With the azaleas in bloom and warmer temperatures inviting us back outside, spring is our favorite season in Atlanta and North Georgia. (Pay no mind to the pollen coating our cars and sinuses.)
But with the winter chills mostly behind us and summer’s heat ahead, it’s a good time for some spring cleaning of your heating and cooling system.
Keep It Cool
You know when’s the worst time to find out your air conditioner isn’t cooling properly? During that first 95-degree day in early summer. Check out your AC now instead, when you can address any needed repairs before the heavy heat sets in.
As an easy test, simply turn on your air conditioner — in most cases, by adjusting your thermostat down below the current temperature. Wait a few minutes, then feel the air blowing out of your HVAC system’s exhaust vents. Is it cool? Good news! If not, then at least you have time to address it.
(Remember to turn your thermostat back up when you’re done with the test.)
To keep things running smoothly and efficiently, take a quick trip to your outdoor unit with a hose and a broom. Clean up any branches, leaves or other debris that are on your condenser unit, and clear a buffer area of a couple feet around its base. Then use the hose to spray excess grime off the condenser coils and fan. (Spraying water on the unit is safe, as long it’s properly installed. It is, after all, designed to run in the rain.)
Avoid the Allergens
But about that pollen… along with winter’s dust and your pet’s endless supply of dander and shed hair.
We say it every season, but that’s because you should do it at minimum once every three months: Change your air filter, replacing it with a high-efficiency filter that’s appropriate for your HVAC system. (We can advise you on that if you’re not sure.)
According to the Department of Energy, “Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%.”
Spring is also a good time to vacuum or dust off your intake vents. If your allergies are worse than usual, you might also investigate having your ductwork cleaned. (It’s not something we or the EPA recommend for everyone, but in some cases it may help.)
Save on Spring Energy Bills
Spring is also a good time to get ahead on controlling your summer cooling costs while keeping you and your family comfortable at home. The tips we’ve already covered also help your HVAC system’s efficiency, but we’ve got more!
Remember to reverse the direction on your ceiling fans (assuming you did so for winter). In warm weather, you want the fans to push the air down, so the moving air cools your skin. For most fans, that means it’s spinning counterclockwise from your perspective looking up.
According to the Department of Energy, “A ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.”
Spring is also a good time to search for any cracks or leaks that are letting the outside air sneak in. Close them up with caulk and weatherstripping.
As is true year-round, a programmable or smart thermostat can help you optimize your cooling, keeping you comfortable at home while conserving energy while you’re away. (We’ll be happy to install one for you.)
And if you’re looking for an excuse to upgrade your outdoor grill, we’re here to help: Cooking outdoors during the warm months saves your air conditioning system from having to remove all that extra heat. Those flame-grilled burgers are saving you money!
Need some help getting ready for warmer weather? We’re here for you and ready to help, any time. Give us a call at 770-995-7585 or schedule a service appointment. (Inviting us to your barbecue is optional.)