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The Hood Magazine

Spring Cleaning Your HVAC System

Mar 31, 2020 10:32PM ● By The Hood Magazine

By:  Foley’s Heating & Cooling   

We’ve touched on this before but it bears repeating...with any good spring cleaning strategy comes the inclusion of your home’s HVAC system - mainly getting your AC unit ready to effectively and efficiently cool your home as temperatures begin to rise. An efficient AC unit means a more comfortable living environment, the efficient use of energy is better for the environment and easier on your monthly electric bill. 

The air filter that resides in your furnace is also responsible for filtering your AC unit and if the last time you changed that filter was last fall, then a replacement filter is likely overdue following a winter of constant use. Typically an air filter should be replaced regularly and the frequency depends on the size or thickness of the filter. Follow the guidelines below to know when to replace your filter: 

  • Filters that are 1 to 2 inches thick should get changed every 3 months,  

  • Filters that are 4 inches thick should get changed every 6 months 

  • Filters that are 5 inches thick should get changed once a year 

There are plenty of options when it comes to HVAC filters and your unit does require a specific size, but it may allow for variations in cost and design. It is always best to check for the manufacturer’s suggested filter specifications, but you can also take the following choices into consideration and wherever you buy your filters you should be able to seek assistance from a knowledgeable service agent. 

  • Disposable fiberglass filters 

  • Pleated allergy filters 

  • Washable Electrostatic filters  

  • HEPA filters 

  • MERV filters 

  • Activated charcoal filters 

Clean air filters are an important ally in maintaining the health of your family and your HVAC system. A dirty, clogged filter doesn’t trap harmful pollutants and irritants and it makes your HVAC system less efficient resulting in higher utility bills and potential repair costs. 

During the course of your spring-cleaning ritual be sure to inspect vents and ductwork. These may only require a quick pass with the vacuum, but if you notice significant buildup of dust or residue along the sides of the duct work you may want to schedule a professional duct cleaning. 

Regarding the outside HVAC unit or AC unit, be sure to inspect around the unit for any signs of liquid. It may indicate a leak or it could just be a low spot where rain water, snow melt or runoff collects. If it fosters mold or algae growth as temperatures rise the unit will draw air from that tainted source and it will be distributed into your HVAC system and your home. If the standing liquid is the result of a mechanical leak call a HVAC professional. A good rule of thumb for the outside unit is to maintain a two-foot perimeter of clearance from landscaping, shrubbery or weeds.