5 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your HVAC

  • March 19, 2024
  • By MR COOL

They don’t call it spring cleaning for no reason — those mild days between winter and summer are the perfect opportunity to start fresh with a clean home. As you work on your spring cleaning to-do list, be sure to dedicate time to cleaning your HVAC. 

Cleaning your HVAC can help keep it in good condition and prepare it to work hard in the upcoming hot summer months. Check out our spring HVAC maintenance checklist for tips on cleaning this pivotal element of your home. 

Why Is it Important to Spring Clean My HVAC?

Spring air conditioner maintenance is necessary for several reasons: 

  • To keep it performing at its best: Regularly cleaning your HVAC can keep it operating well with minimal issues. Your HVAC system makes your home comfortable, so you want to give it the attention it needs to keep it in great shape. 
  • To clear out dust after winter: You likely kept your windows and doors sealed tightly throughout the cold winter months, meaning the air inside your home continuously recirculated. Without an outlet, dust, dirt and debris could have built up and settled in your HVAC ducts, affecting the indoor air quality. 
  • To prepare it for summer: Your HVAC has a big job when temperatures rise in the summer. Spring HVAC maintenance lets you identify any problems or concerns and have them addressed by a professional before summer arrives. 

How Do I Prepare My HVAC Unit for Spring?

Now that you know why it’s important to spring clean your HVAC, let’s talk about how to make it happen. Put the following spring HVAC cleaning tips on your to-do list to enjoy a cool and comfortable summer:

1. Replace the Air Filter

Air filters catch dirt, dust, hair, allergens and other debris before they reach the blower fan. Air filters keep your home’s air quality in top condition by preventing contaminants from recirculating. 

Changing your air filter is crucial for a healthy, efficient HVAC system. Once the air filter becomes soiled with debris, it can’t trap contaminants as effectively, resulting in poorer air quality. Additionally, your HVAC system will have to use more energy to pull air through the clogged filter, leading to a higher electricity bill.  

At a minimum, you should replace your air filter twice yearly. For best results, change it monthly, especially if you have pets in the home. Our mini-split systems feature washable filters, which are an extremely convenient and cost-effective solution for keeping the air in your home clean.

2. Clean Your Condenser

The condenser is the large, box-shaped component outside your home. To run properly, your condenser should be clear of any obstructions, such as plants, rocks, leaves, weeds, sticks, dirt and other debris. Head outside and remove any of these items from the unit and the area surrounding it. 

Smaller debris like grass and dirt particles can get lodged inside the unit. Spray it down with a low-pressure water hose to remove any small obstructions. Our MRCOOL® Cleaning Kit is the perfect option for ensuring your system is thoroughly clean.

3. Clean the Condensate Drain Pipe

Condensate lines flush excess moisture out of your HVAC system. Excess moisture is a normal part of HVAC systems because they produce humidity, which creates condensation. A pan under the unit inside your home collects the excess moisture. From there, it drains into the main condensate line and drips out of a pipe on the exterior of your home. 

Just like air filters, drain pipes can become clogged and ineffective. A clogged pipe can cause the drain pan to overflow, leading to leaks and water damage in your home. It’s important to check your drain pipe in the springtime for any rust, dirt, algae or other obstructions to avoid this issue. 

If you’re up for a DIY project, you can clean your HVAC drain pipe with the following steps:

  1. Turn off the HVAC: Shut down the thermostat, then head to your breaker box and flip off the switch for the HVAC system.  
  2. Locate the drain line: The drain line is a black, gray or white PVC pipe attached to your home near the outside AC unit that leads to a drain pan. 
  3. Locate the drain line’s access point: The access point is typically near the drain pan and features a cap or cover. Remove the lid and inspect the inside of the pipe, clearing out any debris you see. 
  4. Flush the line with distilled vinegar: The acid in distilled vinegar breaks down sludge and clogs while also killing bacteria and mold. Pour it directly into the drain line and let it sit for at least half an hour. The longer it sits, the cleaner your line will be.  
  5. Rinse with water: Once the vinegar has worked its magic, flush the line with water. Watch the water stream that flows from the drain pan — you’ll know the vinegar was successful if the water drips steadily.
  6. Repeat as needed: If the water doesn’t drip steadily from the drain pan, your drain pipe is likely still clogged, and it’s a good idea to repeat the process until the water flows freely. Let the vinegar sit for a longer period this time around. 

4. Clean Your Entire Home

A thorough spring cleaning does more than improve the appearance of your home. Removing dust and grime can reduce the number of pollutants available to circulate in your home, making your air filter’s job a little easier. 

Go from room to room dusting, sweeping, vacuuming and tossing out unwanted clutter. Remember to clean any ceiling fan blades, as these are prime spots for dust collection. 

5. Seal and Clean Your Windows

Windows that don’t seal tightly can let outside air seep in, making your HVAC work harder to moderate your home’s climate. Of course, a unit under pressure results in higher energy bills, but a little window maintenance can help you avoid this problem. 

Sealing your windows can help ensure that conditioned air stays inside and warm and humid outdoor air stays outside.

Inspect window perimeters for gaps or holes, and check for any drafts coming through. Also, look for any visible condensation within the panes. These are all signs of a faulty window seal. If you notice any of these issues, have the windows resealed or replaced.   

You may be surprised to learn that cleaning your windows is another way to help your HVAC run efficiently during those cooler, early spring days. Clean windows allow more sunshine to come through, so you won’t need to depend solely on your HVAC system to warm things up.

Turn to MRCOOL® for Innovative HVAC Solutions

At MRCOOL®, our passion is supplying contractors and home improvement retailers with high-quality HVAC products so you can live in comfort. We’re experts in all things HVAC, so visit our blog for more tips on cleaning and maintaining yours.


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