Spring Maintenance for Your Home
With warmer weather approaching, it’s time to take a good look at your home and take Spring Cleaning’ a step beyond removing dust and clutter. Every year we advise getting the annual maintenance for your HVAC unit done before you need to turn on your AC unit for the summer. In fact, annual maintenance is often required to maintain the warranty on your HVAC unit. But it’s not just great for ensuring your system stays covered under warranty, it also promotes the life of the unit, allowing it to last up to its full lifetime with minimal repair requests. The same is true for your home as well. After months of snow and ice, inspecting your home for damage is the ideal way to ensure you don’t need to make expensive repairs later on.
Spring HVAC Maintenance
While we recommend scheduling a professional service tune-up for your HVAC system this spring, there are a few things you should do if you aren’t planning on having a professional maintenance performed on your system.
Change out your air filter. This is the easiest, most inexpensive, and most important thing you can do to maintain both your home and your cooling system. Air filters improve the quality of air in your home, reduce allergy problems, and keep your ventilation duct clean and clear. A dirty air filter impedes the flow of air in your system and can reduce how efficiently it operates. Ideally, you want to replace this filter every three to six months.
Clear the external condenser unit. Your HVAC unit needs to be able to breathe. Air needs to flow over the outside condenser fins to remove heat from the internal refrigerant. That means you need to keep the condenser clear of any debris. Rake back leaves and trim bushes to clear at least a two-foot area around the condenser. Be sure to take a moment to examine the condenser for signs of damage. If something is broken (impacted fins, damaged fan), then you will need to get the unit repaired before you turn on the system for the first time this year.
Dust and clean. As clean as your filter and ductwork may be, cleaning and dusting your home is essential to having clean indoor air. Dust the vents and registers of your ventilation system and take a moment to look inside to see if the ducting itself is clean for maximum clean-air quality.
Check for drafts. Double check your home for drafts and air leaks from windows and doors. These kinds of problems should have been obvious during the winter (leaks will let in the cold very easily) and a draft is easy to find with an incense stick. Simply light an incense stick and hold it near to windows or places you suspect a draft to be and watch the smoke to see if it’s drawn away.
These are, of course, not the only things that need regular service for maximizing the effectiveness of your unit. According to ENERGY STAR, you should be:
- Tightening electrical connections
- Cleaning both the evaporator and condenser
- Lubricating all moving parts
- Clearing the condensate drain
- Testing your thermostat
- Cleaning all fan blower components
- Checking refrigerant levels
If you’ve owned your home for more than ten years, then it’s time to get a full electrical inspection of your home. These inspections are designed to examine wiring and places where your home has fallen behind current electrical code updates. These code violations are typically minor, but many of them have been instituted to improve home safety while also allowing your home to adapt to the rapid pace of technological change in our world. From simple adjustments like the placement of electrical outlets in the home to safety improvements like insulation requirements, it’s important to bring your home back up to code, especially if you’re looking at selling it in the future.
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For more information on home and business electrical inspections, HVAC and furnace services, or plumbing service throughout Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, visit Mainstream Electric, Heating & Cooling online.