When spring arrives, your HVAC system has been through the heating season and is about to face the air conditioning demands of our hot Raleigh, NC summers. This is the right time for spring HVAC maintenance and repair to ensure your AC will perform reliably when the heat and humidity rise.
1. Change or Clean your Filters
Many homeowners forget that clean furnace and air handler filters are just as important during summer as they are in winter. Change or clean your filters now; otherwise, your AC will work harder than it should, driving up cooling costs and increasing the risk of mechanical failure.
2. Get Ready for Allergy Season
Spring in Raleigh is beautiful, but with the rainbow of floral blooms come spiking levels of pollen, mold and other allergens. You can limit their impact in your home by choosing a dense electrostatic filter or a HEPA filter designed specifically to remove allergens. Your other option is to install an indoor air quality system (IAQ) with advanced filtration. With indoor air pollution identified by the US Environmental Protection Agency as a major health issue, a whole-house IAQ system is worth considering.
3. Clean the System’s Coils
If you have an AC or heat pump as part of your HVAC system, then there is one coil located in your indoor air handler or furnace and one in the outdoor condensing unit. Refrigerant runs through these coils to move heat from inside your home to outside when in AC mode. These coils become dirty from things like dust, hair, pet dander and yard debris. The result is reduced efficiency and performance and a higher risk of failure. A good way to address annual cleaning of your system’s coils is to choose a preventative maintenance plan that includes cleaning and other important maintenance issues that will improve the performance and durability of your HVAC system. Maintenance plans are called by various names. Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc., for example, calls its plan an Energy Savings Agreement. Many companies offer discounts and other perks to customers with a maintenance plan.
4. Consider an Efficiency Upgrade
Today’s top central air conditioners and heat pumps are very efficient compared with those from 15-20 years ago. If your unit is getting older, you’re spending up to 50 percent more on monthly cooling bills than necessary. Not only will a new, efficient AC or heat pump slash costs, most offer advanced climate control that will make your home more comfortable all season.
5. Install a Programmable or Wi-Fi Thermostat
A programmable thermostat or one that you can control remotely with a smart phone will help you reduce cooling costs. Program the thermostat to a higher temperature when no one is home, for example. A Wi-Fi thermostat allows you to program it ahead of time and change it whenever needed. For example, if you program the thermostat to cool the house at 6pm, but you’re running late one evening and won’t be home until 9pm, simply use your phone and the app to adjust the time the system changes to a cooler setting.
The Benefits of Spring HVAC Maintenance
There are many good reasons for spring air conditioner maintenance, repair and upgrade. Your home will be healthier and more comfortable, the risk of HVAC problems will be reduced, and using less energy to cool your home will cut costs and be good for the planet too.