It’s almost here—March 20th marks the first day of spring! We can’t wait for this cold, wet winter to give way to moderate temperatures, blooming flowers, and longer days. When the weather gets warmer, you’ll need to switch from heat back to air conditioning to stay comfortable in your home. Before you make the switch, there are some simple but important maintenance tips that you should follow. Maintenance is essential in keeping your HVAC system running efficiently and preventing costly repairs, so incorporate these spring HVAC maintenance tips into your spring cleaning to make sure your system is prepared for spring and the warmer weather it brings.

HVAC Maintenance Tip #1: Inspect the Outdoor Unit

To make sure your air conditioner will work when warmer weather hits, you should visually inspect your outdoor unit. If the unit is sitting on a concrete pad, make sure the concrete isn’t deteriorating from ice damage or causing your unit to sit lopsided. Your outdoor unit should be level and on a stable surface so that it can perform properly. You should also check the condenser for any signs of damage. If anything looks off, call an HVAC company to check it out. If your condenser is damaged, you could run into serious problems when you turn on your air conditioning, so it’s best if a professional can find and fix this issue as soon as possible.

HVAC Maintenance Tip #2: Clear Away Any Debris

It’s possible that over the past few months fallen leaves and other debris may have built up around your outdoor unit. As part of your spring cleaning, make sure you clear any debris from around the unit. Remove dead branches, rake away leaves, and clear dirt that may have collected around it. As plants start to flourish again in spring, you should keep them cut back so they don’t grow too close to the unit. It’s best if you can keep the two feet around your outdoor unit clear so that your HVAC system can function efficiently without unnecessary stress.

HVAC Maintenance Tip #3: Replace the Air Filter

It is very important to regularly replace the air filter in your home. As plants begin to bloom this spring, you’ll need all the protection you can get to keep your allergies at bay. Your air filter prevents dust, dirt, pet danger, and other air pollutants from circulating in your home. When an air filter is dirty and clogged up, not only will the air quality in your home worsen, but your HVAC system will also have restricted air flow, which can cause your HVAC unit to freeze up or become damaged.

HVAC Maintenance Tip #4: Get Your Ducts Cleaned

During the winter, debris, dust, mold, and other allergens can collect in your ductwork. To make sure you have good air quality inside your home, use this time of spring cleaning to get your ducts professionally cleaned. If you have your ducts cleaned before you turn your air conditioning on, you won’t have to worry about those accumulated allergens invading your home. It’s generally advised that you should get your ducts cleaned by a professional every five to seven years to maintain healthy air quality. If it’s been a while, now is the time to schedule duct cleaning with a reliable HVAC company.

HVAC Maintenance Tip #5: Upgrade Your Air Filter

Sometimes, your air filter needs more than just replacing. Upgrading to a higher quality air filter can make a huge difference on both the efficiency of your HVAC system and the quality of the air in your home. A new, high-efficiency pleated filter with an electrostatic charge will attract dust and bacteria, trapping them inside the filter to keep them out of your air. Upgrading to this type of air filter may be the improvement your HVAC system needs this spring.

HVAC Maintenance Tip #6: Invest in a Smart Thermostat

A programmable thermostat is an essential addition to your HVAC system. If you don’t already have one, you should invest in one before you need to run your air conditioner all day and night when the weather gets warm. A programmable thermostat lets you control the temperature of your home at all times, even when you’re at work during the day or asleep at night. You can program your thermostat to run less when no one is home, which will save you money on energy bills and keep your HVAC system from working too hard. A smart thermostat is an even bigger upgrade. It provides greater energy savings by self-correcting and learning your schedule—and you can get one that you can even control from your smartphone.

If you don’t have a programmable or smart thermostat, it’s time to get one installed by an HVAC professional. If you do already have one, then you need to make sure you update your settings and system schedule as the season begins to change.

HVAC Maintenance Tip #7: Check Your Home for Air Leaks

Even if your unit is in tip-top shape, it will struggle to properly cool a home that has air leaks. While you go about your spring cleaning, check the windows and doors for possible air leaks. Are the weather stripping and seals around windows, doors, and door jambs intact? If any are warping, cracked, or detaching, you should replace them. Keeping your home tightly sealed will allow your air conditioner to maintain an even temperature throughout, and it can work more efficiently if cool air is not escaping through air leaks.

HVAC Maintenance Tip #8: Test Your Air Conditioner

Before hot weather arrives, you need to test your air conditioner so you know it’ll work when you need it to. You don’t want to be surprised with a broken air conditioner component when the weather suddenly gets hot later this spring. To check the cooling function, turn down your thermostat to a few degrees lower than the current indoor temperature. Give the system some time to turn on and start working, then feel the air coming out of the vents around your home to make sure it is cool. While the air conditioning is running, listen for any strange sounds. If the air isn’t cool or you hear abnormal noises, schedule maintenance with a professional HVAC company so your system will be able to work properly when the weather gets warm.

HVAC Maintenance Tip #9: Keep Doors and Windows Closed

As spring arrives, you’ll likely be tempted to open your windows and doors to let the fresh spring air in. While this may seem like a great way to save on energy costs since you won’t need to run the air or heat, leaving the doors and windows open can actually introduce a few problems. The biggest concern is that when you let spring air into your home in East Tennessee, you let allergens in, too, which can make your allergies act up and can also clog up your air filter. Additionally, letting in that warm, humid spring air can put a strain on your HVAC system. It will need to work much harder to remove moisture from the air, which will reduce its efficiency and increase energy costs.

HVAC Maintenance Tip #10: Schedule Routine Maintenance

All of the above spring maintenance tips are great to do on your own, but your HVAC system also needs maintenance from an HVAC company to keep it in working order. A professional HVAC technician will be able to look over your system more thoroughly to check for things you might miss, such as checking all connections, refrigerant pressure, ducts, and more. A professional will find any potential issues and fix them before they turn into a major breakdown in the future.

East Tennessee HVAC Maintenance and Repair

City Heating and Air Conditioning can help you complete your spring maintenance checklist. Our experienced HVAC technicians know where to check for potential problems and how to fix them so that you don’t have to deal with costly HVAC repairs in the near future. We will do everything necessary to make sure your HVAC system runs as efficiently as possible so that you can stay comfortable in your home as the weather changes. Don’t wait until you have a major issue to get your HVAC system serviced; instead, be proactive and schedule HVAC maintenance before you experience any problems so that your system will always run as it should. To schedule HVAC maintenance and repair with a trusted Knoxville HVAC company, give City Heating and Air Conditioning a call at 865-938-1005 or fill out our online form.