Spring cleaning can become an overwhelming chain of tasks, especially when you would rather be outside, enjoying the beautiful weather. An early start is important, and one of the first areas to consider is one that is commonly neglected by homeowners. In fact, many don’t realize that HVAC maintenance should be an annual priority. However, there are three major reasons to place AC and duct cleaning at the top of your list for the season.
1. Hidden Allergens
What you don’t see could hurt you. If you are sensitive to mold, dust or other airborne materials, then you may be surprised to discover that they may be hiding in your HVAC equipment. Your air filter plays a minor role in trapping these materials, but particles still make their way past it. As they settle on the coils in your air handling unit, they combine with moisture in the area. A layer of grime can develop, and it will take more than a feather duster to get rid of it. This is a prime breeding spot for mold and bacteria, and left untouched, this dirt can continue to contaminate your air supply summer after summer.
Some airborne particles continue along to your ducts. If you’ve never had duct cleaning performed on your system, you can expect equally dirty conditions. Additionally, ducts can provide harbor to insects, dust mites and rodents when your central heating and cooling system isn’t in use. Dander, droppings and dead insects may be contaminating your air supply, as well. While annual duct service may not be essential, you should consult with your HVAC contractor to establish a maintenance plan based on your home’s unique needs.
2. Hidden Costs
Some homeowners view HVAC maintenance as a needless expense. Those who can afford to spend 50 percent or more extra on cooling costs may not care. However, budget-minded consumers should note that various elements of this spring cleaning task can contribute to better system performance, resulting in more controlled energy costs.
The layer on your indoor coils and dirt on your outside coils can represent approximately 30 percent of a cooling bill in an extreme case. Blockages and leaks in your ducts can add 20 percent or more to your energy usage. Low refrigerant may result in another 20 percent or more in cooling energy required to keep your home comfortable. You can’t afford to ignore these priority areas included in seasonal maintenance service.
Summer weather may be a distant consideration as you begin your spring cleaning. However, it won’t be long before you’re relying on your HVAC system to provide around-the-clock cooling. Preventive care allows issues to be diagnosed before they become serious. While you won’t avoid all potential breakdowns, you can reduce your potential for a malfunction by more than 90 percent. Additionally, your contractor can help you in planning ahead for an eventual system replacement.