Outta Site, Outta Mind.
As winter turns to spring, homeowners start thinking about spring cleaning and home maintenance. Most of us have the basics covered, and it’s easy to remember the tasks that are in plain sight — but, have you thought of the things you can’t easily see?
The air quality in your home isn’t a visible aspect, and many of the causes of poor air quality are easy to overlook or ignore, until it’s too late. Here are some of the most common springtime maintenance mistakes that San Diego homeowners make — and how you can avoid them this season.
1. Not Replacing Your HVAC Filters
Replacing your HVAC filters is usually quick and easy, but many homeowners forget to do it regularly. A dirty filter forces your HVAC system to work harder and use more energy. It also allows more dust and other allergens to remain in your home.
Set yourself a reminder to change the filters at least every 90 days, and possibly more often during times of heavy use, like the summer season.
2. Neglecting to Check Seals on Doors and Windows
The transition from winter to spring comes with changing temperatures and an increase of moisture in the air — both of which can affect the seals on your doors and windows. If the entryways of your home are letting air leak through, your HVAC system will have to work that much harder to control the temperature and air quality of your home. This can result in an unexpectedly ugly energy bill towards the end of the spring and summer.
Check to make sure your seals are in good condition and aren’t letting drafts in or out of your home. Minimizing air leaks allows your HVAC system to work more efficiently. Reinforcing and replacing seals are relatively simple tasks, but they can make a big difference.
3. Failing to Clean Mattresses and Pillows
You wash most of your bedding regularly, but remember that your mattress and pillows get dirty, too. Dust mites and other allergens can build up and over time, this negatively affects the air quality in your bedroom. Since you spend a significant portion of your time in close contact with your mattress and pillows, this is a critical oversight. Be sure to add these two items to your spring cleaning list.
Most pillows (with the exception of those made from a foam material) can be put in your washing machine; but you should refer to the care instructions on your own pillows to learn how to clean them correctly. Once they are clean, you also can use anti-allergen pillowcases that zip around the pillow and help repel allergens. Anti-allergen mattress pads also are available.
While your mattress obviously isn’t machine-washable, you can use your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery tool to remove dust near the surface. Check the manufacturer instructions for your mattress to see what kinds of cleaners you can use to remove stains and disinfect the surface without doing any damage.
4. Forgetting to Dust Fans and Vents
It’s easy to remember to dust objects at eye level, but don’t forget to look up! If dust has built up on your ceiling fans and air vents — which have been sitting dormant during the winter months — you’ll be in for a nasty surprise when you turn them on and all that dust blows around the room.
The brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner is a great tool for this task. Remember to do this before you clean the rest of the room, so any dust that may fall during the process isn’t landing on surfaces you just cleaned.
5. Skipping Your Annual HVAC Maintenance Check
This is a big one, because skipping your annual HVAC checkup can become very costly and inconvenient. Just because you don’t see or hear anything unusual when you run your air conditioner doesn’t mean everything is fine. Regular preventive maintenance is necessary to keep your HVAC running smoothly and identify any potential problems before they become emergencies.
It’s best to schedule your annual maintenance for the early spring, before it’s hot enough to turn on your air conditioning. Your HVAC professional will clean and inspect your unit(s) and recommend any necessary repairs. This reduces the chance that your unit will break during the spring and summer, leaving you in a swelteringly hot house with a large repair bill coming.
It’s also a good idea to have your air ducts checked and cleaned to eliminate dust, mold, and other problems that lead to poor air quality in your home.
This spring, contact the experts at Bob Jenson to schedule your annual HVAC inspection and maintenance before it becomes necessary to run your air conditioning. Make the call now, so you can stay cool later.
For over 45 years, Bob Jenson has been providing quality heating and air services to the San Diego community.
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