As you are cleaning out closets and dusting your windowsills this spring, don’t neglect your HVAC system. Your furnace was running all winter keeping you warm and soon your air conditioner will take over keeping you cool over the hot summer months. These in between months is the perfect opportunity to make sure everything is running as it should. Follow this quick and easy checklist to help your system working efficiently and hopefully cut down on repairs. If you do notice any problems or areas of concern scheduling a repair during this time of year could save you stress, time, and money.
- Inspect your outdoor unit: During the winter months snow and ice properly covered your unit at some point so it would be a good idea to check for any damage. Make sure you clean any debris such as dirt or leaves as they can lead to clogs causing internal damage to the unit. Additionally, after you have cleared the outside unit of debris turn on your A/C and listen for any odd sounds coming for the outdoor unit. Any weird noises should be addressed by a professional before a breakdown actually occurs.
- Access the furnace performance: Even though summer is on the way, you will need it again so giving it some TLC will also go a long way to ensure continued safe and reliable operation. Let the furnace run and listen for anything unusual. If you notice any signs of odd sounds, odors or uneven heating be sure to have it assessed before next winter to avoid being stuck in the cold.
- Check for air leaks: Air leaks can cause your system to run longer and harder then necessary leading to higher utility bills and premature system breakdowns. Check of air leaks by closing all windows and doors in your home and simply walk into all rooms and see if you feel any drafts. You can even hold a lit candle close to door frames and window seals, if the flame flickers or pulls on way or the other you know you have an air leak in the area. Just be sure to be careful and keep the flame at safe distance. There are lots of DIY materials at your local hardware store that can help correct and stop air leaks.
- Change the filters: I cannot stress how important clean air filters are to your heating and cooling system. A dirty air filter not only leads to “dirty” air circulating throughout your home but causes huge costly repairs, as well. A stopped up air filter prevents air from getting to your system which, in turn, causes your system to work harder. Air filters should be changed every 1-3 months depending on the type of filter used. I always strongly urge our customers to check the filter at least every 30 days regardless of the filter to ensure proper air flow. If it looks like it needs replaced don’t wait, do it then. If you are unsure of what air filter works with your system uses or what type would be good for your family, check out our blog on air filters here.
- Schedule an Inspection: Just like having the oil in your car changed, a good cleaning of your HVAC system helps keep the system in good shape and run longer. This is even more important if you suspect there are any issues with your system. An HVAC system should have a routine maintenance/cleaning performed every 6 months in between seasons. An experienced technician can advise you on any repairs recommended and/or leave you with a piece of mind that the system is running to capacity, as designed. Not only do you save money on your monthly bills, reduced break down costs, and help with the life expectancy, most companies offer discounts to customers who carry a service agreement as well so its a win-win.
Following this simple yet effective checklist, you can rest easy knowing that your A/C system should keep you cool all summer long. Often HVAC systems are out of sight, out of mind until it breaks down, so be sure not to neglect the piece of equipment that keeps you and your family comfortable year-round. If you are in need of repairs or any preventative maintenance R. A. Styron is a company that you can count on.