple schedule, but we’re talking about a new generation of control. Many of the popular brands include a smartphone app that allows you to control your home temperature remotely, because they connect to your home’s WiFi and internet connection. You can also create multiple schedules or profiles to set the temperature automatically. Some of them incorporate artificial intelligence and will pre-program temperature adjustments based on your family’s schedule and habits.
To find out more about programmable thermostats offered by Dor-Mar, call our friendly customer service team or ask your service technician to explain options during your Spring maintenance session.
Schedule Your HVAC System Tune-Up and Checkout
While you can perform many of the items on this checklist yourself, there is no substitute for a trained HVAC expert performing a system tune-up and checkout prior to the arrival of the cooling season. The best time to get this work done is before you need it! Unfortunately, as the temperatures rise, so do prices of most AC service providers (not Dor-Mar). And availability tends to drop sharply as everyone in the industry gets very busy servicing the people who DIDN’T have their Spring maintenance performed.
If you wait until the high temperatures arrive, you risk working your system too hard before it’s been serviced. A Dor-Mar technician will come to your home at your convenience and perform our 25-point service check, that includes checking the refrigerant levels, adjusting and lubricating motors and other moving parts, checking electrical and other components, and cleaning the equipment both inside and out.
Trying to run your system without proper preparation and maintenance is like starting baseball season without training camp: the players (parts) are more likely to get injured if not properly prepped for the season.
How We Can Help
Our team offers a wide array of routine maintenance and emergency services for your heating and cooling system, allowing your family to breathe fresh, safe, clean air and be comfortable year-round. We also offer a number of add-ons to your HVAC equipment that can improve your home’s IAQ, such as electrostatic air filters, whole-house humidifiers, duct cleaning, and more.
Schedule an appointment for HVAC system troubleshooting or maintenance with us today by using our online contact form, or call one of our seven neighborhood offices listed below. We pride ourselves on our customer-focused service, and our reviews show it.
Dor-Mar…Your Climate Hero!