When we think about Spring cleaning, we don’t always think of our HVAC equipment, but it needs to be on the list. In only a few minutes, you can make sure you are ready to stay safe and comfortable through this next season. Also, well maintained HVAC systems can reduce energy costs by 25%, so it is worth the effort to keep them running in tip-top condition!
Whether you have individual window air conditioners or built-in central units, to avoid costly replacements and reduce your energy consumption, it is important to perform some routine maintenance every year.
If you use window A/C units, you will want to give them a good cleaning, replace or clean the filters, and check the drainage holes. Buy a coil cleaner, usually a spray or foam, that cleans and disinfects the coils. Most A/C units have drainage holes at the base, beneath the evaporator fins. These holes need to be kept clear so your unit can work properly, and so it does not back up and leak in your house. A paperclip or piece of wire works well to poke through these drain holes and clear any buildup. Try not to dent in the fins, as this will reduce air circulation as well, and straighten them out as best you can if they do become damaged.
If you have a central air conditioning system, it is time to have it professionally serviced before summer heat demands. At Gelinas, we inspect and clean the coils, clean the condensates drainage system of any debris, spray down and clean the coils, and check that the electrical system is working safely.
In most Maine basements, dehumidifiers are a familiar sight. Excess humidity causes a large percentage of building material rot and damage. Too much humidity in your home also means greater opportunity for molds to thrive, which can create serious health hazards. Dehumidifiers are sized for the square footage of the area they are working, so check with a qualified retailer about the size you need, and purchase a good quality unit for lasting effectiveness. To keep a dehumidifier working properly, it is important to give it a good annual cleaning. Remove what covers you can, scrub down any mold or debris build-up, vacuum every surface and crevice, and let it dry out completely before restarting it. Consult the product owner’s manual for maintenance specifics.
Spring cleaning is a good time to give your exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms a good washing. Turn the power to the fan off first, then take the cover off, and wash surfaces with soapy water, clean off fan blades (a toothbrush works great), and clean any filter cover well. Kitchen grease builds up, blocking air flow and filtration, and bathroom fans can have mold and mildew buildup that should be removed.
Some basic plumbing maintenance anyone can do, is to check the flappers on your toilets. If they are worn out and getting loose, replace this inexpensive item before they start leaking and wasting water. Give your faucet handles a check, cleaning the insides to prevent corrosion, and tightening them up to prevent leaking.
If you didn’t do this as part of Daylight Savings Time ritual, now is a good time to check the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, and make sure fire extinguishers are charged and placed in handy locations. Carbon monoxide is known as the “silent killer” for a reason, so if you do not have a detector, get one.