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March Spring Cleaning – Don’t Forget Your HVAC System!

As you start storing away your winter wardrobe and preparing your home for the upcoming warm weather, it is also a good time to maintain your HVAC system to ensure optimum efficiency during the summer. Professionals recommend cleaning and maintaining your system now because it allows you to catch small problems that could compromise your home’s comfort levels during the summer, when temperatures are high and HVAC technicians have a busy schedule.

How to Prepare your Portland HVAC System for Warm Weather

  • Change the air filters: Clean filters keep the air in your home healthy and maintain an HVAC system’s efficiency. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the frequency of changing or cleaning your unit’s filters. If it’s been a while since you changed them, now is a good time for a replacement. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends replacing the filter at least every three months.
  • Turn on the air conditioner: Turn on the A/C for a test run to learn if there are any issues that a professional should address before temperatures rise.
  • Install or set a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat is an energy saving tool that sets the HVAC unit to the ideal temperature throughout the day. You can set it, for example, to begin cooling your home just as you get off work so it feels comfortable when you arrive. With smart thermostats, you can control the temperature from a smartphone or computer. You can purchase a programmable thermostat at a home improvement store and many models are simple to install without professional help. Rinse-off-debris-with-garden-hose-illustrationLearn more about programmable thermostats here. 
  • Clean the outdoor area surrounding HVAC unit: Sweep away fallen leaves, branches, dirt, and debris around an outdoor HVAC system. Similarly, cut back bushes, grass, and other plants so they don’t touch or crowd it. Maintain your landscaping by gently rinsing away dirt and debris on the A/C unit’s condenser coils with a garden hose. The coils can be found on the exterior part of the unit. Click here for a more detailed maintenance timeline for your HVAC unit. 

When to Call an HVAC Professional

While there are several maintenance tasks that you can do to prepare an A/C unit for the upcoming warm weather, there are some tasks that you should leave to the pros.

  • Pre-season tune-ups: Professional maintenance and inspections during the spring keep an A/C system running reliably and efficiently in the summer. Like a car, HVAC tune-ups prevent unnecessary wear and tear, and reduce the risk of an expensive breakdown. When you call a Portland HVAC professional, the technician will perform tasks such as: cleaning the evaporator coils, checking refrigerant levels, inspecting and cleaning the delicate fins, and testing the electrical components.
  • Duct inspections and cleaning: Leaks in ducting can make a home feel uncomfortable, humid, and dusty. They also waste energy as leaks cause conditioned air to fill unoccupied areas of your home, such as the areas between walls. Hire a professional every three to five years to clean, inspect, and, if necessary, repair the ductwork in your home. If you are concerned about your home’s energy performance, consider scheduling a home energy audit.

Summer is an HVAC professional’s busy season. It’s also the season in which you don’t want to endure 90- and 100-degree temperatures without an air conditioner. There’s no need to sweat through the summer. Get in touch with AAA Heating & Cooling this spring to schedule A/C maintenance and inspection services so your home is prepared to handle the heat.


Photo by Philip Wilson via CC License