Seven Steps to Get Your HVAC Ready for Spring
Now is the time to consider what you need to do to get your HVAC ready for Spring. These steps are a combination of what the professional can do and what the homeowner can do. Here’s a checklist.
Spring HVAC Maintenance
Replace Your Air Filter
First, replace the air filter for your heater. Just like the timely changing of the oil filter in your car, this is a must. Whether you leave it to the professional or do it yourself, get it done. The air filters are sold in home improvement stores and even in many grocery stores.
How’s Your Thermostat
Second, to get your HVAC system ready for spring, have your thermostat checked out. This is the brains of your entire HVAC system. It tells the air conditioner, heater and fan when to turn on. If this system fails, the entire system will cease to work. If there is a problem, the HVAC technician might remove the faceplate of the thermostat and use his jumpers to test the contact points for the A/C, the heater and the fan. Those units might turn on when he connects the contact points, yet when he closes the face plate the thermostat will not turn them on. In that case the thermostat is defective and must be replaced.
Now might be time to consider a “smart thermostat” that can be controlled from a distance using your smartphone. Imagine activating the smart thermostat when you are returning from a beach vacation. After being gone for a week, the house will be uncomfortably warm. But, by using your smartphone, you can turn on the air conditioner so the house is at a pleasant temperature when you arrive there some hours later.
Seasonal Tune-up & Maintenance
Third, to get your HVAC serviced for spring, you must have your air conditioner checked. Your technician will look at the capacitor, a hardy little device that can run for years. But when it fails, the air conditioner will no longer power up or run. You might have a fan blowing, but no cool air will be coming out. If that’s the problem, check the capacitor. This item is inexpensive but carries high voltage. It’s probably wise to pull the breaker out of the box before working on the air conditioner just to be safe. It’s an item best left to the professionals to check out.
The power may be on for the air conditioner and you can hear the fan trying to start, but there’s no action. The problem is probably with the compressor. Again, this is something best left to the professionals to fix.
The air conditioning unit outside might have leaves and other debris piled around it. This could prevent clean air from being drawn into the house. You breathe it, you want it to be clean. The screens around the air conditioner might need to be scrubbed as well.
How’s Your Water Heater?
Fourth step for spring maintenance: examine your water heater. The water heater might have been straining to keep up with the demands placed on it during the winter. The demands will probably be even greater in the summer. More dirty clothes and more dirty bodies from outdoor activities mean more loads of laundry and more showers. Check out the water heater now to see if it will be equal to the summer tasks.
How’s Your Dehumidifier?
Fifth, look at your dehumidifier. Is it functioning well? Some units are incorporated into the heating system while others are stand-alone units. Is the water that has been captured out of the air being properly drained?
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Sixth step to get prepared for spring: check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These small devices are critical to your safety. If ignored, smoke and carbon monoxide will be ignored. That could result in deadly consequences for your home and family.
Why not consider a “smart” smoke detector. These units are not expensive and can provide alerts to your smartphone if you are away from the home. The alerts can also be sent to the fire department or to a neighbor who can check out the situation.
Are Your Windows Leaking?
Seventh, check the weather stripping around your windows and doors. Usually, this is thought of as a pre-winter drill. But it can be just as important to keep the hot air outside in the summer as it was to keep the cold air outside in winter. Keeping a house relatively air tight will allow your air conditioner to work more efficiently. It also will keep the homeowner from bellowing to his kids the line that he heard from his parents, “Keep the door shut! Do you think I’m paying to keep the whole neighborhood cool?”
Getting your HVAC system ready for spring is a job best started right away. Call on a reliable HVAC service and hold on to the phone number. When you have a problem with your heating and cooling system, you want a reliable company ready to help.