Spring Cleaning List for Your HVAC System

Mar 21, 2020Blog, Ventilation

HVAC Spring Cleaning Checklist

The first day of spring occurs each at the vernal equinox, either March 19th, 20th, or 21st, depending on the year. This is a time that homeowners everywhere want to clean out each hidden recess and crevice in their house. For our customers in San Jose and beyond, here are our essential tips for spring cleaning your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.

Replace the Air Filter

A great place to start is by replacing the air filters in your home. In many homes, air travels through intake registers, where it is sent to a heat exchange. The air is heated or cooled, then sent back through the ductwork to cool/heat the home.

What happens when there is a dirty or clogged filter?

According to the Department of Energy, a clogged or dirty air filter can cause your air conditioner/heating unit to consume 5% to 15% more energy than when using a clean air filter.

Replacing air filters every 30 to 90 days will help keep your indoor air free from contaminants such as allergens, dander, pollen, dust, and other irritants. Clean air filters will also help keep your HVAC unit from breaking down. Clogged air filters can lead to problems with the evaporator coil,

Clean Air Return Vents

Dust and dirt that you never noticed can easily build up on your vents as air passes through. Vacuum the loose debris, and use a rag to get the tough spots. The quality of your indoor air will rise, and your family will thank you.

As air passes through the air return vents through the year, a build-up of dust and dirt can accumulate. You can use a home vacuum to remove the loose dust and debris from the return vents. Use a barely damp rag to remove the stubborn remaining dust from the grill of the return vents.

Clean Floor Registers

If your HVAC system has floor registers where air intakes back into the ducting, you can clean these yourself. Pet hair and dander, dirt, crumbs, and other debris can easily fall into these, getting circulated throughout your ductwork during the year.

You can unscrew the registers from the floor and clean them with an all-purpose cleaner. You can vacuum any debris that has fallen in the register. Thoroughly dry the register and re-screw it to the floor.

LIving room with air conditioning unit on wall

Clean the Outside Air Conditioning Unit

Before doing any work around the outside unit, be sure it off at the outside cutoff switch or at your home’s electrical panel.

Cut back vegetation and clean up debris around the outside AC unit to allow at least two feet of clearance. The idea is to prevent any loose plant matter or debris from entering the outside unit. This also allows air to flow freely for proper heat exchange between the indoor and outdoor unit.

Very gently hose off any debris on the outside units condenser coils (on the outside of the unit).

Knowing When to Call HVAC Professionals

There are times where it may be more advantageous to call a professional HVAC contractor rather than try to DIY.

Air Duct Cleaning

Your air ducts may contain contaminants from the previous season, which get recirculated through your home as you run the air conditioner. These may include dust, pollen, dander, or in worst cases, mold. A professional HVAC contractor can use special equipment to thoroughly clean the air ducts that run through your home, removing all traces of contaminants in your ductwork. (For our San Jose and Morgan Hill customers, Ventwerx offers air duct cleaning as a standalone service, or a free duct cleaning with a new air conditioner or furnace installation.

Air Conditioner Maintenance

Maintenance of your air conditioner should be one of the primary to-do’s on your spring cleaning list. This involves removing dirt and detritus from difficult-to-reach components and give your air conditioner a tune-up for the upcoming summer to prevent performance issues.

Air Conditioner Coil Cleaning

One of the main preventative tasks with your air conditioning unit is removing dirt and debris from accumulating on your outdoor condenser coils. Dirty condenser coils prevent the heat exchange process from working correctly. Scheduling a professional air conditioning tune-up and cleaning will ensure proper heat exchange during the summer, efficient energy performance, and prevent damage to other components in your air conditioning unit.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

Most dryer vents should be cleaned at least once a year. A professional HVAC contractor like Ventwerx uses special tools that can clean all lint and debris from your dryer vents without damaging the vents. By cleaning the dryer vents, it will aid in energy efficiency, and help prevent clothes dryer fires. The US Fire Administration reports that 34% of home clothes dryer fires are caused by failure to clean dryer vents.

Get a Free Estimate

Our HVAC technicians at Ventwerx HVAC Heating & Air Conditioning are here to help if your heating and cooling system is operating unusually. Give us a call at 408-422-2987 in San Jose or at 408-710-9595 in Morgan Hill for a free estimate.