The HVAC system is one of the highest recurring expenses for homeowners. For this reason, homeowners are always looking for ways to improve their HVAC’s performance. So let’s look at a few spring HVAC tips homeowners can use to start off the year saving money.
Spring HVAC Maintenance Checklist
1. Schedule a Professional AC Tune Up
The easiest way to save money on the HVAC system is simple: perform regular preventative maintenance. Conducting regular maintenance can help to prevent any unexpected breakdowns during the summer months. By replacing faulty or failing parts, homeowners can extend the system’s lifespan and increase its efficiency. Keep in mind, the AC unit hasn’t been used in months. This can lead to issues that only professional technicians can notice. From reducing energy waste and risk of expensive repairs, there are several ways homeowners can save money with an AC tune up.
2. Clean Your HVAC System and Surroundings
Over the course of fall and winter, debris tends to pile up around or inside the outdoor units. This can actually be harmful as it reduces the amount of airflow and strains the system. While cleaning around the unit, also make sure to trim any shrubs, weeds, or other plants. This will preserve the unit’s airflow as well as give the technicians adequate room to work. Furthermore, there are some homeowners who wish to conceal their unit by planting new shrubs or plants. Be mindful of how close those new plants are to the unit. Always make sure there’s at least three feet of clearance to allow growing room without potentially blocking airflow.
In addition to cleaning, visually inspect the unit for any signs of damage or wear. Always reach out to a HVAC professional before turning on the air conditioner if there are signs of damage.
Bonus spring HVAC tips: Don’t forget to clean indoor vents and registers as well! Air pollutants like dust and pet dander can easily accumulate in these areas. Also ensure that all of the vents and registers are unblocked by furniture or other things. The HVAC system can only work at its full efficiency when there are no obstructions to the airflow.
3. Check and Replace HVAC Filters
The most common (and overlooked) of the spring HVAC tips is simply to replace the filter. Replacing filters are also another easy way to save money while improving efficiency. Dirty HVAC filters can cause a lot of serious problems. Although the filter replacement frequency typically is every three months, it depends on your home’s (and occupants) condition. Without replacing filters on a proper time frame, homeowners will find significant reduction in their system’s efficiency. What’s more, serious damages like frozen coils can happen due to a dirty filter blocking the airflow.
4. Examine HVAC Insulation For Any Air Leaks
The system is in charge of regulating indoor temperatures. However, this would be difficult to do without proper insulation to keep the cool air indoors. This problem is equally important in the summer as it is during the winter months. When cold air leaks from the house, it can be hard to maintain your optimal comfort level. Air leaks from holes and cracks around windows, doors, and other insulated areas are quite common. So be sure to check around all of these areas for any signs of damage. Lowering energy bills can be as simple as sealing your home with proper insulation and checking common problem points. Some signs your home has poor insulation can be:
- Accumulation of ice on gutters or soffits
- Cold interior walls, floors or ceilings
- Differences in temperature between rooms
- Excessive humidity levels
- Frozen pipes during the winter months
- Excessive humidity levels
- Mold growth
- Signs of moisture or frost within the attic or roof deck
5. Assess the Condition of the Condensate Lines and Drain
While checking the condition of the insulation, be sure to inspect the condensate lines and drain. Insulation damage isn’t the only reason for poor HVAC performance. Moisture accumulation from drainage issues can result in expensive repairs and mechanical strain. Furthermore, harmful pollutants like mold can thrive in dark places with excessive moisture. Build up of debris can easily cause drain pipe blockages, which is another reason to change air filters frequently. Refrigerant leaks are also common due to the metal properties and development of rusty holes or cracks on the HVAC system. Having at least an annual HVAC inspection can help reduce the risk of condensate and refrigerant lines leaking.
6. Enhance the System’s Energy Control With Programmable Thermostats
Smart thermostats are capable of adjusting indoor temperatures automatically. By learning the household’s routine, a programmable thermostat can cut energy bills without sacrificing comfort. With precise control over your temperatures, you can have control over your money.
7. Conduct a Air Conditioner Test Run
Typically, AC units need a bit of extra attention after a long period of inactivity. So before the summer temperatures strike, give your unit a test run. This can alert you to any strange sounds, smells, short cycling or other abnormalities before you really need a working AC. For this last spring HVAC tip, keep in mind that AC units generally need outdoor temperatures around 60 degrees Fahrenheit for accurate testing.
The Best of All Spring HVAC Tips: Benefits of HVAC Spring Maintenance
There are several benefits of having an annual spring air conditioning tune up. Rather than waiting for summer temperatures before turning on the AC, it’s recommended to give it a spring health check. When homeowners invest in their HVAC system, they are able to:
- Collect the most out of their initial investment by sustaining the AC unit’s lifespan while preventing the risk of costly breakdowns (up to 95%!)
- Raise equipment efficiency and reduce energy costs by removing debris and faulty parts that are straining the system
- Improve air quality by cleaning any buildup of debris which eliminates possible food sources for harmful bacteria
- Receive expert advice from professional HVAC technicians about caring for the system, new energy efficient technologies, and plans for when to prepare for a system replacement/upgrade.
What Does An AC Tune Up Include?
If you don’t feel comfortable performing these spring HVAC tips yourself, leave it to us! At Satterlee, our trained HVAC technicians conduct a 24 point inspection including:
- Cleaning and Inspecting Coils
- Servicing Motors
- Checking Refrigerant Levels and Diagnosing Leaks
- Replacing Filters
- Blowing Out Condensate Drain Lines
- And More!
Rather than waiting until closer to summer, now is the time to schedule an AC tune up! Don’t get caught in the early summer rush and taking the chance on being unprepared for the summer heat.