Don’t make the same mistake many other people make and wait to see if your HVAC will cool your home once summer is upon you. Rather, make certain your unit is ready for its summer job in the spring. This gives you time to perform any necessary repairs prior to the hotter months, and if you can’t do them yourself, you’ll have time to book an HVAC contractor before he is busy with emergency calls.
1. Change Your Air Filters First
Before you begin your spring HVAC check, make certain to change your air filters. The heating part of your HVAC unit has kept you and your family toasty warm throughout the winter, and the air filters have trapped unwanted animal dander, dust, pollens and other pollution. Chances are your air filters are quite dirty, even with your doors and windows closed for months. Replace the old ones with fresh ones and then move on to the next step.
2. Open Your Windows and Doors
Before you turn on your HVAC unit, open your windows and doors. For the first few minutes that the unit is on, you might notice an unpleasant odor as the air pushes through your vents. Avoid this by opening up. If you are extra sensitive, such as asthmatic or a person who suffers from other respiratory ailments, you can also place fans in the windows facing outdoors instead of indoors to help push the musty air-conditioned air out of the home.
3. Set Your Thermostat to a Cold Temperature
Next, switch the thermostat from heat to cool and set it to a cold temperature that will force the unit to turn on. Quiet everyone and everything in the home so you can listen for the click of the unit when it turns on and then the sound of the unit. If you notice any strange noises coming from the unit, turn the thermostat off immediately. If you don’t hear a click or the HVAC never turns on, turn off the thermostat and call for repair.
4. Close the Windows and Test the Air
If everything turns on as it should, close the windows once the odor from the stale air subsides. Next, test the air to ensure it’s cool by placing your hand in front of all the air vents in the house. Also, make certain you can hear air exiting the house through the intake vent. Pay attention to temperature and the air. If you notice the house isn’t cooling down, you might have a problem. You may also have an issue if you begin coughing or otherwise become irritated by the air-conditioned environment. If so, shut the unit off immediately and reopen the windows and doors.
Finally, even if everything appears to be working in tip top order, contact a professional for a spring maintenance visit. He will take your HVAC unit apart to ensure there is no problem with any of the elements that keep the machine running efficiently. He will also clean and oil the machine and clean out your air ducts and vents to ensure all the winter mustiness is gone. This helps you and your family breathe easier every time the unit flips on and cools the air.