8 Spring Maintenance Tips for Your HVAC System
Spring is upon us! And with spring comes the ever famous, spring cleaning. Many take the time to clean out and organize closets, garages, and bedrooms. HVAC systems are the last to make a list for spring cleaning if they make a list at all. Yet cleaning and maintenance of these systems are vital for the health of you and your unit. Without proper maintenance, your HVAC system will build up biofilm and debris. These contaminants block the airflow causing the system to work harder. This increase in the system drives up your energy bills. The airborne debris also cause poor indoor air quality. The contaminants in the air may trigger a respiratory response for the residents in the home. For the health of you, your family, and your HVAC unit engage in regular maintenance!
We have broken our eight tips into indoor and outdoor categories. There are plenty of areas that need regular attention. If you are not familiar with the areas of the HVAC system, always consult a professional, such as Chill Squad.
Indoor HVAC Maintenance Tips
Replace the Air Filter
Replacing the air filter should be a quarterly maintenance routine. Changing the air filter is one of the easiest maintenance routines to help your HVAC system. There are filters engineered toward the capture of specific allergens for the spring. If you or a loved one suffers from allergens, consider this when purchasing a new filter. Pleated filters are best for trapping mold, pet dander, and pollen.
Clean the Evaporator Coil
The evaporator coil is typically behind the panel near your blower motor. This piece is in the shape of an A and consists of metal sheets or ‘fins’ that help utilize your coolant.
While using a soft brush, dust off any debris that is collecting on the coils, then spray coil cleaner onto the coils and wait, allowing the cleaner to drip onto the drip pan. Clean the drip pan and ensure the drain pan and line flow. You can purchase coil cleaner at your local hardware store.
Clean the Evaporator Drain Line
The evaporator drain line location is under the coil. When you run your HVAC system, the warm air flows across the cooling coils. Heat exchange takes place on the coils, replacing the warm air with cool air. Condensation is present after this exchange takes place. The condensation drips into the drip pan and drain line creating a moist atmosphere. Mold thrives in this dark, moist atmosphere and can cause a plethora of issues, like blockages.
Clean your drain line with a wet/dry vac, garden hose, plumbing snake, or white distilled vinegar.
Adjust Humidity Levels
Attached to most HVAC systems are humidifier units. This unit helps keep the humidity level stable indoors during the dry months. Once spring and summer begin, the indoor humidity level should be low or off. To do this, some newer models have a “summer” setting. This feature suspends the humidity unit. You can also disconnect the water from entering the humidity unit. To do so, turn the lever to close on the connecting pipe. The recommended treatment would be to lower the humidity level around 30-60% indoors. This humidity drop will be optimum for minimizing or eliminating indoor mold growth.
Outdoor HVAC Maintenance Tips
Clean Area Around Condenser Unit
The condenser unit is the outside HVAC unit. Open to mother nature, the area can become cluttered with debris. Sticks, leaves, even animal nesting can clutter the space. In some cases, dry vents from indoors open to the side of the condenser unit. Be sure to keep this area clear of debris regularly.
Clean Condenser Unit
To clean the outside of the condenser unit, a shop vac is the best tool. Remove the outer grate from the unit. Shop-vac any debris, visible or not, from the outside of the unit. The hot Floridian sun may cake on certain debris to your unit and fins. You may spray the grate with a hose or coil cleaner to assist in removing caked-on debris.
Level Condenser Unit
Many homes today have a concrete platform for the HVAC unit to sit on. The reason for this platform is to keep the unit leveled. An un-leveled unit can be unsightly and cause functional issues. HVAC units that are not level contribute to the separation of lubricant. When this separation occurs, the refrigerant will not flow to your home properly. A tilt in the unit can also strain the coolant lines. Both issues can cause the system to malfunction, leaving your home hot and humid. Try installing a platform or working the ground to ensure it is level for the unit.
Inspect and Straighten Condenser Fins
Like the fins on the evaporator coil, these fins help with the heat exchange process. Condenser fins are on the outside unit and can easily become damaged. When damage occurs, there are obstructions to the airflow, and the unit must work harder. Working harder means taking a toll on your unit and increasing your energy bills. If you find any problematic fins, you can attempt to fix them yourself or call a professional to help.
Professional Maintenance Only Tips
While many homeowners prefer to begin with DIY cleaning, not all aspects can be DIY. A professional HVAC technician has the tools and knowledge to get into the unit itself. At Chill Squad, we will perform a detailed inspection and maintenance. Regular system maintenance will increase the longevity of your HVAC system. Regular maintenance generally once a year, ideally twice a year. The more care you give your unit, the longer it will last.
Some of the specialized professional maintenance you can expect:
- Full System Inspection
- Test Thermostat
- Test and Inspect for Leaks
- Inspect Air Filter
- Inspect Air Compressor and Motor
- Inspect Drain line, Drain pan and Coils
- Check Refrigerant Levels
- Clean Areas of Debris Build-up
- Replace Worn Parts, Belts, or Connectors
See our website for more information regarding our maintenance offers. At Chill Squad, we service residential and commercial systems in Southwest Florida. To speak with a staff representative, visit our web page or social media platforms. Keep up with the latest offers by following our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!