Ah, spring. The grass begins to green, the flowers begin to bud and the sunlight lasts a little longer each evening. It's the return of songbirds, baseball and driving with your windows down. And spring cleaning.
But just how thoroughly should a house be cleaned each year?
"People tend to think of spring cleaning as opening the windows, removing clutter, cleaning the garage, changing their wardrobe from heavier to lighter- weight clothing, and general 'deep cleaning,'" says Kevin Waldo, product manager for Carrier, the world's largest manufacturer of air conditioning, heating and refrigeration equipment.
"While this type of cleaning gives off a good appearance, there are a lot of other, hidden areas that you need to include in your spring cleaning," Waldo says. "These additional steps can improve the quality of your indoor air and save you money on those summer utility bills."
During the winter months when your home is closed up to conserve energy, pollutants build up in your home. At the first chance, most people typically open the windows to let the house air out.
If someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, this may not be a good idea. Opening the windows during the spring allows airborne pollutants such as pollen, mold and dust to enter your home. These pollutants are among the major triggers for both allergy and asthma attacks.
To ventilate your home year around you might consider purchasing a whole- house ventilator. Ventilators exhaust stale air from your home, replacing it with clean filtered outdoor air. These products change the air in your home up to 20 times per day, preventing the stale musty feel of winter and keeping your family more comfortable.
Since humidifiers are only used during the winter months when your furnace is operating, spring is the time to close the damper on your humidifier and turn off the humidifier water supply. Now is also a good time to change the humidifier pad, so it will be ready for use next fall.
Dirty filters can restrict air flow through your air conditioning and heating system, causing the system to have to run longer to deliver the proper amount of air, often resulting in higher utility bills. Some filters can be cleaned and reused.
Spring is also the time to change the UV lights on your indoor cooling coil. Airborne pollutants can build up on the cooling coil, reducing airflow through the air conditioning system and affecting the efficiency of the system. The buildup of pollutants can also cause your home to have a musty smell. UV lights mounted on the cooling coil will prevent the accumulation of these pollutants allowing your cooling system to operate at peak efficiency while keeping your home fresh.
Carrier offers the following spring cleaning tips to improve the indoor air quality in your home and make your air conditioning system operate more efficiently:
- Clear debris and plants from around your outdoor air conditioning unit so that air flow through the unit will not be hindered.
- Turn off the water supply to your humidifier and turn the bypass damper to the summer setting. Also, replace the humidifier pad.
- Replace the furnace filter if necessary to prevent air flow restriction.
- Replace the UV lights on the air conditioning coil.
- Have your A/C system inspected for summer.
- Close the fireplace damper to avoid air loss or entry.
- Make sure the sump pump is in proper working condition before the spring thaw to avoid flooding in your basement.
- Clean and check screens for necessary repairs and replace storm windows with screens.
The inventor of air conditioning in 1902, Carrier is the world leader in the manufacture and sale of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems and products. More homes trust Carrier's expertise for products and service than any other brand.
Headquartered in Farmington, Conn., Carrier, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX - News), combines its global HVAC and refrigeration expertise with the responsiveness of its local operations to lead nearly every geographic market. For more information on Carrier, go to www.carrier.com or call 1-800-Carrier.