A preseason HVAC checklist will keep you cool this summer
It is April and summer heat is on the horizon. In Connecticut, the transition between summer and winter is short. Before you know it the sweltering heat will arrive. One way to plan for summer your HVAC system is up to the tack of keeping you cool all season long. In fact, servicing your HVAC system is one of the vital factors of good summer planning. Having a comprehensive preseason HVAC checklist is the most efficient way to ensure a comfortable summer.
Most of the time, however, we delay routine maintenance to the last minute, causing ourselves an otherwise avoidable inconvenience. As the old adage goes, ‘prevention is better than the cure’ and we cannot agree more. Maintain your HVAC equipment periodically to prevent any future problems and uncalled for costs. Here is how a preseason HVAC checklist can help you.
One, it reduces the unwanted costs of emergency repairs in the long run. Two, it fixes the problems your HVAC system is having. Three, it fixes even those problems which have the potential to cause an HVAC breakdown during midseason. Four, it saves you from different hazards such as electrical hazards, or water damage. Five, it increases the lifespan and performance of your HVAC system. Last but very important, it reduces your energy costs as well. Even if there is not an issue with your system, merely cleaning the unit and lubricating the moving parts helps the system run efficiently.
Below, our experts at Hellas Air Temp, a Norwalk-based licensed HVAC company, have designed a comprehensive preseason HVAC checklist. This is brief and would help you identify potential problems your system faces or may face in the near future.
Preseason HVAC Checklist
Inspect the overall HVAC unit
First survey the overall unit. Do not do mechanical work at this moment. Just give a cursory look at how things stand now. Check the outside of the HVAC unit, the fan, compressor, and condenser coil. Then check the inside unit; evaporator coil, air filters, air handling unit, and air duct, etc. Inspect the electrical connections including wires and breakers. Give a look to belts, motors, and wheels as well.
Replace or wash air filters
Now is the time to start working on this HVAC maintenance checklist. The first step is to check filters. Over the course of time, air filters become dirty and clogged due to the dirt and air-borne pollen particles. Remove the air filters and wash them. If they are beyond cleaning, replace them. When done so, in addition to your less energy consumption and system efficiency, your indoor air quality will improve significantly.
Check and calibrate thermostat
The thermostat helps the system work only when it is needed. It keeps cooling optimized and automatic. If the thermostat is not working properly, your system will work but you will have to run it manually. The consequence of this will be your increased electricity consumption. Check the thermostat and tailor it to your own needs. If you do not have a programmable thermostat, it’s time to get one. Why? Because, according to Energy Saver, a government-run agency dedicated to energy savings, “you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.”
Lubricate all moving parts
Your HVAC system is a machine and like all machines, HVAC systems have many bearings and moving parts. Lubricate all of them. Failure to keep them lubricated may cause friction in motors, consuming more electricity and reducing the lifespan of the equipment.
Check refrigerant level
This step is more technical in nature and a naked eye inspection won’t tell you current refrigerant level of your HVAC system. Refrigerant is the fuel of any cooling system. If the refrigerant level is too low, your unit won’t keep your home cool. Make sure that the refrigerant level is up to the fill mark. Not too high and not too low. The required level for refrigerant varies from equipment to equipment. Check with your manufacturer about your unit. Clean evaporator and condenser coils in this step as well.
Inspect condensate drains
Condensate drains move water outside your home. Make sure that the drains are free from any clogs and fully functional. If the condensate drains are blocked, have accumulated algae, or developed leaks, the results may be water spilling outside your unit. It not only reduces the efficiency of your system but can also cause water damage and other safety hazards.
Check outside condenser unit
When not in use, the outside condenser unit should be covered. If however, it wasn’t covered, you need to thoroughly check it to see if any leaves, dirt, and water, etc. have accumulated inside the unit. Keeping the condenser clean helps it work not only seamlessly and efficiently but also saves you energy.
Check for electrical issues
The electrical connections may have been loosened over time. Similarly, check all the electrical wires for any wear and tear. Loose connections and faulty wires not only affect the performance of HVAC systems but may also cause other serious hazards. This is one of the most important steps on the preseason HVAC checklist.
Check for any unusual noise
If you turn your system on, pay attention to uncommon noises. If there is any odd sound, the culprit may be register-blockages, loose bolts in the unit, or debris in the vent passages. Or the air may be moving out of your system. Turn off the system and check the fan, compressor, and condenser coils. They should not be damaged. If you are not sure, call Hellas Air Temp and our technicians will sort out the issues to prevent any mishap.
Overall HVAC cleaning
During winter, your system may have gathered dirt, dust, and grime or invited pests that make a nest. Clean all the indoor and outdoor components of your HVAC system and make sure that there is no debris or dirt. Clean equipment runs better, faster, and works more efficiently.
Energy Star recommends a bi-annual inspection of your heating and cooling systems. One before winter and another before summer. Now is the best time to carry out preventive maintenance of your HVAC system. Use our preseason HVAC checklist. It will give you peace of mind when the temperature level rises.
Give us a call and we’ll take care of everything and stay within your budget. Hellas Air Temp is a full-service licensed HVAC contractor, serving the residential and commercial customers throughout Fairfield County. We are members of Air Conditioning Contractors of America as well as Carrier factory authorized dealer in Norwalk, Connecticut.
‘Don’t suffer in the heat’ is not just our catchphrase. It is precisely what we do, help the residents of Fairfield County have a comfortable summer.