Seasonal HVAC Maintenance: How to Prepare for Summer
Today, there are 1.6 billion air conditioning units in use worldwide. By 2050, this number looks like it’s going to go up to 5.6 billion units. These numbers make one thing clear: everyone likes to keep their house cool, and they’re willing to pay more to do it, but few know they can save money with seasonal HVAC maintenance.
If you’re a homeowner and getting ready for summer, a part of that is making sure that your AC unit is up-to-date and in good condition. It’s important to take the step to make sure everything is going smoothly before the weather really begins to get hot. Otherwise, you’re going to be smothering in your house come mid-August when the sun is beating down!
Prepping your AC for the hot season can be tricky. Most people don’t know how an AC works, let alone how to maintain it.
Luckily, we’re here to help! Here, you’ll learn how to make sure your air conditioner is up to the important task of keeping you and those you care about cool this summer.
Check HVAC System Parts
Before starting on HVAC maintenance work, it might be a good idea to assess how the system is working in the first place. Is your air conditioner old or run-down? Is it in such poor enough condition that it's not worth cleaning? Do you need to repair the HVAC unit?
This probably isn’t the case, and it also isn’t a fun possibility to consider. Still, with the time and money, it’s going to take to clean up, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Check the air conditioner out to see if there are any problems with it. The good news is that most issues, like air not blowing out or a leaking AC unit, can be easily fixed by things like moving the location of your unit or changing the coolant fluid inside.
If you find a big issue that can’t be fixed by cleaning or by a simple change of scenery, then consider calling a professional to look at your unit. These people know what they’re doing and can tell you whether maintaining the HVAC would be worth your while.
Clean Your AC Unit
Great! Your AC is in good enough shape to use this season. That must feel like a huge relief, but it also leaves you with the question: what now?
After you’re sure that your air conditioner is in tip-top shape, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty and start cleaning it. So grab a screwdriver, some rags, and a can of AC unit coil cleaner, and get ready to go!
Before beginning, turn off your AC. This will keep you safe and make the cleaning process… well, possible.
First, remove the panel that holds the filter. This is the tiny door on the long, thin opening that holds the filter. You’re also going to need to remove the frame and case if your AC is mounted to the wall.
Once that’s done, you’re ready to clean the AC’s coils. If you didn’t know, your air conditioner runs because of two coils. An evaporator coil carries the coolants that cause the air coming out of the unit to be cooler than that going in. The condenser coils work with the fan to make sure that the hot air isn’t released again.
These coils need to be kept clean with a special kind of AC cleaner. Once your AC is open and you brush or vacuum all the dust you can see out of the inside of your unit, it’s time to use this cleaner.
Spray it on both coils and let it foam up a little bit. Then, with your rag, wipe them down and make sure that they’re dry. After you put the frame, mount, and filter cover back, you’re free to turn on your AC and feel the (hopefully much cooler) airflow.
Change Your Air Filters
Once your air conditioner is clean, you also are going to need to change the air filters inside. Air filters keep dust, dirt, and bacteria from running rampant in your home air supply. It’s important to change them to keep clean.
Speaking of keeping clean, a dirty air filter is likely to start growing mold, which causes all sorts of respiratory issues. That’s why you’re doing yourself (and everyone else in your house) a huge disservice if you forget or neglect to change them.
Luckily, though, changing air filters is a really simple and straightforward process!
All you need to do is find the air filter slot on your unit. Its place on the AC can vary from one unit to another, but usually, it’s shaped like a long slat on its body that has a removable cover.
Before changing the filter, make sure that your AC is turned off. This prevents the machinery- or you- from being hurt in the process of the filter change. After you make sure that it isn’t on, open the little slat and remove the filter.
It might be a good idea to do this over an old newspaper or something since the filter will probably be pretty dusty. It should slide out of the opening easily, and sliding the new one in will be just as simple.
This must be done every three months at the very least. You really should test air quality and monitor, your air filter, changing it once a month to make sure that it hasn’t become unsanitary. So remember to monitor it and replace it once and a while this summer.
Ask a Pro about HVAC Servicing
No matter how your AC maintenance goes at home, it’s a good idea to talk to an HVAC professional about your unit. These people will know just what to do in the event that you’re not sure how to do a thorough cleaning or appropriately change the air filters.
Doing the cleaning on your own is totally possible, but hiring professional help can ensure that all the nooks and crannies that you might miss are cleaned. If you’re taking the time to fix your AC anyway, it’ll save you time and money to do it right. Plus, you’ll get a better end result.
Even if you do choose to clean and change filters on your own, talking to a professional is a good idea for a couple of reasons. First, these people can make sure that you cleaned correctly and that cold air will actually be blown out… without dirt and dust.
Second, professionals can assess your AC and make sure it’s still in good condition. You might not know when it’s time to change not just your filters, but your entire unit. The pros will have a good idea of this and can provide guidance.
Test Your Air Conditioner
Your AC has been cleaned. It’s got new filters and is set up in just the spot you want it. Plus, more importantly, a professional has approved of it. Great! You’re done…
Well, mostly. Even if you’ve completed all the steps necessary to keep your air conditioner in great shape and even if the pros have already been called in, it’s important to try your AC out. Everyone makes mistakes, and you don’t want to discover that your AC is out of commission on a sweltering day.
Make sure that you test your AC unit out after taking all the steps to make sure it’s good to go. No matter how perfect your maintenance looks on paper, that doesn’t matter if your air conditioner isn’t up to the task in the real world.
More likely than not, you’re good to go, but it’s important to be safe and know for sure that your AC is up to par.
Use these HVAC Maintenance Tips to Prepare for Summer!
You might think that you’re ready for summer as long as you have an air conditioner installed in your home, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
AC maintenance takes research, cleaning, filter changing, and, in many cases, professional assistance. It’s all worth it, though, once you’re lounging in front of something blowing cool air on a hot day.
Now that you know how to get your AC unit ready for this summer, contact us to get the best deals on the supplies you’ll need. Our team of knowledgeable professionals is more than happy to help with any repairs and deeper cleanings you might need!
Hope you stay cool while having fun in the sun!
Howard Hale creates effective content and marketing strategies for a multitude of businesses. His agency, ManifesGo is all about helping small businesses manifest their marketing goals and objectives.