Spring is right around the corner in American Fork, UT, which means that air conditioning season is not far behind. Getting the most from your air conditioner means doing more than simply flipping the switch on your thermostat. Consider these tips to prepare your HVAC system for spring and the weather change.
Change Your Air Filter
If you haven’t changed your air filter since winter started, it’s time to check it. Most filters need changing anywhere from every 30 days to every six months, depending on the type of filter and the air quality. A clogged air filter reduces the airflow through your system, inhibiting its heating and cooling capability. If you’ve already changed your filter, double-check that it’s still in good condition, and gently vacuum it off to give it an efficiency boost.
Remove Your AC Unit’s Cover
You may have covered your air conditioner’s outdoor unit over the winter to protect it from the Utah snowstorms. Before attempting to start up your system, be sure to remove this cover. Failure to do so inhibits any airflow from moving through, which will burn out the condensing fan motor and the condenser itself.
Replace Your Thermostat’s Batteries
It’s easy to forget about your thermostat’s batteries until it brings up the low-battery alert. However, by the time that alert signals, your system is already experiencing performance degradation. Rather than waiting, proactively plan to change the batteries when you change the system’s mode in the spring and fall.
Adjust Your Thermostat Programs
To get the most from your HVAC system, you should use the programs available on your thermostat. The Department of Energy suggests you can save up to 10% on your annual heating and cooling costs by using these programs.
Before switching on your thermostat, make sure that you’ve reviewed your programs to ensure that they’re set for the correct temperatures. There should be about a 7- to 10-degree difference between your winter and summer settings.
Clear Around the Condensing Unit
In addition to removing the cover from your outdoor condensing unit, plan to clear the area as well. Obstructions of any kind too close to the unit will inhibit the airflow, causing anything from a reduction of your system’s efficiency to strain-related damage.
Plan to clear all debris, including weeds, grass, branches, bushes, and shrubs for at least 12 inches around your unit. Don’t forget to ensure the area above your unit is clear as well to allow the heated air to vent properly.
Clean Supply Vents and Return Registers
The vents and registers around your home also need periodic cleaning. Plan to wipe them down with a wet cloth to keep the dust from going down into your ducts. You can also remove the covers and clean inside the immediate area with a vacuum attachment. However, do not go in farther than that or attempt to clean your ducts. When it’s time to clean them, have a professional do the job so that you don’t inadvertently damage the ductwork.
While you’re looking at your vents, make sure that each has enough clearance to encourage proper airflow. For each of your supply vents, make sure you allow at least a 2-inch clearance around and above it. For your return register, ask your HVAC technician for the appropriate clearance.
Change Your Ceiling Fan’s Direction
Your ceiling fan helps improve your HVAC performance by making the air feel cool in the summer. It also helps draw down the warm air from the ceiling over the winter.
You’ll need to make sure the fan is spinning in the correct direction. Over the summer, you want the fan spinning counterclockwise to push the air down. It should spin clockwise over the winter to draw cool air up, pushing the warm air down.
Schedule HVAC Maintenance
Your system needs regular maintenance to continue working effectively. This maintenance includes cleaning the system and tightening mounting hardware and electrical connections. A technician will also test your system to ensure that it cycles properly and that there is enough refrigerant in it. Keeping your system properly maintained reduces strain and keeps the equipment working efficiently.
People around American Fork have turned to Gunthers Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing for more than 100 years to keep their HVAC systems working effectively. Our expert team provides heating and cooling maintenance, repair, and installation combined with a full range of plumbing services. Call today to schedule your HVAC maintenance with one of our dependable and friendly technicians.