Spring Cleaning? Add Changing Your Filter to the List

As you wake up your home from its long winter hibernation, it’s time to deep clean for the first time in a few months. Spring cleaning doesn’t just make your home look nicer and fresh – it helps you control your allergies and asthma symptoms. This is why changing your air filter should be #1 on your Spring Cleaning list. Follow this checklist to optimize indoor air quality as you get your house clean and spotless for the upcoming months.

1.  Change Your Air Filter

The recommendation is to check your air filter every 30 days and change it after no more than 90 days in use. Include this task on your spring cleaning checklist for a fresh start to the season.

A fresh filter will help eliminate common allergens such as pollen, pet dander, dust, and dust mites. More efficient filters can even remove bacteria and viruses for ultimate air filtering power.

2.  Dust the Ceiling Fans

It’s been a few months since you’ve used the ceiling fans, you’d better add dusting the fan blades to your spring cleaning list. Otherwise, when you turn on the fan for the first time, it will recirculate the built-up dust back into the air and surfaces.

3.  Clean Mold from the Bathroom

With less airflow during the cooped-up winter months, mold can start to grow in damp places like the bathroom or basement. Kill mold with a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide, which is just as effective yet safer than bleach.

4.  Vacuum in Unusual Places

You probably break out the vacuum once a week all year-round, but while you’re in the spring cleaning mindset, vacuum places that don’t usually get attention. This means moving furniture around so you can vacuum beneath it. It also means connecting the brush attachment and vacuuming upholstered furniture and drapes.

5.  Hire a Carpet Cleaner

A professional carpet steam cleaning reaches deeper than a vacuum. It removes dirt and stains, improving the appearance instantly and extending the life of the carpet. What’s more, carpet cleaning removes pollen, dust, and dust mites that like to hide out there and aggravate your allergies.

6.  Have the Air Ducts Cleaned

This may not be something you need to do every year, but if you suspect your ductwork is excessively dusty and grimy, or see dust particles floating in the air when the AC is on, schedule a professional cleaning this spring. Then, every time the AC kicks on, conditioned air will travel down sleek, smooth ductwork before entering your home.

Going on Vacation: AC ON or OFF?

When you leave your home, it is easy to switch your AC unit off and lock the door behind you without a second glance. Unfortunately, this carefree approach has the potential to backfire, as it is almost always better to run the AC while you are gone, rather than turn it off completely.

Dangers of Leaving the AC Off

Your air conditioner continually removes moisture from the air in your home. Therefore, with your AC unit switched off, your windows and other interior surfaces will often develop a layer of condensation. The trapped moisture quickly results in mold and mildew growth.

Without the cooling system running, temperatures inside your home will match or exceed the high temps for each day. Constant high temperatures make building materials, such as doors and flooring, to expand and contract, causing them to warp.

Preparing Your AC for Your Absence

To avoid part failures that could cause a system shutdown while you are gone, perform upcoming preventative maintenance tasks for your air conditioner before you leave. In general, you will need to change the filter, clear the drain lines and check the vent flaps to prepare the cooling system. If you notice any problems with your system, schedule an appointment with your AC repair professional for a quick fix before you go.

While On Vacation, use these Settings

Right before you leave for vacation, set the thermostat to a temperature that is between 5 to 10 degrees higher than your normal setting. By turning up the temperature, you can save money on energy costs while continuing to reap the benefits of leaving your AC running. Professionals state that 85 degrees is the best temperature because it resembles outdoor weather. In turn, your AC does not work as hard and your electricity bill won’t skyrocket. You will just have to deal with a warm house when you get back.

If you want to come home to comfortable temperatures, consider having a digital thermostat installed. With this device, you can control the temperature settings from a distance using your Smartphone. Otherwise, you will need to set the thermostat back down to a comfortable temperature and wait several hours for your home to cool off again after coming back from vacation.

Netting The Benefits

By properly preparing and setting your air conditioning unit before your vacation, you can avoid having to worry about your home while you are away. Upon returning from your trip, you will just be able sit back, relax and recuperate from your fun vacation without worry about the state of your home or AC unit.

Although you should not turn your AC off when you go on vacation. This will prevent you from paying too much in air conditioning costs while still protecting your home from the extreme heat.