Your Complete Air Conditioning Maintenance Checklist for Spring

Your Complete Air Conditioning Maintenance Checklist for Spring

Spring is on the horizon and warmer weather is finally here. That’s great news for those of us who enjoy the outdoors because it means beach days, hikes, barbecues, and plenty of other activities that take advantage of the long-awaited sunshine. Some of those days, however, are bound to be a little warmer than we’d like, which also means it’s time to make sure our air conditioning units are in good working order.

By the time spring arrives, most people won’t have used the air conditioning units in their homes for many months, which is why it’s important to inspect everything ahead of time and to arrange any necessary repairs before the weather becomes too hot. Use the complete air conditioning maintenance checklist we’ve created below to help ensure your HVAC system is as ready for the warm weather as you are:

1. Clean and Seal the Ducts

Even if every other element of your air conditioning system is operating perfectly, there is one critical piece of maintenance you will definitely need to perform at least once a year: cleaning the air ducts. The ductwork in your home sees a lot of use since it is the pathway that your HVAC system uses to transport air throughout your home whenever you run your furnace or air conditioner. As this air travels from room to room, it carries with it dust, dirt, and other particulate matter. This debris will eventually build up inside of the ducts.

A buildup of dust and dirt inside of your ductwork will have several negative results: first, it will reduce the overall efficiency of your HVAC system by hampering the airflow. Second, the accumulated dirt will be blown back into the rooms in your home whenever the HVAC system is switched on, which in turn will exacerbate allergies and other respiratory conditions such as asthma.

Your licensed HVAC technician can clear out the ductwork and seal any leaks to further boost the efficiency of your HVAC system.

2. Change the Air Filters

Related to the point listed above, the air filters in your HVAC system work full-time to capture dust and dirt circulated by the regular operation of your heating and air conditioning units. Each day, they block clothing fibers, pet dander, pollen, and dozens of other common particles that make their way through the home. Over time, the filters become saturated with these pollutants and, eventually, blocked. When this happens, they will either need to be cleaned or replaced.

How often you need to clean or replace your air filters depends on which ones you are using, but it’s likely to be a lot more common than you think. According to Consumer Reports, most air filters will need to be replaced every 3 to 12 months. Several times a year, as part of your heating and air conditioning maintenance checklist, you will need to at the very least clean your filters. More likely, you will need to replace them entirely every few months, especially during times of increased use.

3. Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat in your HVAC system is a small but critical element, without which the rest of the system will not be able to operate effectively. That’s because it’s the thermostat that is essentially the “brain” of your HVAC system, communicating to it when it’s time to cycle on, switch off, or change temperatures. If the thermostat malfunctions as a result of faulty wiring or other electrical connectivity problems, then the system may cycle on and off when it’s not supposed to. This can cause your HVAC system to struggle to keep your home at the correct temperature or simply reduce its efficiency, driving your energy bill up.

As part of your annual air conditioning maintenance checklist, your HVAC technician will:

  • Make sure none of the wires in your thermostat have corroded, come loose, or detached completely
  • Check batteries, if needed
  • Clean or repair sensors

This will help ensure the entire system operates as effectively as possible.

4. Check the Refrigerant Levels

This is an air conditioning maintenance checklist, and this entry is specific to an air conditioner: coolant levels. Your AC unit utilizes refrigerant gas, which is pressurized into liquid form and stored inside coolant coils. For that pressure to be maintained, a certain amount of coolant must be stored within those coils; however, it’s possible for coolant to leak out and be lost over time.

There are usually clear signs that refrigerant levels have dropped inside of your coolant system. For example, there may be bubbles around the coils due to leakage. You may even see frost beginning to form on the coils as they lose their ability to effectively absorb heat. If you notice these or other signs of low refrigerant levels, you should ask a certified HVAC technician to perform a repair.

5. Create a Long-Term Maintenance Plan

The final step on your checklist should be to create a long-term maintenance plan to have in place for your air conditioning system. Ideally, this means you will have a professional come in at least once a year to perform any necessary repairs. They will have their own checklist that they will work through during an inspection. It will include everything we’ve discussed here, while also being customized for your specific air conditioner and system. Your HVAC professional will be able to clean ducts, check electrical connections, replace air filters, and more. If more extensive repairs are needed, they will be able to make recommendations for these as well.

Finding a good HVAC technician is a matter of doing a little research: Are they certified? Are they experienced? Do they have other satisfied customers they can point to? Ideally, you will want to find an HVAC company like All Weather Heating & Cooling in Ohio. Businesses like this one have decades of experience, as well as highly trained and certified staff who have dealt with every HVAC problem imaginable.

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