Spring cleaning is not just for attics, closets and flowerbeds. Your HVAC unit needs some spring time TLC to get it ready for the long, hot summer. Tending to your air conditioner now not only helps you avoid costly emergency repairs but also ensures your family’s comfort all season long.

Filter
Your HVAC unit’s arch enemy is dust. Dust in the unit’s airflow becomes electrically charged and clings to its interior surfaces, including the motor and fan. Changing your unit’s filter is the best way to guard against breakdowns and premature replacement. Prices for HVAC filters vary widely, and many people wonder which filter is the best. The most important feature of any air filter is you remembering to change it on time. Just how often that needs to happen will vary by the type of filter you buy and on whether you have shedding pets in your home.

Duct Work
Even if you faithfully change your filters, dust can still build up in your duct work, creating a haven for mold and other allergens. As part of your HVAC spring cleaning, have your ducts professionally cleaned. It is also important to have those ducts inspected for leaks and proper insulation, especially if your ductwork is in your attic. Taking care of your HVAC unit’s delivery system ensures all the clean, healthy cold air your unit generates makes it to your living spaces.

Condenser Box
The condenser box is the part of your HVAC system that is outside your home. Certain parts of it, like the fan and the condenser coils must be cleaned annually to keep your unit working its best and to prevent premature replacement. Because the condenser box is a high-voltage appliance, this part of your spring cleaning must be done by a professional.

Exterior
Your condenser box’s exterior must also be kept clean and free of debris. Any leaves and trash that have accumulated near your unit must be cleared away to ensure that the airflow is not restricted. If you have chosen to hide your unit behind shrubs or trellised vines, now is the time to prune them to make sure that your unit gets as much air as it needs to function properly.

Finally
By taking care of your air conditioning unit during the spring, you’ll be ready to go as soon as summer’s high temperatures hit. You’ll avoid waiting for an opening in your HVAC professional’s crowded schedule, and you’ll save on your summer energy bills.