With spring comes budding flowers, greenery, and less snowfall. It brings with it the warmer temperatures that everyone loves.
As temperatures continue to rise, the need for cooler air rises as well. Before you know it, spring is in full force, with summer looming ahead. If you don’t prepare your HVAC for this change in the Pacific Northwest seasons, you’ll be left with no way to combat the heat.
If you’re uncertain about the steps you need to take to prepare your HVAC, keep reading. Listed down below is everything you need to know to prepare for spring.
Why Seasonal Preparation is Important
Every change in season comes with its own set of necessary prep work. Going from winter to summer is the most important transition in terms of completing your spring HVAC maintenance here in the Pacific Northwest.
This is because all throughout the snowy season, your unit accumulates various winter damages. Dirt, snow, icy rain, and fallen branches all pose a threat to your system, no matter how much you prepare beforehand. Even with precautions in place, harsh winters are notorious for causing all kinds of damage to a heating and cooling system.
Before you make the switch to cool down your house, you’ll need to ensure that it’s safe to do so. Otherwise, you’ll end up making those problems even worse.
There are very few places in the world that can live without air cooling. At the extreme, it’s even dangerous to go without. Make sure yours is working at peak performance before the heat reaches unbearable temperatures.
Whether this is your home’s first HVAC unit or you’ve been through this process many times before, the prep work is always the same. Spring is all about clearing away winter’s debris and checking for damage.
Clear Away Foliage Or Clutter
Throughout winter, all kinds of debris collect around the HVAC unit. Whether it's built-up mud from the wet snow or branches fallen from trees by the extra weight of ice, all of it needs removing.
If you own an indoor unit instead, there are still things that need clearing. During the busy winter season, clutter often tends to build up around HVACs. Boxes and holiday decorations are all guilty of finding their way into places they’re not supposed to be in.
All these things need removing in order to ensure nothing interferes with the function of your system. Otherwise, you’ll deal with things such as:
- Poor airflow
- Clogged vents
Remove Any Protective Covers
Even the best HVAC units need a little help against the elements. Most winter prep includes covering an outside unit with a protective sheet or tarp. This provides an extra layer to keep the excess moisture of snow and ice from getting into your unit.
But with spring now in bloom, it’s time to remove it along with any other safety measures you took before winter hit. You’ll no longer need them until winter comes around again.
Inspect For General Wear & Tear
A lot can happen throughout the harsh winter months. It’s a good idea to give a thorough inspection of the entire system before starting any of the deeper prep work.
From this general inspection, you’ll have a greater idea as to where to start with your spring preparation. Some specific places to check out include:
- Air ducts
- Refrigerant Lines
If anything looks amiss, it’s best to call for repairs before turning on the HVAC unit.
Change All Air Filters
One of the best things about an HVAC versus a window AC unit is the quality of air cleanliness. HVACs are better at removing dust and tiny air particles as the air circulates through the system.
This high quality only happens if you change and clean your air filters on a regular basis. With spring’s arrival, now is the time to exchange the old filter for a new one.
You’ll want a brand-new filter to combat the risk of pollen and other spring allergens getting into your home.
Clean Air Ducts
Working alongside the filters are the air ducts. These, too, need a good cleaning. Without clearing away all of the built-up dust and grime, your air quality is a lot poorer. The airflow won’t be as strong as it should be with such blockage in the way.
Not only that, but dirty air ducts also make the HVAC work harder to push the air where it needs to go. This gives it the potential to wear down faster over time, costing you more in maintenance.
Ducts are an essential part of your system, so it’s always a good idea to start the year off by giving them the attention they need.
While cleaning, be sure to check for any damage to the ducts. It might be that a repair is necessary to get them back to peak performance.
Examine The Condensate Piping
This necessary pipe is where condensation collects and drains away. Without it working in the correct manner, you’re left with problems like flooding, mold growth, or water getting into the HVAC itself.
Check that the pipe and the drain are both connected to one another. You’ll also want to ensure that there are no dents or other damages done to the pipe or the drain.
Without these working together in harmony, your HVAC is at risk.
Now that spring is here; it’s time to switch over all of your thermostat settings. Depending on your HVAC model, there are several different things to change for the warmer season.
With a programmed thermostat, change it to the cooler settings and reset the machine’s schedule to fit Seattle's spring climate better. After all, spring isn’t as hot as summer and doesn’t need cooling all the time.
There’s no reason to waste money and energy when it’s not necessary. So, make sure to take notice of your home's general temperature ranges. Then, adjust the HVAC schedule to suit your needs.
Don’t forget to check the vents to ensure that all rooms in the house are getting an even amount of air ventilation.
Test The System
Now that everything is clean and ready, it’s time to turn on the system. The first time you turn it on to the cool setting, it is only a test.
Turn it on for a short period of time to get the machine working. When you first turn it on, it’s typical for there to be a slight difference to the way it sounds when you last had it on. This is because the systems are activating certain dormant functions.
After letting the HVAC run for about 30 minutes, look around at both the hardware inside and outside. Check for any leaks, sparks, or bad smells. If you spot anything amiss, turn off the machine right away.
These are all tell-tale signs that something is wrong and needs fixing.
Listen For Strange Sounds
Even with all the best prep work done in the right way, sometimes small problems remain hidden. For the next few days, whenever your HVAC system kicks in, make sure to listen.
If there are any sounds that seem out of the ordinary or downright strange, turn off the HVAC. These sounds might be alerting you of something going very wrong with your system.
A quick look around is sometimes enough to find the problem and fix it yourself. More often, however, you’ll want to find the help of a professional to get things working well again.
Contact Your Local Professionals
Although you plan to deal with all of your HVAC prep work yourself, it’s still a good idea to get in contact with a professional. Even a quick check-up on the system is enough to ensure that the machine lasts for a long time without any problems.
Professional HVAC contractors know how to examine your system in ways impossible to you. This makes the HVAC safer for both you and your family. With their help, there’s no guesswork and no chance that something goes wrong.
Plus, if there’s anything that needs replacing, they’ll get that done right away for you. Your HVAC won’t be out of commission for long with a professional tune-up.
Spring Into Action: Prepare Your HVAC System Early To Enjoy A Comfortable Season
The longer you wait, the less time you spend in a comfortable temperature setting. The longer you wait, the more potential damage accumulates in your HVAC system.
With the help of the list above, you have all the tools at your disposal to get the job done right. Follow the checklist to ensure that your HVAC is raring to go as the temperatures continue to rise. There’s no reason to sit at home feeling far too warm.
And if the checklist looks like a bit too much work, there are always other alternatives.