Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Cleaning HVAC before Spring

Spring is not far. It is just around the corner and before you know it, spring will be here. All of us need the air conditioning in spring. But, have we ever thought that our air conditioners also need to be ready for spring and summer? So, is your HVAC unit ready to perform to the demands of warmer weather?

Many of you might say, “..oh I have a new system.” You feel having a new system does not require tune up for spring. You need to remember that a relatively new system needs regular maintenance so that it can run properly and efficiently. Surely, the last thing you would want is that your air conditioner breaks down in the middle of a hot day.

Why should I clean my HVAC before summer?

Servicing the air conditioner before spring is really important. Your HAVC unit will house effects of the harsh winter. Most systems have dirty coils and clogged filters that affect the working of the system. These problems, if not addressed immediately, can result in repairs that will make a hole in your pocket. Reports from the of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) say that if the heating and cooling systems are not cleaned periodically, the system is likely to incur additional costs of $1000 per cooling season.

Can I avoid my system from breaking down?

Yes. You can. But only if you have a twice-a-year maintenance check schedule and stick to it. There are a few checks that need to be carried out at least twice a year. These could be done DIY or by hiring the services of a professional, qualified HVAC technician.

What do I need to check in my HVAC before spring sets in?

These are some essential checks and probable repairs you need to carry out after winter.
  • Inspection of the evaporator coil. This will ensure that the coil is functioning properly, is clean and allows the unit to drain sufficiently.
  • Checking the filters of the air conditioning. Clean the filters thoroughly or replace it if necessary. Pleated air filters need to be changed at a frequency between one and three months. Standard fiberglass filters will need a frequent replacement and electronic air cleaners need careful cleaning according to manufacture specifications.  HEPA filters are ones that last up to six months and easy to clean too. You can clean them with a vacuum nozzle.  
  • Inspect the wiring and all connections of the HVAC unit. This will help you detect if any cracks have formed in the wires and if all connections work properly.
  • Thorough inspection of the condenser coil. This is essential because if it is clean, it will deliver efficiency.
  • Analysis of the unit’s temperature drop. It you feel overly warm, there is sure to be a problem somewhere.  
  • Ensure the drainage hole is clean. Most air conditioners have a drainage hole that is fitted to the base of the cabinet. Usually, these are found beneath the evaporator fins. This hole needs to be kept clean and clear so that the air conditioner can work properly. It will be good to use a paper clip or a wire to poke through the hole to check if it is clean. If it’s not clean, then proceed to cleaning it.
With a little advance planning, you can ensure that your HVAC system is ready for the spring, and that there will be no surprise breakdowns or unbudgeted expenses in the process.

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