The change in seasons means a change in HVAC habits. With spring around the corner, chances are you’ll soon be moving away from frequent heater use and more into consistent AC use. However, if you have not been using your air conditioner as much for the past few months, you may find it needs a little bit of home maintenance before you fire it up again. Luckily, that’s what spring cleaning is for. Keep reading for everything you need to know about spring cleaning for your air conditioning system, and remember that for all your seasonal and year-round HVAC needs, there’s All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical.
Our Top 7 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your AC System
- Change the Air Filter: Changing your HVAC filter is just one of those practices it’s good to get in the habit of doing every season. Although it doesn’t take long, it has a big impact on your indoor air quality—especially if you have let your AC unit sit dormant throughout winter, and you want to avoid the allergens of spring. You may even want to replace your filter on a monthly basis if you have pets, or there is anyone in your family with allergies/asthma/general respiratory issues. But replacing it seasonally is the bare minimum, or at least cleaning it, if you happen to have a reusable filter.
- Clean Out the Condensate Drain: Your AC system’s condensate drain line runs from the central AC unit to outside your house, where it disposes of excess moisture and condensation. The condensate line is extremely important for regulating humidity and preventing issues like mold growth, but it is possible for this component to get clogged over time with dirt, rust, algae, or other debris. If this happens, you will need to clean it out. Using a mixture of half bleach and half water should do the trick for this task. You can also purchase a commercial AC cleaner to scrub it down. It is a good idea to check the line for leaks as well, so you don’t end up with water damage in/around the unit.
- Clean the Evaporator Coil: The evaporator coil is the component in the exterior unit of your AC system, aka the condenser unit, that absorbs heat from inside your house. It is important to clean the coil once a year to reduce maintenance costs and achieve peak AC function, and spring is usually the perfect time to do this. You can usually do so with a combination of dish soap and distilled water, rinsing with vinegar to finish, or you can purchase some no-rinse evaporator coil cleaner. Although it is easy to forget about your AC condenser, ensuring it receives proper maintenance is just as important as maintaining your interior AC unit. And while we’re talking about the exterior unit, make sure you also…
- Clear Off the Condenser: Your exterior AC unit often collects twigs, leaves, and other debris as the winter goes on. Make sure there is no vegetation within two feet of the condenser unit as well, as even pretty plants can get in the way of your system doing its job and achieving proper airflow. In a worst-case scenario, animals have even been known to nest inside exterior AC units, so it is extremely important to check for this issue as winter comes to an end.
- Dust Off Vents/Registers: Dusty air ducts are not only bad for your indoor air quality, they also force your AC system to work harder, meaning you end up paying more in energy bills. For maximum energy efficiency, clean your ducts and registers at least once a year, and if you have never had your ductwork inspected, consider hiring a technician to clean your ducts and make sure they are not sagging or ripped.
- Check the Refrigerant Level: Unlike most fuel sources, refrigerant functions on a closed-loop system, meaning that if your air conditioner is functioning correctly, it should not have to be replaced. But breaks and leaks in your AC line can force you to replace, or “recharge” your refrigerant, so you should see where the levels are at about once a season. If you find that you are low on AC refrigerant, you will need to get more before things get too warm out. More importantly, you may want to consider replacing/retrofitting your whole system, if it is still running on the refrigerant known as Freon, which is being phased out.
- Schedule an HVAC Inspection: If you have not had your air conditioner looked at in awhile, it is never a bad idea to call for professional AC inspection and maintenance check. At All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical, our skilled technicians can tighten electrical connections, replace faulty parts, and even help adjust your thermostat for maximum comfort throughout the springtime and entire year.