Without functional HVAC and plumbing systems, your Wheeling, IL home would be downright uninhabitable. As the snow melts, the ground clears, and new leaves appear on local trees, it’s important to take good care of your heater, air conditioner, and pipes that route potable and wastewater to and from the house. Here are eight easy spring cleaning tips to help you get started.

1. Schedule Annual AC Tune-Up Service

Spring is the perfect time to have your air conditioner tuned up and catch up on your cooling system maintenance. Swap out your HVAC air filter, and establish a manageable filter replacement schedule. Most HVAC equipment manufacturers recommend inspecting these components at least once a month and replacing them every 30 to 90 days. Before the high-demand summer cooling season arrives, it’s also a good idea to stock up on replacement air filters. You can also inspect and wipe down your HVAC air registers, vents, and grilles to further improve airflow.

During professional AC tune-up service, we:
  • Run performance tests
  • Inspect all electrical connections
  • Clean and lubricate blower motors and fans
  • Replaced damaged and missing components

We also clean evaporator and condenser coils, adjust blower fan speeds, inspect HVAC ducting, and calibrate thermostats, among many other things. These visits keep homeowners compliant with the terms of their AC manufacturers’ warranties. They also promote efficient AC performance, limit spring and summer cooling costs, and improve indoor air quality (IAQ).

Duct Maintenance and Cleaning

Although we inspect HVAC air ducts for signs of air leaks during annual AC maintenance, your ductwork needs yearly maintenance service of its own. According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), HVAC air ducts need professional cleaning every two to three years. Given that allergy season in Wheeling, IL runs from March through mid-October, spring is an excellent time to schedule both these services if you’re due for them.

2. Schedule Your Annual Whole-House Plumbing Inspection in Spring

Whole-house plumbing inspections help homeowners identify small, developing problems before they cause whole-house backups, potable water supply issues, or major building damage. During winter, local temperatures consistently remain below freezing. With spring inspections, plumbers can catch and address pipes that have been damaged by frost and winter-related contraction and expansion.

Whether they’re hidden behind drywall, at the backs of appliances, or in your crawl spaces, slow and hidden leaks can detract value from your property and set the stage for mold and mildew problems. They can also attract many common springtime pests pests.

3. Clean Up Around Your Outdoor AC or Heat Pump Condenser

Whether you use an air conditioner or a heat pump for cooling, its outdoor condenser unit always needs at least 2 feet of clearance on all sides. With fruit trees and seeding conifers dropping blossoms, twigs, and other organic debris, you’ll want to clear this area out before the outside temperature climbs. You should also cut back tall grass, trim nearby bushes, shrubs, and weeds, and check the condenser unit for droppings, nests, and other signs of infestation by pests.

4. Schedule Professional Tree and Roof Care

Surprisingly, some of the most important parts of your springtime plumbing and HVAC maintenance are roof and tree care. Poorly maintained roofs and trees can send heavy, fast-moving objects crashing into gutters, downspouts, landscape drainage, and AC or heat pump condensers. In spring, tree care experts limb weak, diseased, and dying branches so that they don’t break off during severe storms. Arborists can also thin out thick canopies to make towering trees less top-heavy.

Proactive Root Management

Spring is also an excellent time to assess the growth of underground tree roots and their proximity to your main plumbing line, water supply line, gas line, and irrigation system. Even tree stumps can experience new root growth that damages or disrupts underground utilities. With proactive root management in spring, you can minimize your risk of whole-house plumbing backups, service disruptions, and gas leaks.

Annual Roof Inspection Service

To further protect your landscape drainage and AC condenser from impact events, schedule your annual roof inspection in early spring. Roofers will check for loose or detached gutters and downspouts, replace damaged or missing shingles, and take other measures to limit the risk of falling roofing elements. Although you likely cleaned your gutters in the fall, another cleaning in spring is wise.

5. Get Your Sump Pump Ready for the Rainy Season

If you use one or more sump pumps to keep low-lying areas in your home dry, spring is the best time to have them cleaned and tuned. Scheduling professional sump pump maintenance could be necessary to keep your warranty valid. It will also give your sump pump the benefit of model-specific service.

6. Install Essential HVAC and Plumbing System Accessories

If you need additional indoor air quality support, you can upgrade your HVAC air filter to one with a higher maximum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating or invest in an integrated HVAC system accessory. Connected to HVAC air ducts or installed in them, items like air scrubbers, air purifiers, sanitizing UV lights, and media filters can:

  • Promote optimum airflow
  • Prevent heavy buildups of debris
  • Stave off problems like AC overheating and short cycling
  • Extending the lifespans of your HVAC components
  • Lower your energy bills through increased efficiency

Some of these accessories extract volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), deactivate bacteria, viruses, and mold, and collect the micro-fine particulates that pass through standard and upgraded HVAC air filters.

If the interior of your home feels perpetually muggy, installing a whole-house dehumidifier as an integrated accessory can extend your HVAC system’s lifespan, too. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), keeping your indoor humidity below 60% will also reduce the likelihood of indoor mold.

Consider having your plumbing system accessories fitted with a water softener or whole-house water filter. Upgrades like these can improve the taste, appearance, and smell of tap water and preserve the integrity of water supply pipes.

7. Schedule Drain Cleaning Service

If underground tree roots and weeds ever encroach upon your sewer line, spring is the season when they’re most likely to do it. Although monitoring and replanting trees that grow too close to underground utilities is a solid mitigation strategy, it doesn’t hurt to schedule sewer line cleaning as well. Performed at clean-out caps, hydro-jetting and hydro-steaming break blockages down and power them out of sewer lines along with accumulated sediment and trapped waste. Whole-house drain cleaning will do the same in the interior of your home to eliminate stuck-on soap scum, body oils, slime, fats, and other smelly, pathogen-filled drain waste.

8. Calibrate, Adjust, or Replace Your Thermostat

If you’ve already had your AC tune-up for the year or intend to schedule it later on, it’s still a good idea to inspect and calibrate your thermostat. Changes in the layout of your home and the addition of new heat-generating appliances can all affect the accuracy of its temperature readings. Even simply having your thermostat in a location that’s drenched with afternoon sunlight can affect HVAC performance. Given that your thermostat functions as the brain of your entire HVAC system, this seemingly minor device always needs pre-summer attention.

Our team is committed to helping homeowners save money while optimizing their comfort. We offer outstanding heating, cooling, and plumbing services in Wheeling, IL and the surrounding cities. We also provide HVAC air duct cleaning and cutting-edge IAQ improvements.

For help with your springtime plumbing and HVAC services, contact Fly Plumbing & HVAC today!

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