Four steps to spring clean your HVAC system

You can inspect and prepare your system for the coming summer heat

While warmer weather signals the start of spring cleaning, missing out on a commonly overlooked item can lead to money floating away from your wallet – literally!

Many people take to cleaning their home and garage after spending more hours inside during the winter. Yet some people overlook their heating and cooling system, which has just been working hard over the last few months getting through the frigid frozen days. Taking steps to clean and inspect your heating and cooling system can lead to addressing potential issues while also preparing for the coming sweltering summer. Here are a few steps you can take to prepare your HVAC system.

  1. Check and clean or replace your air filter. The changing seasons can be the perfect time of year to inspect and, if needed, clean or replace the air filter in your furnace. The filter protects against dust and allergens from circulating in the air you breathe and from being trapped on your system’s coil. Over time, the filter can become caked with debris. This can cause your heating and cooling system can work harder than needing, costing you money.
  2. Make sure your outdoor unit is not caked with mowed grass or other debris. You should be sure to check your outdoor unit and make sure that it is not covered with mowed grass, leaves, or gunk. Winter and early spring storms can sometimes blow debris into and around your outdoor air conditioner, heat pump, or mini split unit. Debris can get into and potentially clog your system, leading to malfunctions or other issues.
  3. Do a visual inspection of your system. This would also be a good time to check other parts of your heating and cooling system, such as a furnace or air handler. You can check to make sure that everything looks clean and is functioning as expected.
  4. Know when to call a contractor. Everyone’s DIY abilities and comfort levels vary. If something seems off, or your system malfunctions the first time that you turn on the air conditioner for the season, it may be worth calling a qualified contractor. A qualified HVAC technician will be able to diagnose and address any issues to ensure your system is prepared for the coming season.

Many contractors offer ongoing system maintenance program plans to ensure that your system is prepared to run all year long. They will review and identify any problems and discuss repair options so that you can make the best decision to ensure that you are ready for the coming months.

You can contact your local electric cooperative’s energy advisor to learn more about your home’s energy use. You also can check out Power Moves® rebates available for energy efficient upgrades for heating and cooling systems if your home is ready for a replacement.