Air Conditioning Maintenance Guide and Checklist for Spring
Seasonal changes bring long lists of home maintenance tasks right along with them, and that includes HVAC maintenance. Fortunately, homeowners can get a head start on all they need to know with our comprehensive air conditioning maintenance guide for the spring. Read on to learn expert tips from the best in HVAC Grand Prairie, TX, has to offer. Need professional AC service, Grand Prairie, TX, homeowner? Give the team at Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating a call at (972) 362-9801 or contact us online today.
Central Air vs. Room Air ConditionersBefore we begin, let’s distinguish between central air and room-based air conditioning. Central air conditioning units typically condition and distribute air throughout the entire home or building via a system of air ducts. Central air systems rely on many interconnected components to get the job done, including an outdoor condenser unit, which also requires regular maintenance. Room based air conditioners and window units are usually mounted on a wall or window sill as a self contained unit. These systems often only heat or cool a single room or zone. While some maintenance tasks, such as changing air filters, overlap between these two kinds of systems, the majority of this guide includes maintenance tasks for central heating and air conditioning units.
HVAC Maintenance: A Comprehensive GuideProactive HVAC maintenance makes all the difference between a smooth, headache-free summer and a unit that quits right when you need it the most. Keep your loved ones safe and comfortable this coming season with our HVAC maintenance checklist.
Replace or Clean Air FiltersOne of the most important maintenance tasks homeowners can perform is to replace or clean (if reusable) HVAC air filters. This task should be performed every 30–90 days depending on your location and lifestyle. Air filters trap airborne contaminants and allergens and prevent them from entering your HVAC unit, air ducts and the air you breathe. A clogged filter will not only decrease indoor air quality, but it will make your unit less efficient and lead to higher utility bills. HVAC filter dimensions and specifications are typically printed on the cardboard frame of your old filter. Most home improvement stores carry standard HVAC filters.
Clean Condensate Drain LineAs your unit runs, it removes humidity from the air. This, along with the temperature changes that result from air conditioning, results in condensation inside of your indoor air handler. This condensation drips down and is carried outdoors by a condensate drain line, which can become clogged with debris. Homeowners can flush condensate drain lines with hot water, or break up existing clogs by pouring one cup baking soda and one cup white vinegar into the drain access point (using a funnel). Seal off the drain opening and let the mixture sit for 15–30 minutes before flushing with hot water.
Open/Close Air Distribution RegistersIf you do not use your system for heating in the fall and winter, it’s a good idea to close air distribution registers during this time. This prevents warm air from entering air ducts and being lost and it protects air ducts from getting infiltrated by dust, insects or other contaminants. In the spring, it’s essential to reopen registers before running your A/C for the first time.
Clean Condenser UnitIt’s important to keep your system’s outdoor condenser unit clean and free of debris like leaves, twigs and branches. Carefully remove these from the unit and gently bend back any bent metal fins using a butter knife. Be sure to keep at least a 2-foot clearance around the outdoor condenser unit to ensure proper airflow by trimming back any nearby bushes, branches and shrubbery.
Clean Air DuctsAs air travels through a system’s air ducts, contaminants like dust, pet hair, pollen and tobacco smoke by-products can get deposited and build up over time. This leads to a potential decrease in indoor air quality, a decrease in HVAC efficiency and unpleasant odors. Scheduling a professional air duct cleaning on an annual basis will help keep your system clean and efficient, as well as prevent issues like insect and rodent infestations.
Spring HVAC Maintenance ChecklistHomeowners have a lot to juggle. That’s why we’ve compiled this quick HVAC spring maintenance checklist:
- If you covered your outdoor condenser unit over the fall and winter, uncover it
- Clean the outdoor unit and its surrounding area and trim back nearby flora
- Swap out or clean air filters
- Check air distribution registers in each room to ensure they are open and clean
- Check thermostat battery life or change batteries
- Inspect the condensate drain line and overflow pan and clean if necessary
- Test your A/C by turning it on and checking for efficiency