SPRING IS COMING! IS YOUR HOME AC UNIT PREPARED?

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Given the weather that we’ve been enjoying here in Olathe lately, it sometimes feels like spring has arrived early. While we’re bound to experience some more cold, rainy, and maybe even snowy days over the next month or two, it’s clear that winter is finally on its way out! Spring is coming, and summer is not far behind. Before we know it, we’ll be relying more on our air conditioning units than we are on our furnaces. Do you need air conditioner service before the warm weather arrives? Is your AC ready for summer? Not to worry! We’ve put together a list of 10 easy tasks that you can perform to make sure that your home HVAC system is ready for the switch from heating to cooling and that it’s prepared to keep you and your family comfortable all summer long!

Remove covers from your outdoor AC unit. Covering your air conditioner during the winter months to prevent snow and ice from impacting the unit is not a bad idea at all. Just don’t forget to take off the covers, aprons, lids, or bibs before you start it up for the first time! Your air conditioner needs to be able to “breathe” in order to work, and having it covered up when you turn it on can do some serious damage to your AC.

Inspect the outdoor AC unit. While you’re at it, take the time to walk around your air conditioner and make sure that everything looks ship shape. This means that the insulation is still in place and hasn’t been eaten away by rodents or otherwise damaged, the fins are not bent, and the AC unit is level. If anything looks less than ideal, you might want to place a call to an HVAC professional who can come out and either perform an air conditioner repair or just level the whole thing out before you start relying on it.

Clean up the area around your AC unit. As we mentioned, the air conditioner needs unrestricted airflow to do its job. That’s why the AC unit should be uncovered before you turn it on. You’ll also want to make sure that there’s nothing stacked on or near the air conditioner and that no plants or weeds are growing too close by. Rake any leaves that may have gathered around the base of the unit during the winter and clear out any plants that are growing too close by. How close is too close? The base of your unit should have about two feet of clearance on each side.

Replace your HVAC system air filter. This is one of the most important things that you can do for your home HVAC system, and it’s also one of the easiest. You should change your HVAC system’s filters—sometimes called furnace filters, but they apply to the air conditioner as well—at least once every other month. Some people only replace theirs seasonally, and that’s better than nothing, but it really isn’t enough. You’ll see proof of that when you pull out the old filter and find that it’s clogged with dust and debris. These filters help protect your air quality, and changing them regularly helps to keep your HVAC system running smoothly. What’s more, in the springtime especially, your filter can help protect you from allergens in the air.

Switch off your humidifier. If you have a humidifier that’s attached to your furnace, now is the time to switch it off. During the winter months, that extra humidity can do wonders for the whole home, helping to reduce static electricity, keeping your skin from becoming dry, and making the place feel a lot more comfortable. When spring arrives, however, you won’t need any of that extra humidity. In fact, spring in Olathe often has a little too much humidity. Switching off your humidifier will save you money, make your home more comfortable, and reduce your risk of mold or mildew.

Spring clean your vents. Spring is time for one thing: spring cleaning! When you’re cleaning your home, don’t forget the vents! Sure, they may be out of sight, but they still collect dust, pet dander, and other particles. You can clean both the supply and return grilles yourself, but you may want to hire a vent-cleaning company to clean out the entire vent system every so often.

Spring clean the basement. While you’re at it, this is a good time to clean up in the basement, too, especially around your furnace. Sure, your furnace may not be running during the spring and summer months, but it’s still the heart of your HVAC system, and the air that travels through your vents from the air conditioner passes this way, too. Keeping the area around your furnace clean—and making sure that nothing is blocking vents or registers—is a good way to help keep your entire HVAC system running efficiently.

Adjust your air duct dampers. You may have noticed little levers on the sides of the ductwork in your home, specifically in the basement. These levers allow you to increase or reduce the airflow to various levels of your house. In the winter, these levers may be set to deliver more warm air to the main floor of your home, while in the summer the reverse is more common. If you’re unsure how your dampers are set currently, an HVAC service professional can help.

Turn on and test your AC unit. Before you really need it, you’ll want to be sure that your air conditioner is working properly. Turn it on and go around the house to make sure that air is flowing through all the vents. Check to see that the air feels cool after a few minutes of letting the system run. If your air conditioner doesn’t turn on, or if anything seems wrong or out of the ordinary, shut the system off immediately and call for an air conditioner service or repair from Davenport Service Company.

Call for a spring tune-up on your whole HVAC system. While we’re on the subject, preventative maintenance is one of the best things you can do for your entire HVAC system. This means scheduling tune-ups for your home heating and cooling system at least twice annually, ideally once in the spring and once in the fall, before the air conditioner or furnace kick on for the first time. This helps to make sure that everything is running smoothly and efficiently, which also saves you money in the long term by helping to keep your heating and cooling bills lower.

Whether you need an air conditioner repair before the summer heat arrives or just want to schedule your spring tune-up, call Davenport Service Company at 913-441-2222 today! We’re here to help!

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