We all know the weather in Western New York can be unpredictable—if it’s cold and snowy on Sunday, it might be warm and sunny on Wednesday. This month, pick a day when it’s nice out to prepare your HVAC system for spring and summer. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Clean your A/C unit.
Make sure your equipment and filters are clean. Ragweed and pollen can blow around and can get stuck to the system. If you’ve got an outdoor A/C unit, hose it off.
It’s also important to inspect the lines to your thermostat for any damage. Sometimes animals can gnaw through wiring or landscapers can sever critical connections between your home and HVAC system.
For a visual guide to deep-cleaning your A/C unit, check out this blog from HGTV.
Check your circuit breaker.
A lot of people call saying that their A/C isn’t working, but oftentimes they just forgot to turn on the breaker. Before you call someone to look at your unit, check your circuit breaker first. This will save you time, and it could save you money, too.
How to do it:
1. Locate your circuit breaker.
2. Identify the switch for your air conditioner. This switch should be labeled “Air Conditioner” or “A/C.” Verify that this switch is turned ON.
3. Identify the switch for your inside unit. This switch could be labeled “FAU” (for “forced air unit), “Air Handler,” or “Furnace.” Verify that this switch is turned ON.
4. If either switch is stuck between the OFF or ON position, that means the circuit is tripped. In this instance, turn the switch OFF and ON again to reset the breaker.
Cycle your A/C unit.
When the weather starts to break, fire up your A/C unit. We recommend getting it going on the first 70-degree day of the season. Turn on your air conditioning and let it run for an hour or longer. Systems expand and contract with heat and cold throughout each season, so you want to make sure you don’t have any leaks.
Inspect your dampers.
What are dampers, exactly? They’re vents that open and close to distribute hot or cool air throughout your home. Inspect your dampers, clean them, and move them around to ensure they’re working efficiently. Then open or close them to distribute the airflow as needed.
For a better idea about how your dampers work, watch this video from This Old House.
Monitor your airflow.
If it took longer for your home to heat during the winter, or it’s taking a long time to cool down when it’s warm, your HVAC system could be experiencing low airflow. Fortunately, the most frequent problem has the easiest solution. When your HVAC filter gets clogged and the coils get dirty, all you need to do is clean them up and clear them out—but you’ll need a professional to handle that.
BEWARE: This spring, you’ll see a lot of ads for cheap HVAC service and maintenance calls. Do not be fooled! Low fee maintenance visits are typically scams that some HVAC companies use to get their foot in the door. As soon as they’re in, though, that’s when they hit you with upcharges.
REMEMBER: At Capital Heat, we offer transparent pricing so you receive the highest-quality service every single time. For more information, read about the myth of the $60 maintenance call.
If you need any assistance with your HVAC system, contact Capital Heat, or call us at 716.683.7336 ASAP.