With the arrival of spring, now is the perfect time to get started on some deep spring cleaning. While it’s best to use this time to get rid of all the dust and dirt that has accumulated inside the house over the cold, winter months, it’s also a great opportunity to perform routine heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) spring maintenance.
HVAC spring maintenance promises a number of benefits. For instance, you get to enjoy cleaner air inside your home, and your HVAC system continues to run efficiently. An efficient system translates to not only lower energy bills but also saves you from the hassle of paying for costly repairs. In addition to that, it increases the service life of your HVAC equipment.
If you’re unsure of where to get started with HVAC maintenance, we at Bird Fuels are here to help.
Why HVAC Spring Maintenance is Important
Having your HVAC system tuned, cleaned, and inspected before you start to rely on it for regulating your home’s environment is great for protecting your investment. Regular HVAC maintenance also provides the following benefits:
1. Saves Money
As mentioned in the introduction, HVAC spring maintenance helps prevent costly breakdowns, increases the life of your system, and reduces energy bills.
Putting that into percentages, HVAC spring maintenance can reduce the chances of costly breakdowns by up to 95%. It can also ensure that your system runs as close to peak efficiency as possible. In turn, this can help save up to 30% on your utility bill.
Maintenance also increases the lifespan of your system by lowering the chances of you having to spend a large amount on installing another HVAC system. A well-maintained system will be unhindered by worn parts, dirt, or inadequate lubrication, allowing it to work at optimal efficiency. Meanwhile, a neglected system will experience wear and tear and cause undue stress on system components, ultimately leading to premature system failure.
Moreover, maintenance ensures your system stays covered under the manufacturer-provided warranty. Most HVAC manufacturers need proof of annual maintenance when you make a repair claim under warranty. Some components of the HVAC system are quite expensive, so spring maintenance can keep them covered under warranty and save you a significant amount of money in case things go wrong.
2. Improves Air Quality
It’s believed that airborne pollutants indoors might be two to five times higher than the level of pollutants outdoors. In some cases, it might even be more than 100 times. These numbers are particularly significant if someone in your family suffers from respiratory diseases like asthma.
You might not know it, but there are various substances floating around your home that you would rather not breathe. This includes common indoor allergens like ordinary household dust that contain many respiratory issues to mold, pollen, cigarette smoke, pet dander, and dust mites. A dirty or clogged air filter can’t trap these fine particulates, allowing them to enter the ductwork, cover the system components, reduce the airflow and contaminate the indoor air.
As a part of HVAC spring maintenance, experts will inspect and change the air filters and clean your HVAC system to reduce allergens and help make breathing easier for your family.
If you’re concerned about a musty odour in your home and fear that it could be because of mold, you should consider getting your air ducts cleaned professionally. All in all, HVAC spring maintenance can ensure that the air pumping through the vents is clean and filtered.
3. Improves Comfort
Whether you have mold issues or you find some rooms in your home are always colder or hotter than others an inadequately maintained HVAC system could result in ongoing temperature fluctuations and possible health concerns.
You rely on your HVAC system to keep you comfortable throughout the year. Maintaining your HVAC system just before spring starts can make sure it spreads air steadily and evenly. Taking steps like cleaning up the filter and ductwork can ensure that your home cools and heats as efficiently and evenly as possible.
Maintenance also minimizes the chances of your HVAC producing weird smells or noises that might disturb you.
4. Keeps Your Home Protected
You might have heard horror stories, such as the heat stopped working, which led to burst or frozen pipes, water damage, etc. In these situations, repairs can be quite costly, which is why maintenance can be a lifesaver.
HVAC maintenance also helps protect you and your family from carbon monoxide poisoning; an odourless and colourless gas that can be quite deadly, and even a small amount of carbon monoxide can be quite damaging to your health. Carbon monoxide leaks are usually due to a failed or cracked heat exchanger. An HVAC maintenance routine would involve a carbon monoxide monitor that can help detect potential hazards, thereby keeping your family safe.
5. Helps the Environment
A well-maintained HVAC system consumes less fuel compared to a neglected system, which is quite good for the planet, especially today. So, if you’re worried about having a large carbon footprint, you should consider HVAC maintenance.
6. Ensures Peace of Mind
Spring maintenance ensures you get continuous, reliable service. We all know how inconvenient mid-season breakdowns can be. In cases of high temperatures and extreme humidity, breakdowns can severely affect people with health issues. However, maintenance can help to detect and rectify issues before they get out of hand.
Find out more about how Bird Fuels can maintain your HVAC system here.
Tips for Maintaining Your HVAC System
Some routine spring HVAC maintenance tips that every homeowner should follow include:
1. Change the Air Filter
Before anything else, you must change your air filter. This is because of two main reasons; firstly, it is easy to do so, and secondly, it can greatly impact the health of your HVAC system. Dirty filters foster the growth of mold, restrict airflow, and force the HVAC system to work harder, thereby causing it to consume more energy.
Meanwhile, a clean air filter promises a number of benefits. For instance, it reduces energy usage and improves the home’s air quality by trapping airborne particles like dust and allergens. This is particularly important if you live somewhere with a high pollen count.
If your HVAC system is fitted with a disposable filter, then it’s best you replace it monthly. Meanwhile, in the case of a washable filter, make sure you wash it at least once a month. Generally, it’s better to change the filter every one to three months to keep things working smoothly.
2. Upgrade the Filter
It’s always a good idea to take steps beyond just replacing the filter. For this, consider upgrading the filter too. A new pleated, high-efficiency filter can help improve system performance and air quality. These filters are an advanced version of standard filters and have an electrostatic charge to attract bacteria and dust and keep them trapped inside the filter.
3. Check the Ductwork
The ductwork is another important part of the HVAC system. Complete a thorough check and look out for sealed leaky joints or holes. Also, take care of any cracks you find in the duct system.
4. Clear Up the Drainage Hole
Air conditioners usually have a drainage hole present at the base of the cabinet. For your HVAC system to work efficiently, the drainage hole must be clear; otherwise, it can become clogged and not let your unit drain. This puts increased stress on the unit, thereby lowering its efficiency. Clogs can also take place at the P-trap, which isn’t too far from the hole, so make sure you clear that, too.
5. Keep Doors and Windows Closed
If someone in your house suffers from allergies or asthma, it’s better if you keep your doors and windows closed to prevent allergens from entering your house. In summer, this is essential because it keeps not only allergens but humid and hot air out, too. If there is too much humid air inside, it will put a strain on your HVAC system, which reduces its efficiency and increases its costs.
6. Remove Obstacles and Obstructions Present on the Outside
It’s important that you check on the outdoor unit regularly since it can often be subjected to many attacks from the elements. Regularly check your system to remove debris or loose vegetation and make sure that the vegetation surrounding your unit doesn’t grow more than two feet. This helps your air conditioner pull in the air needed to control your home’s temperature.
7. Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
If you still don’t have a programmable thermostat, it’s time that you think of investing in one. It will not only help you get better control of the temperature, but it will also lower the energy bills since it allows you to set the temperature so that it runs less when your home is empty.
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, there’s no better time than spring to get one installed. And if you already have one, you should update your unit’s schedule and adjust the settings. Also, check that all the vents are open.
8. Test the Air Conditioner
Before you are subjected to the hot weather, it’s best to switch on your system and run it for a while. First, set the thermostat so that it is slightly lower than the indoor temperature. Then, wait until the HVAC system switches on and give it time to start doing its job. Now, make sure that only cool air is coming out of all the vents throughout the house. Also, keep an ear out for any strange noises like clicking while the unit is working.
Testing the air conditioner beforehand will save you from inconvenient surprises. It can also help you figure out any potential problems with your unit, and it will give you enough time to get a repair before it gets unbearably hot.
9. Let Air In and Out
Spring is the perfect time to enjoy the fresh air. You can also improve the air quality in your house by turning off the HVAC system for roughly a few weeks. When the temperature is at its best, that is when you don’t need cooling or heating, open up the windows. To further increase circulation and airflow, use fans in the house. Plus, letting in the sunshine and fresh air is good for your health, too.
10. Look for Air Leaks
Even if you have a well-maintained HVAC system, if your house is not well-sealed, your unit will struggle to cool it. While you are spring cleaning, look out for places where air can possibly leak out. Make sure you check door jambs, the weather stripping present around the windows, and the seals surrounding the doors.
If you come across warped, cracked, or detaching weather stripping or seals, you should replace them. Making sure that your house is tightly sealed will eliminate irregular temperatures across the house. Plus, it will put less load on your HVAC system and allow it to work more efficiently and easily in both winters and summers.
Or, Upgrade Your System Entirely
Spring is the best time to install a brand new air conditioning unit. Replacing an old system with a fresh and efficient unit will help save money in cooling and heating bills in the long run. It’s better to do this in the spring because, in summer, your house may well become unbearable and uncomfortable without an AC. Plus, contractors are usually quite busy during summers, so you’ll have to wait for a few weeks to get your unit installed.
Book your HVAC system upgrade with Bird Fuels today.
Schedule an Appointment With Bird Fuels
Once you’ve made your way through the checklist listed above, it’s time you get in touch with the experts, like the team at Bird Fuels. Even if you regularly clean and change air filters, adjust the programmable thermostat and keep the outside unit clean, it’s always good to get a professional service for your HVAC system. An expert will take a detailed look at your system, including checking the pressure of the refrigerant, testing the electrical amp draw, and double-checking the connections. They will also be able to point out potential issues that you might come across in the next few months.
Spring cleaning is not just cleaning your house and your backyard; it’s also about making sure your HVAC system is in top-notch condition. To schedule routine HVAC spring maintenance, get in touch with us today.