As spring rounds the corner around the Tampa area, you’re going to want your air conditioning ready to go. As easy as it is to flip the switch on your thermostat to cooling, there’s more to getting the most from your system this spring. Consider the following checklist for making sure your HVAC system is ready to run efficiently throughout the season.
Check Your Air Filters
Your HVAC system only works when it can draw air in, condition that air, and push it back out into your home. To prevent small airborne particles from wreaking havoc on your system’s airflow, it’s equipped with air filters.
These filters need changing anywhere from every 30 days to every six months, depending on the filter size, construction, and your air quality. Before switching your system over to cool, take a few minutes to check your filters and change them if needed. If they don’t need changing just yet, gently vacuum off what they have collected to give your system a pre-season boost.
Prepare Your Outdoor Unit
Not only does your system depend on moving air inside your home, but it also depends on moving air through your outdoor condensing unit. Take a few minutes to inspect and prepare your unit for the season. Start by removing the cover if you put one on for the winter.
Next, clear the area around your unit to ensure it can draw and vent air properly. Ideally, you’ll want at least 12 inches around and above your unit cleared of branches, weeds, grass, or any other obstructions. Be sure there aren’t any vines still clinging to your unit from last season.
Check and Clean Your Vents
Aside from your air filter, your vents are critical to moving the air around your home. Take a few minutes to make sure all of your vents are open, and clean the vent cover with a damp cloth to prevent dust from falling down into your ducts.
While you’re working on each vent, make sure they have the proper clearance so that air can circulate freely. It’s easy to crowd your vents with furniture and other things, so keep an eye on them. Ideally, each supply vent will have at least 2 inches above and around it to allow the conditioned air to flow out and circulate.
Return registers may need additional space, depending on the size of the register. Check with your HVAC technician for the appropriate clearance based on its size.
Schedule Duct Cleaning
Debris and dirt eventually work their way into your vents, which clogs your ducts and reduces your home’s air quality. Plan to have your ducts professionally cleaned every three to five years, depending on your air quality.
Do not attempt to clean your ducts on your own with your home vacuum cleaner. These aren’t flexible or long enough to travel through your ducts, risking damaging the metal and causing leaks.
Tend to Your Thermostat
Beyond switching your thermostat to cooling mode, it requires a little more attention to make it fully ready for spring. First, the batteries in your thermostat won’t last forever, and they will cause accuracy issues as they drain. The industry standard is changing the batteries twice a year, typically in the spring and fall.
Additionally, you’ll want to adjust your thermostat’s programs to match the new season. First, consider if there’s a time difference in your schedule for when you’re home and needing more from your system. Next, change the temperature settings in your programs for what you’ll cool your home to rather than heat. There is usually anywhere from about a 7- to 10-degree difference between the recommended winter and summer settings.
Get Professional Air Conditioner Maintenance
Finally, schedule your annual air conditioning maintenance, ideally before the temperatures get too warm. During routine maintenance, our technicians clean the inside and outside coils along with the circulating fan. They will also check the refrigerant level and test each of the system’s components.
Finally, they’ll tighten mounting hardware and electrical connections to reduce vibration and electrical resistance. The goal is to maintain your system’s efficiency and catch small problems before they become major system failures.
Residents around Temple Terrace wanting to stay comfortable throughout the year have turned to Air Express, LLC since 2010. Our experienced NATE-certified technicians offer both heating and air conditioning maintenance, installation, and repair together with various indoor air quality services. Call to schedule your spring air conditioning maintenance appointment with one of our friendly technicians today.