Spring is just around the corner, and this usually means that it is time to start organizing closets, washing winter clothes, and cleaning all the major household items. While spring chores are not exciting, doing them can really help you save money in several ways.
You will save on energy costs, for one thing. You will also avoid bigger problems later on– problems that are costly, stressful, and will take time away from summer fun.
In the following list of things you need to do, we will skip washing windows and jump to the really important stuff that will give your home heating systems and home cooling systems a thorough cleaning this spring.
At Aire-Tech, our HVAC technicians are happy to help with even the most basic HVAC maintenance tasks, but you can handle many of these chores yourself:
1. Clean Air Ducts
If your HVAC has been working for quite some time and has not been inspected recently, you may find odors, dust and other contaminates circulating in your home. Keeping the air ducts clean will not only extend the life of your equipment, but it will also save you money and provide you with much cleaner air.
2. Replace Air Filters
Regularly changing the air filter in your heating and cooling system is essential for ensuring a long lifecycle. The air filter is responsible for keeping pollution and debris out of your HVAC system so that it can operate properly. If you have not been changing the filters in your heating and air conditioning system regularly, do it now. Clean filters reduce the wear and tear on your furnace and improve the quality of the air you are breathing.
The filters should generally be changed every three months, but you can always check the manufacturer. Buy the right filter for your HVAC, turn off the unit, remove the old filter and slide in the new.
3. Change Batteries in the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
Replace the batteries in smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors twice a year: when the time changes to daylight savings time and then back to standard time. While you are at it, dust or vacuum the detectors to keep them working at peak performance. Changing the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors takes only a few minutes but is one chore that can mean the difference in life and death. Even a small kitchen fire can cause much more damage than you can ever imagine and cost thousands of dollars to repair.
4. Vacuum Out the Air Purifiers
To keep an air purifier working properly, remove its housing and clean out the unit completely. Vacuum every accessible surface and crevice. Replace filters if needed. This should actually be done on a regular basis but be sure to do it during spring cleaning to ensure that you do not skip this important chore.
5. Do Not Forget the Bathroom Fans
Clean your bathroom fans at least once a year. Take the cover off, wash it in soapy water and clean dirt off the fan blades with a toothbrush. Be sure the power is off when you do this!
6. Inspect Seals Around Doors and Windows
The best time to caulk a joint outdoors is during the spring or fall. That’s when the width of the joint is halfway between its seasonal extremes. Inspect and caulk around your home’s windows and doors. This will help keep out heat and humidity in the summer and cold drafts in the winter and will save money on your utility bills all year round. Open and close all windows. Do they all open easily, yet close tightly? If not, check the weather stripping.
7. Drain Sediment From Water Heater Tank
Unless you have a tankless water heater, sediment can collect in the bottom of a water heater causing mechanical problems and even leaks. Every six months, an established water heater should have a partial draining. It is a simple process as long as you follow all the steps. Remember, electricity and water don’t always mix well!
8. Clean Heat Pump
If you operate your heat pump properly, you can save a lot on your energy bill. Avoid setting back the thermostat of the heat pump because it will cause the backup heating to come on, and running backup heating systems can get quite expensive. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and have a professional technician service your heat pumps every year.
Tasks Best Left to the Pros
Many recommended annual HVAC maintenance tasks require the expertise of a professional. Our highly trained and certified HVAC technicians will do things like inspect and clean your unit’s blower assembly, which are a bit more challenging for the average homeowner.
1. Checking All System Controls
To ensure the safe and efficient operation of your HVAC system, our technicians check that your system starts, operates, and shuts off properly.
2. Tightening Electrical Connections and Measuring Voltage and Current on Motors
Faulty electrical connections can cause unsafe operation of your system and reduce the life of major components.
3. Lubricating Moving Parts
Unlubricated parts can cause friction, which increases the amount of energy your system uses to function.
4. Inspecting and Cleaning the Condensate Drain
A plugged condensate drain in your central air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace can cause water damage and cause the humidity level in your home to rise.
5. Inspecting Ductwork for Any Signs of Damage or Air Leaks
Gaps, tears, or holes in ductwork allow air to escape, which causes your HVAC system to work harder than necessary to keep your home cool.
As the weather begins to warm up and winter starts to die away, it is important to take a few preventative measures to protect your home through the warmer months when windows start to open and birds begin to sing. Spring cleaning is generally a task that can be done relatively inexpensively, but will make a big difference in how comfortable your home is, and could end up saving you money on energy bills, too. In fact, many very effective home weatherproofing jobs are something that homeowners can complete without professional help.
If your system needs repair or inspection before spring, call us on 951-926-1002. You can also visit our Contact page and complete the contact form.