For the past few weeks, your HVAC’s thermostat was set permanently to heat. All through the cold months, you couldn’t get enough of the heat. Now the cold is giving way to warmer weather, something that we are all excited about.
As we eagerly rejoice at the coming of warmer times, it is important to remember what comes with it. In our excitement to go outdoors freely and enjoy the sun and our surroundings, let us also remember that this is that time of the year when the thermostat of our HVAC system will likely be switched from heat to cool.
Here’s a simple question you will need to answer. Is your HVAC system ready to handle the demands of the spring season? In fact, let us ask it a bit differently – are you SURE your HVAC system is primed to handle the heat that comes with the spring or summer season?
Your answer is likely going to be yes because you do not really think there’s anything you need to do to get your HVAC system ready for the new season. You likely feel that since it worked fine during the winter months, it shows the system is working perfectly and requires no attention.
Sorry to disappoint you but that system does indeed need some attention to get it ready for the warm season. There are parts of that system that you have barely used in those months that need to be put in the best of shape.
Benefits of preparing your HVAC System for the spring season
There are four major reasons why it is important to make sure your HVAC system is prepared for the new season.
- You will have the assurance that it will be able to cope with the heat of the summer months. It can be a very disappointing thing to find out during the hot months that your AC cannot cool your home, leaving you hot and sweaty, hating every bit of the heat.
- With the warmth come pollens that fill the air, triggering allergic reactions in many. If your HVAC system is not properly serviced, the dust and dirt that has settled on the duct and other parts of the AC as a result of lack of use will be spread into the house. Add these to the already circulating pollens outside and you have higher risks of allergic reactions. If however the HVAC is properly serviced, the air it will give off will be clean and healthy.
- If your HVAC system is still under its warranty period, you may be violating your warranty terms by not servicing it periodically. Since many manufacturers have the periodic servicing of the HVAC system as a condition for the continued validity of the warranty, you will only be doing yourself a favor by meeting this condition.
- Cleaning out and properly servicing your HVAC system will save you increased energy costs. When an HVAC system stays for long without being serviced, dust and dirt gather within it. The result is a system that has to work harder to be able to deliver cool air. As it works harder, it is simply using up more energy. So, properly servicing your HVAC will make it very efficient in its operation, thereby saving you from having to pay for any additional energy costs.
Steps to preparing your HVAC System for the spring season
We’ve listed the benefits of preparing your HVAC system for the warmer months. Now we will go ahead to list a few ways in which this can be done.
Change the Air Filters
Manufacturers recommend that air filters be changed after between 30 to 90 days. This will depend on how heavily the system is used. During the winter months, you did not use your AC so if it uses air filters, they are very likely filled with dust and debris. You do not want to turn your AC on without first cleaning out or actually changing these air filters.
If you do turn it on with the dirty air filters, you will be filling your space with filthy air. Aside from this, like we stated above while looking at the benefits of preparing your HVAC system for spring when the filters are clogged with dirt, the system works harder and in the process uses up more energy.
The air filters to be changed are not only those of the AC (if yours uses air filters). The filters for your heater should also be changed. If this is clogged with dust and dirt and you do not change them, the dust and dirt may be able to find their way into your vents and air ducts and from there into your home.
Aside from this, it is possible that the weather could suddenly become cold during the spring, requiring that you turn your heater on very briefly. If you’ve changed the air filters, the system will work efficiently and the air will be clean. If however, you have not changed them, well, the system will work hard and cost you money while you breathe in some dust.
Check the ducts
There are two things you should address while checking the ducts. You should check it for cleanliness and for leaks. Generally speaking, manufacturers advise that ducts be cleaned out at least every 5 years. A clean duct improves air quality.
The next thing, which is leaks, is very important. According to energystar.gov, in the average American home conditioned air lost through leaks in the ducts can amount to between 20% and 30% of the air flow. This is a huge waste which invariably costs you money because your AC will need to work harder to provide sufficient cooling.
A professional can help you check for leaks and have them sealed so your AC can work very efficiently, saving you money in the process.
Check the condenser
The AC unit outside the house, called the condenser, also requires attention. You may need to open it to clean out any dirt that may have accumulated within it. You should also clear out the area surrounding it. Ideally, the unit should have 2 feet of clear space around it.
You may also find that some unwanted guests may have found their way into the unit and possibly damaged something. To be on the safe side, get in touch with qualified personnel to take a look at the unit before you put it on. If anything needs fixing, the technician will be able to handle it.
Upgrade your thermostat
Upgrading your thermostat is a good way to have your HVAC work efficiently and only when it is needed. This will clearly save you a lot in energy costs. Most modern thermostats are programmable, allowing you set timers of when the system should come on and what temperature it should run on at specific times.
This ensures your HVAC system will not just be running all day, raising your energy bills for no good reason.
There you have it. Enjoy the best of spring and summer by preparing your HVAC system now.