HVAC spring maintenance might sound new or foreign to some of us. However, it is actually a traditional practice performed by most heating and cooling specialists.
Spring maintenance may also be known as pre-and post-season maintenance.
You have most likely heard of pre-season maintenance services for your HVAC systems to get them into gear for the heating and cooling seasons. However, only some homeowners know about post-season maintenance.
Both pre-and post-season maintenance efforts are essential and beneficial, helping you attain system efficiency and stability. Spring is prime time for both services.
Is Spring Maintenance Really Necessary?
Spring cleaning is one of the most widely practiced traditions in the whole country. Spring brings plenty of added airborne pollutants, and we take added measures to save ourselves from them.
We clean our homes during spring to prevent pollen, dust, dander, and other debris from settling between our home's furniture and fixtures. However, they don't just settle. They freely float through our indoor air.
Once they enter our HVAC systems, they may contaminate our home's airflow. Who wants all those allergens circulating through our air ducts and vents?
Here are some symptoms you may experience due to contaminated airflow:
- Allergic rhinitis
- Scratchy throat
- Sore eyes
- Skin irritation
While those of us who are luckier may only experience these milder symptoms, some of us may suffer from worse complications. You can avoid all kinds of symptoms during spring by thoroughly cleaning our HVAC systems.
Why Is Spring the Best Time for HVAC Maintenance?
Spring is the most efficient time for holistic HVAC maintenance. Spring is the only season separating the heating and cooling seasons.
Paying attention to both your heating and cooling systems during spring helps you knock two birds with one stone. Spring gives you the opportunity to shut one system down while you prep another all in one season.
While your furnace does all the work during winter, it lays dormant all summer. The higher temperatures give air conditioners their time in the limelight.
Now is the only time you can conduct pre- and post-season maintenance tasks on your HVAC system.
What Is HVAC Maintenance?
HVAC maintenance is broad. It involves cleaning, recharging, replacing, and securing components.
All maintenance tasks, simpler ones and those more complex, are necessary. They are essential in maintaining system stability to deliver top-quality heating and cooling consistently.
While various tasks comprise HVAC maintenance, we can segregate them into two sub-categories:
- Pre-season Maintenance
- Post-season Maintenance
Pre-season maintenance augments cooling functions to help prep air conditioners for summer. Preventative spring maintenance helps boost energy efficiency, quality, stability, and safety.
Cooling systems require pre-season maintenance during spring to ensure everything is in good working condition for summer. While your air conditioner might work fine, it may incur increased energy bills.
Inefficient cooling isn't only costly but less effective. You might wait longer for your AC system to alter indoor temperatures, which might still not be enough when you do get it.
Post-season maintenance efforts are equally necessary for your heating systems. Your home-heating systems may have worked overtime during winter.
Heating functions may result in residual fuel settling on various components, causing corrosion and rust. Prematurely turning heating systems down may also result in condensation buildup, inviting mold spores and allergens to breed within.
You must watch out for worn-out or contaminated components. They don't only threaten your immediate safety but may even shorten the lifespan of your entire heating system.
Why Do I Need to Maintain My HVAC System Regularly?
Ironically, you pay more to pay less. Are you perplexed? Let's break it down.
Paying for superior systems and their maintenance helps you pay less for utility and energy costs.
Consuming less energy doesn't only lead to financial savings but helps lessen your home's collective carbon footprint. Regular maintenance cultivates multi-faceted sustainability.
Combining Grade A HVAC systems with regular maintenance is the best way to cultivate long-term energy savings. You save a few dollars every month and help preserve your surrounding environment.
It pays to have reliable and quality airflow all year long. You may sleep better at night thanks to steady yet eco-friendly heating and cooling.
To better understand the benefits of observing regular maintenance, you must read about the risks of neglecting your furnaces and air conditioners.
The Risks of Neglecting HVAC Maintenance
Most homeowners hesitate to "spend more" on their expensive HVAC systems. It is dangerous to think the large sums you initially paid are all-inclusive.
Your top-of-the-line heating and cooling systems require continuous expenses. If you want to maintain the efficiency you paid for, don't neglect yearly maintenance and tune-ups.
Our HVAC systems are vulnerable to mechanical failure without regular maintenance, which may expose us to discomfort and inconveniences.
These nuisances are enough to convince most of us to schedule routine maintenance.
Still, these bothersome issues aren't the only difficulties we may face. Poor maintenance may lead to more dangerous problems.
Your HVAC system may be the source of health and safety hazards.
If you are unwilling to pay for maintenance and upkeep, you can forget about all the money you paid to purchase your innovative heaters and air conditioners.
Poor maintenance will render even the most state-of-the-art HVAC systems inefficient and unreliable!
What Can I Do to Maintain My HVAC Sytems?
The best tip we can give you is the hotline for reputable HVAC contractors. However, some of us want to be more involved by doing things ourselves.
While there are things you can do independently, it's best to leave more challenging tasks to the professionals. You might end up causing more damage than you started with by carelessly tinkering around.
Here's a simple task you can try on your heating and cooling units.
Cleaning HVAC Air Filters
The air filter is an accessible component that plays a significant role. It can impact airflow in more ways than one.
It can produce inferior output quality by contaminating and inhibiting air distribution. All those ill side effects may stem from dirty air filters.
You can trust your nose on that one!
If you are trying to get away from all that pollen outdoors, your home can't provide any refuge, thanks to your HVAC system's dirty filters.
You might have central, multi-zone, stand-alone, or furnace filters. While they differ in certain aspects, you may take similar steps to clean them.
How to Clean Air Filters
- Read the user manual to access your HVAC filters.
- Inspect them for any damage and contamination.
- You may clean air filters using these steps:
- Pull out any exposed particles from the filters.
- Use a wet-dry vacuum to extract smaller particles.
- Submerge the filter into a basin with warm water for a few minutes.
- Hang the filter until it dries.
- Scatter at least one cup or more of baking soda all over the filter.
- Put distilled white vinegar or lemon juice in a spray bottle.
- Spray vinegar/lemon juice on top of the baking soda to saturate the filter.
- Allow the homemade cleaning solution to emulsify for a few minutes.
- Wipe off the emulsified solution.
- Submerge the filter back into warm water once more.
- Hang the filter until it is completely dry.
- Place the filter back into your HVAC system.
- Ensure it is securely attached back in place before closing your HVAC system.
Some HVAC filters cannot be cleaned and must be immediately replaced. Central heating and cooling vents have integrated air filters. These supplementary air filters are easily accessible, sitting atop each outlet.
These pleated and fiberglass filters are less reusable. They have shorter lifespans than built-in air filters. Contractors recommend filter replacement over cleaning and re-using them.
Built-in air filters within air conditioners and furnace systems can be dismantled, washed, and re-attached. However, they are replaceable, especially when damaged or contaminated.
It's best to call the pros for filter replacement. While you may replace them yourself, you might have difficulty evaluating the extent of the contamination.
If there's mold, you will need more than cleaning and replacement.
When to Call the Professionals
You must call professionals anytime HVAC systems manifest indications of contamination. Mold spreads quickly through dark, damp, and isolated areas. Your HVAC system is a prime environment for mold growth.
Routine professional inspections help you avoid unseen contaminants from spreading. They also prevent costly system replacement and dangerous health risks.
Do-It-Yourself methods are helpful, and they can help you save a few dollars. Still, it may cost you more to remedy mechanical damage and bodily injury.
Dismantling an air conditioning unit without the right equipment can cause dents and cracks.
You may also tear through supply lines, loosen attachments, and dislodge components. Such compromise may unstabilize your entire air conditioning system.
Don't risk it! It's not worth the hassle.
Additionally, routine maintenance doesn't only involve cleaning. Your HVAC systems need more comprehensive maintenance tasks.
Who Can I Call for HVAC Maintenance in Portland, OR?
Sunset Heating & Cooling is Portland's most reputable HVAC contractor. We have provided Oregonians with various home improvement services for over a century.
Don't opt for amateur contractors who promise cheaper services. It will cost you more in the long run.
Our specialists prioritize your HVAC units and your family's safety. Contact us now for reliable AC tune-up and other HVAC services.
In spring, our experts can perk your cooling systems up and remedy your heating systems. We also provide proper furnace repair if winter wore your heaters down.
If you need fast, effective, and affordable services, contact the Sunset Heating & Cooling team!