Even though in some parts of the country the air is still chilly, there’s no doubt spring is here. And with the spring comes a fresh start for you and your home.
Spring cleaning might not be the favorite two words to hear for some, but for others it’s a chance to get their home sparkling again. However, it’s not an easy task by any means and requires a lot of attention to details, a lot of heavy lifting and extensive cleaning.
The most important thing about spring cleaning is to scrub every inch of your home, every nook and cranny. And as there are often far too many nooks and crannies to clean, homeowners tend to forget or intentionally neglect a couple of crucial ones.
One such example is your air conditioning system. Keeping this system clean is arguably more important than dusting all of the surfaces in your home, because all of the dirt that accumulates in and around the air conditioner can do it serious harm.
This is why inspecting and cleaning your HVAC should be on the top in your list of priorities for this spring cleaning. Keeping this system clean will also help improve your air quality, comfort and possibly even take a large sum off of your energy bill.
Here are a couple of tips on what to focus on when it comes to your HVAC.
Replace the Air Filters
The purpose of the air filters is to keep dust, allergens, bacteria and pet hair at bay and keep your air clean. But over time, as they collect all of these harmful intruders they get clogged. As the clog restricts the air flow, your air conditioner uses much more effort to deliver cool air to your home. As its efficiency decreases, so will your energy bill skyrocket.
To make sure your air conditioner delivers clean, quality air unobstructed make sure your replace the air filters every couple of months or even more frequently if the manufacturer recommends so. If you have pets you likely have to replace the filter at least once a month.
Bonus Tip: Always have one spare air filter around when you go shopping for them, so you can quickly replace it if you notice it became clogged.
Clean the Drainage Holes
The air conditioner has to get rid of the water that forms in the system as it cools down your home. The drainage holes can be found at the back of your AC unit. If these holes get clogged they can prevent the AC from getting rid of the excess water. This in turn reduces the unit’s efficiency.
As a result, the air conditioner will also not be able to remove humidity from the air as efficiently as it should. Therefore, make sure to inspect and clean the drainage holes.
Bonus Tip: You can use a small object like a paperclip to clean any clogs in the drainage holes.
Clean the Outside Unit
Most homeowners tend to forget that an air conditioner system is made up of at least two units, the one inside and the one outside of our home. Cleaning the compressor unit situated outside is equally or even more important than cleaning the indoor unit.
Since the outdoor unit is exposed to the elements and the nature, it tends to get covered by debris like branches or leaves. Furthermore, plants growing near the outdoor unit can sometimes entangle it and prevent it from working optimally.
Make sure to clean all the debris in and around the compressor and cut any plants that are closer than 2 feet. Clean and straighten the fins, as they are flexible and bend easily. Be extra careful not to break them in the process.
Bonus Tip: You can use the brush add-on on your vacuum cleaner to get rid of any dirt on the fins. If you don’t have a fin comb to straighten them, you can use a simple table knife. Just make sure you straighten them gently back into their original position.
Schedule Routine AC Maintenance
The best way to ensure your air conditioner is in peak condition and to prevent any issues from causing serious troubles is to have a licensed technician inspect your AC once or twice a year. Spring is the ideal time to do this, as it helps prepare your air conditioner for the extensive use during the summer.
Experienced technicians can identify issues that might develop with the air conditioner system in the future, and by replacing the faulty parts ensure your AC unit lasts longer and serves you better. This will save you a lot on expensive repairs and emergency appointments.
Bonus Tip: Having your air conditioner inspected frequently will decrease the chances of a void warranty. If the manufacturer sees that your air conditioner was neglected and that any issues you are reporting came as a result of that, they may choose to void your warranty. You should have the cooling system inspected as frequently as the manufacturer suggested in the fine print of the warranty.