The birds are chirping, the sun is out, and warmer weather is on its way! It is springtime in Montana, the time of year when snow starts to melt, and we all start to come out of our winter hibernation. One of the main chores homeowners do each spring is spring cleaning. Whether you are deep cleaning the garage, getting rid of clothes that are no longer in style or re-grouting the bathroom, every homeowner knows about spring cleaning. It is time to get out homes in tip-top shape for summer and the rest of the year! As you make your spring cleaning to-do list, do not forget about some of the other appliances and machines in your home. Central air units are often forgotten in the spring cleaning bustle but are an important part of the health and comfort of your home and family. So what should be on your central air spring maintenance? Here are a few do-it-yourself tips for maintenance for your central air unit, as well as some items a professional should tackle.
Why Do Central Air Spring Maintenance
Your heating and cooling systems account for the majority of your electric bill; in the summer, your cooling system can account for 60 percent to 70 percent of the electricity used in your home. Completing regular maintenance on your central air system will help this unit run at its highest efficiency level, which helps to keep your system working properly for years to come.
Additionally, spring is the best time to complete this maintenance. Winter is hard on outdoor appliances, especially here in Montana, where snow and storms can cause debris build up and water damage to outdoor appliances. Make sure you are completing the below checklist each spring to keep your central air system running smooth for years to come.
DIY Spring Central Air Maintenance
Each spring, there are several things you should do to keep your central air system running smooth.
- Change filters – Changing the filters on your central air system can have a big impact on the efficacy of the system. Once a filter is full or clogged, the HVAC system has to work harder, using more energy, to pull air through the unit. Follow guidelines from your heating and cooling professional on how often you should change your filter, although it should usually be done every couple months.
- Clear condensate drain line – The condensate drain line runs from the indoor unit to the outside of your home. It is usually a white PVC or copper pipe that ends near the outdoor unit. Make sure this line is clear outside your home; if it becomes clogged, water could back up into your home, causing water damage or a flood. Debris, dirt, rust or algae can clog this line, so it is best to check regularly.
- Remove obstructions around the unit – Check around the outdoor AC unit, removing any obstructions such as vegetation that has grown too close or leaves that have blown into a pile around the unit. Vegetation should not be within two feet of the unit to ensure proper air flow.
- Check the evaporator coil – This coil, located on your external unit, should be cleaned regularly to perform properly. You can find cleaners at most hardware and home improvement stores, or use a combination of dish soap and water, rinsing with white vinegar.
- Repair duct work – Now is the time to check your duct work wherever it is visible throughout your home to ensure there are no rips, leaks or sags. Any leaks will allow air to escape, making your central air unit work harder.
- Check connections – Make sure electrical connectors and hoses are tight, especially as changing temperatures may cause connectors to grow and shrink during the colder months.
Professional Spring Maintenance for Central Air Units
Depending on your system, you should also schedule professional maintenance for your central air unit every one to five years. During this maintenance, your heating and cooling professional will check things like:
- Fans and motors
- Indoor coil
- Condensate drain
- Condenser coil
- Refrigerant levels
- Electrical wiring
- Duct work
Scheduling Spring Central Air Maintenance
Are you ready to schedule professional maintenance for your central air system? Contact the team at Central Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical to schedule an appointment today.