Ah, spring. It’s time for the chill to go out of the air and for warmer (and muggier) air to take over in the Coastal Bend area. In our region, winter doesn’t amount to much, so some homeowners don’t think it’s necessary to schedule winter service on their HVAC systems. All the more reason to plan HVAC care for the cooling season ahead.
Before we get into caring for your HVAC system, maybe it’s time to dispel a few of the HVAC misconceptions that are floating around, some of them involving spring care.
1. You need to have your HVAC unit serviced only once a year.
That would be nice, but the fact is, you need to have your HVAC system serviced twice a year, in spring and fall. In spring, the technician looks at the air conditioner and the air handler; in fall, the service focuses on the furnace or other heating system and again, the air handler. It’s important to have both the AC and furnace looked at to ensure they run correctly all through the season.
2. You’ve got some R-22 refrigerant sitting around for your older air conditioner. It’s just fine if you or a friend down the street with some handyman skills charges the refrigerant.
Not at all. In fact, only a licensed technician is authorized to handle refrigerant. Improper handling can result in extreme frostbite injuries. Furthermore, if there’s a need to refill your unit with refrigerant, the unit may have a leak, and that leak should be fixed before damage to the entire system occurs.
3. It’s OK to pressure-wash the fins on your outdoor AC condenser.
Absolutely not. Pressure washers are great for some tasks, but the aluminum fins on your HVAC system are delicate and can’t stand up to that much power. Power washing can result in damage that may require you to replace the fins. Use a soft brush and a regular hose to clean the condenser unit after it has sat unused all winter.
For more on HVAC misconceptions, as well as how to schedule HVAC service, repairs, or installations, contact CCAC of the Coastal Bend area.