Don’t get caught in this year’s summer heat with a faulty or broken HVAC system. Spring is the season to make sure your system is ready to go in summer. As you complete your home’s spring cleaning and maintenance checklist, add these 10 items to ensure you stay cool during the hot weather.

1. Visually Inspect the Outside Unit

When planning your lawn and landscaping for spring, stop by and check out your HVAC’s outside unit. You should see at least two feet of clear space on all sides. Rake away yard debris and remove any tiny sprouting plants.

If your unit is indoors, look for clothing, toys, and other items in the danger zone. Indoors or outdoors, surrounding clutter will keep your HVAC from running at maximum capacity.

2. Clean the Vents

Your HVAC vents are traps for dust, dirt, and debris. Make cleaning them part of your spring-cleaning routine. Keeping vents clean will improve your indoor air quality and ensure adequate airflow for increased efficiency. Moreover, regularly cleaning your vents helps remove moisture and deter the growth of mold.

3. Clean the Air Ducts

Your air ducts act as pipes to carry air into every room from your HVAC. Dust, pet dander, and other air pollutants tend to collect in them. Too much buildup and your system won’t be able to perform at maximum capacity. You can’t see inside your air ducts, so watch for the following signs to know they’re dirty.

  • Excess dust on the grates
  • A spike in energy bills
  • Worsened allergies
  • A musty smell when running
  • Spots of mold on the grate or around the house

4. Check the Air Filter

Dirty air filters restrict airflow and cause your system to work harder. That means higher energy bills. You should change your filter every one to three months. Consider replacing your filter this spring before the hot weather hits with one of the new high-energy pleated models. They feature an electrostatic charge that helps trap dust and bacteria.

5. Check the Refrigerant Lines

Damaged refrigerant lines can cause leakage of the fluid inside. Check for cracks and leaks in the pipes. If you see any signs of damage, contact your HVAC technician to have them repaired or replaced.

6. Check the Drainage Hole

Sometimes called the condensate drain, the role of this component of your HVAC is to remove excess moisture. If the hole becomes clogged, it can cause issues such as leaks inside the unit and other damages from moisture. Gently clean the hole with a small brush. Then check the drainage pans and clean them if they’re dirty. When finished, turn on the AC and make sure the water is flowing unobstructed.

If this sounds complicated, your HVAC professional can help.

7. Check Your Home for Air Leaks

Checking for air leaks is one of those tasks we typically associate with winter readiness. However, hot air that leaks from outdoors can make your system work harder in the summer. Over time, this can shorten the life of your HVAC. Walk around the house and check for any air seeping in. Replace chaulking and weatherstripping and call a professional for larger leaks.

8. Switch to a Programmable Thermostat

Is your HVAC getting on in years? Spring is a good time to upgrade a new programmable thermostat. They have timers you can set to plan efficient energy usage throughout your home. Smart thermometers even let you control them remotely. If you want to turn the AC up or down while away from home, you can do so on your phone.

9. Try It Out

Many homeowners make the mistake of waiting until the first scorching day of the season to turn on the AC for the first time. If your system has been sitting idle during the off-season, it may have damage you don’t know about. Look out for things like odd smells or sounds, and get ahead on your HVAC professional’s list of house calls.

10. Schedule a Maintenance Checkup

Lastly, the very best way to make sure your AC will efficiently cool your home this summer is to schedule an inspection with an HVAC professional this spring. With a spring maintenance checkup, you won’t have to worry about your system breaking down in the middle of the summer.

The professionals at Variable Comfort Solutions in Huntington are your go-to for both residential and commercial HVAC services. Our highly skilled technicians will make sure your home stays comfortable in every season. We perform HVAC maintenance and repair. Ready for a new system? We’re also installation experts. Call us today.

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