Spring Cleaning for Your HVAC
The bright promise of Spring is not so bright on your HVAC. The changing seasons mean your heating and cooling equipment become subject to external weather conditions and must constantly shift settings to compensate. Uncharacteristic snow in March is exactly what your HVAC does not want.
You may not be able to fight the weather but you can take precaution against it. The best way to protect your HVAC equipment is with some annual spring cleaning.
1. External HVAC Panels
Your external HVAC unit contains panels that protect it against strong winds and harsh weather. Check these panels and make sure they are not dented or loose. All it takes is one strong storm to rip a panel and damage your unit.
(Starting in Spring, North Carolina will see about 15 storms, by Summer, approximately 100 storms, and by the start of Fall, as many as 150 storms will hit North Carolina and its coast.)
Save yourself the trouble now and check your panels.
2. Pipe Insulation
There is an insulated copper pipe that supplies cool air from your internal HVAC unit to your compressor outdoors. If insulation is damaged, the cool air will not be supplied to the outdoor unit, which will upset your system and cause a loss of energy. All it takes is a simple foam insulation replacement if yours is damaged due to sun rot, freezing water, or small animals and debris. Make sure you check and replace insulation before starting the unit.
3. HVAC Debris
While checking your pipe insulation for dirt and debris, check your condenser coils as well. [Hint: condenser coils are inside your outdoor unit] Dirt and debris interfere with heat transfer from your unit to your home. Your unit will run longer and hotter and at a higher pressure in order to provide cool air.
4. Indoor Filters
The easiest thing you can do for your home is change the air filters. These filters prevent large particles from entering your ventilation and clogging your system. Filters left unchanged for too long can prevent airflow, causing a pressure drop and potentially a blow-out to your system.
- It is suggested that the “average” household with no pets change air filters every 3 months.
- Homes with pets should change filters every 2 months
- Homes with more than one pet and/or a person with allergies are suggested to change air filters every 3-4 weeks.