After a spring that seems to have stretched on interminably, summer is finally upon us. With COVID-19 disrupting life and crowding out mental bandwidth, we notice that HVAC maintenance hasn’t been a top-of-mind concern for many people. Still, the weather won’t get any cooler in the days ahead, and your central air can’t service itself. So here are some things you might’ve missed — and some vital HVAC services you can get from Climate Care.
Replace or Clean Filters On Schedule
If your HVAC system uses disposable filters, make sure you’re changing them on schedule. It’s especially important now that many of us are spending more time than usual at home, which in turn means running the air conditioning cooler and longer than we normally would. Disposable filters should be changed, and electrostatic filters cleaned, every 90 days. However, it helps to check them monthly; if they look dirty, there’s certainly no harm in replacing or cleaning them early.
Buy Quality Filters
The adage that you get what you pay for applies to HVAC filters the same as many other things in life. Cheap fiberglass filters aren’t as effective, especially when compared to pleated electrostatic filters. Just make sure that your system can handle the filters you’re using, since some heavier-duty filters can impede airflow, especially in older or less-efficient systems. Not sure? Call us, and we’ll be happy to make suggestions.
Cleaning inside and out prolongs HVAC system life. Outdoors, make sure the area around your AC is free of debris like twigs, grass clippings, and leaves. You should also make sure there’s plenty of clearance around the outdoor unit, and indoors around your returns and registers.
Keep Vents Open
If you have a room that’s never used — say, a guest bedroom that’s become a gigantic walk-in closet over the years — there’s nothing wrong with leaving the vent closed in that room. However, at least 80% or more of your vents should be open, because closing too many will cut down on system efficiency.
Get Regular HVAC Service
The steps above are helpful, and they’re all things you can do yourself in a few minutes. But you should still call Climate Care even if everything’s running fine. That’s because maintaining your system with professional inspection, cleaning, and other HVAC services helps it to run better, last longer, and cost you less money over time.
This is a good time of year to check backup batteries in things like your thermostat, CO detector, and smoke detectors. The thermostat battery helps keep your AC running properly, and the batteries in your CO detector and smoke detector could save your life one day, so don’t neglect them!
Time for a New Central Air Unit?
If you’ve gotten many years of use out of your heating and air conditioning thanks to good maintenance — or if you’re not the home’s first owner and you’ve no clue how old they are — it can be a good idea to consider a new HVAC installation. Even the best-kept systems lose efficiency as they age, and at some point, repair costs begin to mount to a point where a newer system would be less expensive.
If you’re not sure of the best course of action, ask us. In many cases, HVAC maintenance or a simple repair is enough to get things back to normal, or to let you get one more season out of a system ’til you’re back on your feet financially. But if your system’s on its last legs, it’s best to schedule a replacement sooner rather than later, since they don’t tend to pick a nice cool day to break down. Questions? Call Climate Care (203-354-2020), from anywhere in the Lower Fairfield County area!