Now that spring has arrived in Festus, it’s time to get ready for the warm weather months that are ahead. While spring cleaning may be something that you’re planning to get started with, your air conditioner may not be something you’ve considered adding to the list. Use this checklist to keep you on track with what you should consider as part of your spring cleaning routine for your central or ductless AC equipment.
1. Change Your Air Filter
Keeping your air filter clean is critical if you want to keep your air conditioner running efficiently. This can lower your cooling costs, improve your airflow and evenly cool your home. The typical 1- and 2-inch filter needs changing every 30 to 90 days, depending on its design and your home’s air quality. If you haven’t changed it in a while, make sure to replace it with the proper size to match the filter you’re replacing. Plan to check it monthly to see if it’s dirty and needs changing. When you check it, gently vacuum the intake side to extend the life of your equipment and provide an efficiency boost.
2. Clean and Clear Your Vents
Your vents tend to get dirty over time, with dust and dirt collecting on and around the vent covers. When left to collect that dust and dirt over a long period of time, particulates can get into your ducts. This can lead to airflow restrictions. The air coming from the vents will also pick up those particles and put them back into the air, impacting your air quality.
While cleaning your vents, check to make sure that there’s enough room for air to circulate around them. Each vent needs at least two feet above and around it to allow air to flow out and create positive air pressure. When combined with the negative air pressure created by the return vent, this creates adequate circulation.
3. Change the Batteries in Your Thermostat
Your thermostat has batteries to help retain your settings if your power goes out. Even if you haven’t lost power recently, the batteries are only good for about a year. Spring is a great time to replace them. Make sure you use a quality alkaline battery instead of a rechargeable battery. Rechargeable batteries have a lower voltage output, which may not give your thermostat the power it needs.
4. Clear Around Outside Equipment
The outside condensing unit that is part of your air conditioning system relies on adequate air circulation just as much as the indoor unit. There are numerous factors that can restrict the flow of air through the condensing coils. Check to make sure there aren’t any weeds or other vegetation growing up through the grill on the unit. Trim back grass, shrubs and tree branches. Ideally, you want two feet of space cleared around the sides of the unit and five feet above the unit to allow for adequate airflow.
5. Prepare Your Ceiling Fans
Before turning your ceiling fans on for the summer, take a few minutes to clean the fan blades. Use a gentle cleaner or plain water to prevent the built-up dust from flying off as you’re cleaning it. Once the blades are clean, flip the switch on the fan body to switch the direction the blades spin. The blades should rotate counterclockwise over the summer.
6. Rinse the Outdoor Unit
Aside from debris restricting airflow, built-up pollen and dirt can also clog the coils of your air conditioning unit, preventing adequate airflow. Use your garden hose without a high-pressure nozzle to gently rinse it off before starting it up for the summer. When you do, be sure to disconnect the power at the outdoor breaker. This is done by turning it off at the breaker panel inside and then finding the AC disconnect outside. This is usually a metal box located on the side of your home. It could be a breaker switch, or it may have a pullout head.
7. Schedule Spring AC Maintenance
Finally, call to schedule your spring AC maintenance with the trusted technicians at Bone Heating & Cooling. During a maintenance visit, your technician will dive deeper into your system, cleaning the evaporator coil, deep cleaning the condensing coil and cleaning the circulating fan. They’ll check all electrical connections and mounting hardware. Then they’ll run a series of tests to make sure that every part of the system is operating within optimal parameters and that it has the optimal charge. All of this improves your system’s efficiency, reduces your energy consumption, improves your household comfort, reduces the risk of mid-summer breakdowns and extends the unit’s service life.
For the last 45 years, property owners around Festus have trusted Bone Heating & Cooling with their home comfort needs. Our NATE-certified team provides heating and air conditioning maintenance, repair and installation, along with water heater and fireplace services. Call to schedule your spring AC maintenance appointment with one of our expert technicians today.