Every year as winter gives way to warmer weather, people in Twin Falls, Idaho, and beyond take the time to do a little spring cleaning. A seasonal deep-cleaning effort can help your home to feel revitalized and refreshed after months of being closed up against the cold weather outside.
But even if you’ve already reorganized your junk drawer and wiped down your baseboards, there’s still more spring cleaning to be done! Spring is also the perfect time to clean certain appliances and make sure they’re in working order. Your air conditioning unit is one of those machines.
At Home Heating and Air Conditioning, we always urge our customers to get an annual AC tune-up, so that they can make sure their system is in good working order when they need it. An AC tune-up is an important part of routine maintenance, as it can help you to identify issues before they become a bigger and more expensive problem.
Spring is the perfect time for this maintenance because it gives you time to organize any necessary AC repair efforts before the dog days of summer arrive. Here, we’ll share our most effective springtime AC tune-up tips to demystify the process.
Check and Replace Your AC Filter
An air conditioning filter serves multiple functions as an integral part of your HVAC system. First, AC filters work to improve air quality by trapping dust, pollen, particulates, and other harmful allergens. Secondly, your AC filter protects your air conditioning unit from getting damaged by those same small particles.
Air conditioning systems also work more efficiently when the AC filters are regularly cleaned or replaced. An air conditioning unit with a clogged filter will often run constantly, as it works hard to cool down the air inside your home. Cleaning or replacing that air filter makes it easier for your HVAC system to cool your home, which can help you to conserve energy.
You should actually be checking your AC filters much more frequently than once a year. Ideally, they should be cleaned or swapped out every thirty days, although some people will let them go as long as ninety days. Remembering to change them more regularly can improve the way that your HVAC system functions and can help you to avoid an expensive AC repair down the line.
Afraid you’ve been lax on checking your AC filters? Here’s a pro-tip: Write the current date on your AC filter whenever you change it so that you can check the last replacement date with a quick glance. If you have a filter that gets cleaned instead of being replaced outright, write the date on a piece of clear tape and stick it to that permanent filter. Then, just update it with a new one with each cleaning.
Examine Your Duct Work
A traditional HVAC system relies on a network of ducts to move air around. Good ductwork that has been properly installed is a crucial part of an air conditioning system. However, poorly done ductwork can reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system by as much as forty percent.
When winter comes to an end, it’s important to take some time to check out your ductwork to make sure that there are no parts that are sagging or ripped. Pay special attention to the parts where different sections of ductwork connect to make sure that air isn’t leaking out of the joints. If you do find leaks or breaks, contact your local Twin Falls, Idaho AC repair specialists right away.
This year, you may also want to hire a professional company like Home Heating and Air Conditioning to come out and clean your ductwork in the early spring. Over time, allergens like dust, pollen, and mold can accumulate in your ducts. If it’s been five to seven years since your AC installation, you’re definitely due for some deep ductwork spring cleaning.
Clean Your Outdoor AC Unit and the Surrounding Areas
Traditional HVAC systems consist of two main parts. The first part, the evaporator coil, can be found inside your home, often in an out-of-the-way spot like a basement, attic, or utility closet. The second part is an outdoor AC unit that works in conjunction with the indoor evaporator coil with airflow assistance from the ductwork.
The outdoor AC unit is critical to the operation of the HVAC system as a whole, as that’s where the refrigerant is compressed before being circulated inside to the evaporator coil. When that compressed refrigerant reaches the evaporator, it removes heat and humidity from the air inside your home. Then, the cooler dry air will be recirculated through the ductwork.
At the time of your AC installation, the technician should have placed your outdoor AC unit in a relatively open space so that it has ample airflow around it. But over time, nearby vegetation might grow large and impede on its space, making it function less efficiently. Make sure to trim that back to boost efficiency and improve your curb appeal.
Wind can also blow detritus like sticks, leaves, or even garbage around your yard. Check thoroughly around and underneath your outdoor AC unit to make sure it is clear of debris.
Clear Your AC Condensate Drain
HVAC systems don’t just cool down your home — they also remove moisture from the air as part of the cooling process. Like any other kind of drainage system, the condensate drain line can get clogged by debris like dirt and rust, which can ultimately reduce the system’s efficiency and cause damage.
Checking the drainage system and clearing obstructions is an important part of your preventive maintenance routine and can protect you from having to make a costly AC repair down the line.
Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat
If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat in your home, this spring is the perfect time to make it happen. Programmable thermostats allow homeowners to raise and lower the temperature at different times throughout the day.
For example, you could have the AC set at a higher temperature during the day when no one is at home, but set it so that the air starts cooling down around the time you leave your office.
Programmable thermostats have an immediate benefit, as they can reduce your energy costs. They can also save you money in the long run. Running your AC less frequently can prolong its lifespan.
Schedule an Appointment for an AC Tune-Up
Many of these tips are relatively simple, even for the most novice DIYers to tackle. But there are times in life when you want to turn to a professional to make sure that everything is in perfect working condition.
An experienced air conditioning technician can handle the simpler tasks we discussed earlier, but they can also perform more complex jobs, like checking the levels on your coolant and refrigerant and ensuring that all moving parts are properly lubricated. They can also check electrical connections and inspect mechanical parts, like the blower motor, to ensure that everything is functioning as it should be.
Your AC Tune-Up Experts in Twin Falls, Idaho
When summer hits and air conditioning consumption increases, many homeowners are taken by surprise when they realize that their AC units aren’t functioning at their highest capacity. Waiting until late spring or early summer for an AC tune-up means that you’ll likely be competing with a lot of other people for a limited amount of available AC repair appointments.