Once March/April comes around, most areas of the country are fully in the throes of springtime. That means longer days, warmer weather and, for many people, the heralding of those hot summer days when air conditioning becomes a survival tactic. Before those hazy days of summer arrive, there are a few air conditioning-specific tasks you should do to ensure you get maximum performance out of your air conditioning unit all summer long. What follows here is a simple checklist you can use to ensure you don’t miss any essential air conditioning maintenance steps this spring season.
Spring air conditioning maintenance checklist
Check your air filter
If you haven’t replaced it in a while, there’s a good chance you will need to replace it now. Spring is a good time to replace your air filter regardless, as the air is now full of pollens and other allergens that can lower the quality of your indoor air quite significantly. Replacing the filter with a new one at this time of year will allow everyone to breathe easier during allergy season. Click here to find more information about air filters.
Wash air filter
Even if it’s not time to replace the air filter or if the filter appears to be mostly clean, it’s still a good idea to wash the filter before you place it back into the unit. (That being said, at this time of year it’s probably best to err on the side of installing a new filter rather than simply washing/rinsing the old one, just for added insurance against pollutants).
Clean your bathroom exhaust fans
Although not technically related to your air conditioning system, your bathroom exhaust fans work to keep the air quality in your home high, too. They remove excess moisture from the air, which can help to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
Uncover your air conditioner unit now
Even if you don’t plan to turn your air conditioner on for a while yet, now is the time to remove your cover. Doing so now ensures you won’t forget to do it before you start up your air conditioning when the weather turns hot, which can cause serious damage to your air conditioning unit.
Clear away debris and trim away shrubs
While you’re out there removing the cover form your air conditioning unit, be sure to remove any leaves, grass, branches or other organic materials that may have accumulated around the unit. These materials can get sucked into the fan and cause it to seize and break down. Similarly, trim back any plants or bushes that have grow up near the unit since the fall.
Change the direction of your ceiling fans
Again, this isn’t strictly related to your air conditioning unit, but by changing your ceiling fans to turn counter-clockwise, you will draw the stale air up and push the fresh, cooler air down when your air conditioner is turned on.
Close the vents leading to the basement
If your basement is normally already noticeably cooler than the rest of your house, it’s probably a good idea to close off the vents before you turn on your air conditioner. This will keep the cooler air upstairs where it is needed while keeping the basement from getting too cold.
Switch your thermostat
Spring is the time to switch your thermostat from “heat” to “cool” in anticipation of the start of the warmer weather.