Spring is right around the corner in Hagerstown, Maryland, which means it’s the perfect time to get your HVAC system ready for the new season. From changing your air filter to considering an air conditioner upgrade, here are nine ways to spring clean your Hagerstown HVAC system.
Change Your Air Filter
As spring approaches, you may be anticipating the sunshine and nice weather, while simultaneously dreading allergy season. While you can’t tame the pollen outdoors, you can take some simple steps to keep your indoor air clean.
At Griffith Energy Services, we recommend starting your spring cleaning by changing your HVAC system’s air filter. If you aren’t sure what kind to use, simply take a peek at the information on the existing filter and replace it with one of the exact same type. Suspect that your system doesn’t have the right type of filter? Give us a call, and we can walk you through your options.
Once you’ve changed the filter, mark the date on the calendar (or even better, schedule a monthly reminder on your smartphone). You should replace your air filter at least every three months. When the mercury starts to rise in Hagerstown and your air conditioner runs constantly, however, change the filter every month.
Schedule HVAC Maintenance
As the weather starts to warm up in Hagerstown, you’ll want to switch your HVAC system from heating to cooling. Before you turn on the air conditioner, however, take the time to schedule preventive maintenance with our team of HVAC experts.
During an HVAC maintenance session, we check the system both inside and out. We check fluid levels and refill as necessary, we calibrate moving parts, and we test electrical connections. We also run the system through a test cycle to make sure it’s running properly.
If we identify any issues that would lower your system’s efficiency or lead to a major breakdown later in the summer, we’ll detail the solution and the cost. That way you’ll get the most out of the season while keeping cool with your air conditioner.
Adjust the Thermostat
A spring cleaning session is the ideal time to check your thermostat and make sure it’s really working for you. First, consider replacing your manual thermostat with a programmable device if you haven’t already done so. Then switch the thermostat to cooling mode.
Next, program your family’s normal weekly schedule into the device. If the whole family sleeps for around eight hours overnight, and leaves the house for work and school during the day, program these as “away” times.
In the summer, we recommend setting the thermostat to 78 degrees during “home” times. For “away” times, raise the temperature as high as comfortably possible. If you do this for periods of at least eight hours per day, you could save up to 10 percent on your cooling and heating bill.
Keep in mind that most programmable thermostats allow you to pause and change the schedule or even put the device in vacation mode. This gives you total control over the temperature in your home and ample opportunity to save money by reducing your family’s energy needs.
Dust Off Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans offer an excellent opportunity for circulating indoor air and moderating air supply year-round, but most homeowners only use them in warm weather. No matter how often you use yours, you’ll want to get them ready for heavier summer usage.
First, use a microfiber cloth to dust each blade gently. Then check the fan’s direction, since most ceiling fans can move in either direction. In warm weather, fans should move in a counter-clockwise direction. This pushes cool air downward where you can enjoy it.
Next, make a point of turning on ceiling fans when you’re in the room. Their movement generates a sort of wind-chill effect, which helps you feel cooler without actually lowering the temperature. In fact, when you use ceiling fans regularly, you may be able to raise your thermostat by up to 4 degrees. That means you’ll save energy without compromising your comfort.
Replace Carbon Monoxide Detector Batteries
Carbon monoxide can have a big impact on your family’s health. This invisible, odorless, and tasteless gas can make you very sick. This gas can even be deadly if it goes undetected.
To keep your family safe, install a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home and outside of every sleeping area. When spring starts, replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors. Do the same when fall arrives, and be sure to test your carbon monoxide detectors once a month throughout the year.
Improve Indoor Air Quality
You might not consider Hagerstown to be an area with air quality issues. In reality, indoor air pollution can be more problematic than outdoor contaminants. That’s because airborne pollutants such as pollen, mold, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide, and pet dander can build up in your home and lead to respiratory issues.
Whether your family deals with seasonal or year-round allergies or you simply want to clear the air, we have just the solution. Our HVAC technicians recommend improving your home’s indoor air quality with a whole-house air purifier. All of these devices capture major indoor pollutants, and some can even trap and eliminate pathogens.
These devices are no ordinary portable air purifiers, though. Instead, they’re stationary devices that work seamlessly with your HVAC system. They clean the air supply throughout your home, and most models purify the air several times per hour.
Install a Whole-House Dehumidifier
The Mid-Atlantic region is known for its steamy summers, which can produce oppressive humidity levels. Even if you don’t mind the increased airborne moisture, it might affect your health. High humidity levels encourage mold to grow and dust mites to thrive, both of which can lead to respiratory issues.
While an air purifier can help keep these pollutants out of the air supply, many homeowners need to take an extra step. A whole-house dehumidifier works with your HVAC system to keep the indoor humidity level healthy. After installing one of these devices, you’ll notice cleaner smelling air and fewer sneezing fits, too
Check the Landscaping
When you think of your HVAC system, tidying up the yard might not come to mind immediately. If you have an air conditioner, however, remember that the outdoor unit needs some attention in the spring, too.
Head outside and take a look at the unit. If it’s covered with tree branches, leaves left over from the previous autumn, and other natural debris, remove these items completely. We recommend leaving unit maintenance to a professional, so resist the temptation to remove the unit’s cover or take on a more intensive cleaning project.
Our team does suggest adding basic landscaping to your weekly to-do list as soon as the growing season starts, though. After all, you don’t want grass, shrubs, trees, or other greenery to grow too close to the outdoor unit. At the beginning of the season, cut back all natural growth around the outdoor unit, leaving a 3-foot radius. Check on it throughout the spring and summer to keep obstructions at bay and ensure that your air conditioner runs smoothly.
Consider Upgrading Your Air Conditioner
Summers can get downright sweltering in the Hagerstown area, which means most homeowners run their air conditioners constantly. If you’ve ever had an air conditioner break down at the peak of summer, you know how big a problem it can be. You might have to wait longer for service if the breakdown happens during a busy summer period, and if you need to replace the system, you’ll have to make a decision very quickly.
If your air conditioner is on its last legs in early spring, we recommend considering an upgrade now. Our team can schedule your air conditioner installation whenever it’s convenient for you, leaving you time to consider your options. After all, there’s plenty of new HVAC technology to consider. From variable-speed blowers to high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) ratings, today’s air conditioners are incredibly efficient and effective.
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