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How to Get Your HVAC System Ready for Spring


Spring is just around the corner, which means now is the perfect time for homeowners to get their HVAC systems ready. With spring comes a mix of warmer and cooler temperatures that can put a renewed amount of stress on your HVAC system—not to mention all the pollen, spores, and other kinds of organic airborne particles and the problems they can cause.

In this guide, we’re outlining the essential steps to prep your HVAC system for spring and what you can do to ensure it works as it should.

Clean or Replace Air Filters

One of the most straightforward tasks with the highest impact is maintaining your HVAC system’s air filters. Over the winter months, your system may have been working hard to keep the air clean and warm, often leading to a buildup of dust and debris in the filters. Dirty filters can restrict airflow, diminish system efficiency, and cause unnecessary wear on your system.

Here's how you can clean or replace your air filters:

  • Turn off your HVAC system.
  • Locate the filter, usually found in the return air duct.
  • Determine whether you have a reusable or disposable filter.
  • To clean a reusable filter, gently vacuum it or wash it with water and mild detergent. Be sure to let it dry completely before reinstalling.
  • For disposable filters, if they are one- or two-inch thick, consider replacing them every 1-3 months. If you have larger four- or five-inch filters, those can last longer (typically 6-12 months).

Remember, this is a task that should be done regularly, as it’s the first line of defense against indoor air pollution and system malfunction due to neglect. If you aren’t sure what to do, always consider hiring an experienced professional to get the job done.

Check & Clean Outdoor Unit

Your HVAC’s outdoor unit, often referred to as the condenser or compressor, can accumulate dirt, leaves, and other debris. This buildup can clog the unit, reduce airflow, and potentially lead to system failure.

Here’s a checklist to help you clean your outdoor unit:

  • Inspect the unit for any visible obstructions and clear them away.
  • Use a garden hose to gently wash the unit from the inside out, removing any accumulated debris. Avoid using a pressure washer, which can damage the unit's delicate fins.
  • Trim back any foliage or overhanging branches to maintain at least two feet of clearance around the unit.

This simple maintenance task will help your system cool efficiently and avoid overworking its components.

Schedule a Professional Inspection & Maintenance

Spring is an excellent time to schedule a professional HVAC inspection and maintenance service. A technician can detect early signs of wear and tear, address refrigerant issues, calibrate system controls, and clean system components to ensure they function properly.

When scheduling a professional service:

  • Check certifications and ask for referrals to ensure the HVAC company you select is reputable.
  • Consider signing up for a maintenance plan, which provides routine service and can be more cost-effective in the long run.
  • Understand the scope of work the technician will perform and ask questions about any concerns or curiosities you have regarding your system.

Professional maintenance can not only extend the life of your system but also could potentially prevent costly repairs down the road. In fact, many manufacturers require regular maintenance to keep their warranties valid.

Test & Adjust Thermostat Settings

As you transition from the heating season, don’t forget to adjust your thermostat settings. Many homeowners opt for a programmable thermostat or smart technology to seamlessly set different temperature profiles for various times of day or activities.

To test and adjust your thermostat for spring:

  • Change your heating program to cooling. Ensure the thermostat correctly reflects this change, and the cooling system engages as expected.
  • Consider setting your thermostat to higher temperatures during the warmer months to save on energy consumption.

This might also be the time to change out your thermostat's batteries to prevent it from malfunctioning. Keep in mind, though, your cooling system is designed to decrease the temperature by one or two degrees per hour. This may take longer during periods of unusual temperature and humidity. 

Check & Seal Air Ducts

Leaky air ducts can lead to a significant loss of conditioned air, which can cause uneven temperatures in your home and result in higher energy bills. Spring is an ideal time to check your ductwork for any issues and seal up any leaks.

Here’s how to check and seal your air ducts:

  • Inspect the visible sections of your ductwork for obvious leaks, such as disconnected sections or holes.
  • Use foil tape or mastic sealant to cover any leaks. Avoid using duct tape, as it can dry out and become inefficient over time.
  • For any inaccessibly sealed ducts, consider bringing in a professional with the proper tools and skills to seal them effectively.

Ensuring your ductwork is properly sealed can make a noticeable difference in your home's comfort and energy efficiency.

Contact Us for Reliable HVAC Services

Prepping your HVAC system for spring is an investment in your comfort, your health, and your wallet. Regular maintenance and careful seasonal transitions can help keep your system running smoothly, efficiently, and with fewer hiccups.

Following these steps will set you up for a fresh and comfortable spring season. And remember, if you ever have questions or concerns about your HVAC system, don't hesitate to reach out to a trusted professional for assistance.

Contact Bay Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule your next appointment.

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