With temperatures in Utah steadily rising, spring is just around the corner. The season marks the perfect time to clean your home thoroughly after a long, harsh winter and prepare for the hotter summer months ahead.
Residents of Lehi and its surrounding areas rely heavily on their air conditioning to stay cool and comfortable during the sweltering summer months. For this reason, you must ensure your cooling system is up for the task to avoid unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs.
Ensure your unit is ready with the following HVAC maintenance tips from our experts.
1. Remove the Covers
While outdoor units are built to endure the elements, some Utah homeowners cover them to protect against snow, sub-zero temperatures, and freeze-thaw cycles. Tarps, blankets, and painter’s cloth also keep out pests that may settle inside the condensers.
Remove the covers before turning on the air conditioner; otherwise, it may cause the machine to overheat from insufficient airflow.
2. Inspect the Unit
After removing the covers, walk around the unit and look for signs of wear and tear. Never attempt to repair physical damage such as cracks or dents, loose parts, or frayed wires on your own, as this may exacerbate the problem. Instead, call a certified technician for a thorough inspection and accurate diagnosis.
3. Clear the Area around It
Add the task of clearing your outdoor unit’s surrounding area to your spring cleaning checklist. It’s one of the most important but often overlooked HVAC maintenance tips because many homeowners rarely visit or inspect their condensers before the cooling season begins.
Debris may accumulate around your cooling system once you’ve shut it down during winter. For example, fallen leaves, dried branches, and dirt collect and block the unit’s air circulation, so clear them out to let your AC pull in air to function properly.
Loose debris isn’t the only thing you should be concerned with. Maintain at least two feet of clearance between your unit and the closest vegetation to let air circulate. You should also trim overhanging branches or overgrown shrubs near the AC for proper airflow.
Often, the lack of air causes your cooling system to overheat and consume more power, making it less energy-efficient. Frequent overheating wears out your unit faster and results in higher utility bills for your home.
4. Do a Test Run
Testing your cooling unit in preparation for summer should be part of your regular AC maintenance. So, even though some spring days can be chilly, turn on your air conditioner and leave it running for 30 minutes to an hour. This is to ensure that it is cooling effectively.
Begin the trial run by switching your thermostat from heat to cool and setting the indoor temperature lower than the outside temperature. Give it time to cool the interiors; if there seems to be no change in climate, check for cold air coming out of the vents or registers. If you notice little or no air blowing out, shorter cycle time, and uneven temperatures inside the home, these are warning signs that your AC isn’t performing correctly.
Consult a professional technician promptly if you see any operational issues. They are less of a hassle and cheaper to fix when you spot them early.
5. Watch for Loud Sounds or Unusual Smells
Another crucial spring HVAC maintenance tip is to pay attention to unusual sounds or smells when your cooling unit operates. For example, if you notice clicking, rattling, squealing, or knocking during the test run, never dismiss them since they usually indicate underlying issues with your system.
Sometimes, there’s a musty odor coming from your system. If the smell persists and there is a watery discharge, the equipment might have a malfunction. Call a professional to diagnose the issue, but it doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion if you’re unconvinced.
6. Check and Change Filters
Your HVAC system features a filter that captures pollen, spores, dust, pet dander, and other contaminants, resulting in cleaner indoor air. However, it becomes blocked with dirt over time, preventing optimum airflow. This issue causes your air conditioner to work harder to chill your home, wasting energy and increasing utility costs.
Replace your air conditioner’s filters regularly to make it more efficient, less prone to problems, and longer-lasting. HVAC technicians recommend changing it every three months. However, the interval may be shorter if you have severe allergic reactions or respiratory issues, consider frequent replacements.
7. Schedule a Tune-Up
Here’s the most essential out of all the HVAC maintenance tips: get your unit tuned up ahead of the cooling season.
While you can take care of your AC with a few tasks, regularly scheduled servicing ensures it functions properly and reliably, especially for prolonged periods of punishing heat. Many benefits of preventive maintenance include reduced risk of repairs, better energy efficiency, and a longer lifespan.
Moreover, your unit’s warranty is usually tied to its regular maintenance, which is crucial when it’s still under guarantee. If you have no service records of professional check-ups, the manufacturer can deny your claim when you choose to call on the warranty.
Ideally, have your cooling unit inspected at least once a year and in spring before the weather heat up in summer. During the annual tune-up, a trained professional will do the following:
- Conduct a thorough inspection of your unit
- Clean the coils, fans, and other components to ensure efficient cooling
- Change or clean the filters
- Assess refrigerant levels, topping off as needed and looking for potential leaks
- Check the thermostat’s calibration, recommending replacement for better climate control and energy efficiency
- Lubricate motor and moving parts
- Replace damaged or nearly failing components
- Recommend repairs as needed and fix minor issues
Depending on the maintenance plan you’ve signed up for, you may be eligible for additional services otherwise unavailable to others. Ask your HVAC contractor to know your inclusions.
Beat the Heat with Absolute Air
Stay cool and comfy with more than just HVAC maintenance tips—you’ll need a trusted partner like Absolute Air to beat the summer heat. Reach out today to schedule a service.