At the end of winter, we always look forward to the last time the furnace clicks on and the return of warmer weather. But when spring looms, you shouldn't be content just to switch from heating to cooling with the push of a button. It doesn't hurt to plan a little end-of-season furnace care, along with some spring maintenance for the air conditioner.
End of the Season: What Your HVAC System Needs
1. Change the air filter. It's the same air filter for the furnace as the air conditioner and it needs to be changed regularly. A clean filter promotes good air flow, which helps reduce friction on working parts so the system runs cooler and has fewer breakdowns. If you upgrade to a good quality air filter, changing filters regularly will also improve your indoor air quality.
2. Schedule maintenance. Before you turn on your air conditioner, we suggest that you have one of our techs come out and take a look at it. And while they are there, they can have a look at the furnace too. Also ask them to check the heat exchanger for minute cracks that could be leaking carbon monoxide. If your furnace is 10 years old or more, discuss a heating system upgrade. You could be getting much better efficiency with a newer model.
3. Test air conditioning controls and thermostat.Before our tech arrives to perform maintenance, try turning the air conditioner on. Do the controls work properly? Does the unit achieve temperature set points as you would expect, or does the thermostat need changing? Keep notes and report your findings to our techindoor.
4. Check the condenser for good air flow.If leaves, limbs or other debris have piled up around the outdoor condenser, remove them and ensure there's good air flow. Otherwise, the compressor could be damaged.
5. Check indoor vents and registers. Make sure there are no obstructions in front of supply and return vents. If they're dirty, you can vacuum the grilles.
Visit the Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar website for in-depth information on furnace care and on most HVAC topics, or call us at (408) 868-5500.