Guest Post: Time for Spring Cleaning

Time for Spring Cleaning
Springtime brings blooming flowers, budding trees, and a sense of renewal in the air. It’s a great time to get rid of clutter and make a few bucks in a garage sale. It’s also a perfect time for Virginia homeowners to ‘spring clean’ the mechanical systems in their homes. 
One of the most important (and expensive) mechanical systems that homeowners should perform annual maintenance on is their air conditioning systems. Like all mechanical equipment, air conditioners require regular servicing and cleaning or they’ll lose efficiency, the opportunity for failure will increase, and they’ll cost more to run. Air conditioning service extends the life of the air conditioner. Instead of having to replace it after 7 to 10 years, homeowners could get as much as 15 or 20 years of good service. 
Depending upon where you live in Virginia, air conditioning your house can add up to 50% of your electric bill. To put significant dollars back in your pocket, you can do a few things at home before calling in a professional: 
  • Remove the cover. Cut back any old bushes near the unit and clean off any accumulated leaves. 
  • Replace your air filters. A dirty filter means that dirt is sifting through the system and into your home causing your system to run inefficiently. It’s also the leading cause of creating problems with your system
  • Check your thermostat before using the system. You can do this by setting the system to auto-cool and lowering the thermostat to one degree lower than the actual temperature in the room. If the system turns on, the thermostat is working properly. Let it run for a few hours to make sure it remains consistent. 
  • Check for water leaks .Your condensate overflow drain should work properly. Be sure to check for any potential leaks during the first 48 hours of operation. Small leaks now mean expensive problems later.   
If you notice any problems, call a professional to perform a spring maintenance inspection to ensure that your air conditioner is ready for when you need it. Don’t wind up delaying the service until you are stuck with a non-working air conditioner in the midst of the Virginia summer heat and humidity when companies are booked for several days out.
Kate Haldeman, a seasoned marketing veteran with 10 years of consumer and online marketing experience, holds a Masters in Business Administration. In her role as Marketing Mgr. for My Plumber Heating and  Cooling, she keeps abreast of the latest home maintenance tips and tricks.