The New Year is March-ing forward. Days are getting longer and the worst of the cold is likely behind us. Soon Alaskans will be welcoming Spring Equinox and mucking our way through break-up. Spring cleaning looks different up here. For us, it’s more than parking the snow machine and exchanging it for the four-wheeler. Brutal winters mean we have a lot more home maintenance chores than the rest of the Lower 48.
At HeatSource Mechanical we think Spring Equinox is a great time to tackle certain “honey-dos,” partly because it’s easy to remember. More importantly because summer’s coming and soon it will be time to fish! As your best choice for HVAC in Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley, we’re here to help ensure your home stays comfortable year-round. Give us a call today!
In the meantime, here’s a handy list to help you tackle spring cleaning.
Outdoor Home Maintenance
With temperatures getting warmer and daylight in our favor, it’s time to take a good look around the exterior of your home. While you’re pushing the last of the snow away from areas that have poor drainage, see how well your home held up through the winter.
1. Check Your Home’s Exterior
In masonry homes, look closely at the mortar between bricks and see if there are any areas where it might be crumbling, split or cracked. Likewise, with wood-sided homes, look for signs of splitting or feel for spongey, rotting areas. This indicates water has gotten in and froze. Repairing this kind of damage in spring and preventing further damage, can make a big difference in your utility bills next winter.
2. Clean Out Your Chimneys
Alaskans love a good fire in the winter! Come spring, you must have your chimney properly cleaned of creosote and soot build-up. Make sure your chimney cap is secure and your spark arrester is cleaned as well. This dirty job could be a life-saver, ensuring your home is safe from fire.
3. Reset Timers on Outdoor Lighting
Anchorage is known as the City of Lights, with homes aglow with plenty of outdoor lighting. As we gain daylight be sure to reset timers to help save money on utilities.
4. Give Your Roof a Once-Over
Chinook winds are notorious in Anchorage and the Mat-Su valley for damaging roofs. Inspect your roof for missing shingles or loosened metal panels. Did you notice areas this winter where the snow was noticeably thinner on your roof? This is a good visual indicator that the roof may be damaged or insulation may be needed. Once again, this damage puts an extra strain on your furnace or boiler, costing you dollars in utility bills
Indoor Home Maintenance
We all look forward to the days when we can open up the windows and fill our home with that fresh, Alaskan air! Tackling a few dirty jobs can make a big difference in the comfort of your home and the performance of your furnace.
1. Schedule a Duct Cleaning Service
For great indoor air quality, early spring is the right time to schedule duct cleaning. This will free them of all the dust, mold, pet dander and other allergens that have accumulated over the winter. Call us today to make an appointment!
2. Clean or Replace Your Filters
You probably already know the importance of regularly replacing the filter of your HVAC system. Dirty filters restrict airflow and foster mold growth. Additionally, old filters cause the system to work harder and consume more energy as it tries to push air through a clogged filter.
Consider upgrading the filter as well. (Homeowners can improve air quality and system performance with a new, high-efficiency pleated filter. A step up from the standard filter, these have an electrostatic charge to attract particles of dust and bacteria and trap them inside the filter.
3. Upgrade Your Thermostat
Take advantage of technology to keep your HVAC unit running at peak efficiency. Not only can a programmable thermostat reduce energy costs at your home, but it can actually extend the life of your system. By optimizing the temperatures throughout the day and week, your system experiences less stress and wear throughout the year. A smart thermostat like our iComfort S30 smart thermostat offers remote control and active monitoring and is compatible with Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant.
4. Consider Upgrading Your Furnace
Replacing your furnace is a big decision that is best made when temperatures are above zero. HeatSource Mechanical is proud to be a Lennox Premier dealer and your Best of the Valley choice for HVAC. Lennox manufactures some of the quietest and most efficient heating systems on the market today. They’re designed to keep temperatures perfectly consistent, even on the coldest days. We would love to talk to you about the difference Lennox can make.
5. Check Your Exhaust Vents
Your home probably has three main places where warm air escapes by design, not by accident:
- Dryer vent
- Bathroom vent
- Stove/oven vent
You want to make sure these vents stay clear of debris and grime, and no water is creeping in. This is really important to do regularly to prevent fires and keep your home healthy.
6. Tackle the Attic
Remember those areas of thinning snow on your roof top? Take note of those areas and check around for wet spots or compressed insulation. The steps you take now in the attic will save you dollars on you heating bill. As always, watch out for free-loading critters that may have taken up residence!
Often Forgotten Home Maintenance
1. Check Your Entry and Exit
Check the weather stripping around the windows, door jambs and the seals around the doors. If you see signs of cracking, detaching or warping, it’s probably time to replace it. While you’re at it, make sure to replace any missing or damaged window screens so you can enjoy that fresh air and avoid mosquitos.
2. Pick a Pocket
Alaska may not be known for its high fashion, but we make up for it in volume of winter gear. Snow pants, coats, jackets, fleece, hoodies and sweaters of every size, color and weight tend to pile up at doorways, mud rooms and in vehicles. Spring is an excellent time to gather and sort through it all. Find what needs to be repaired or retired, and what needs a good washing. Be sure to pick through those pockets! You might be amazed at what you find at the “Winter Coat Savings and Loan.”
Maintaining Your HVAC System
Looking after your HVAC system can be a big job, so they best way to keep it running efficiently for as long as possible (and reducing the cost of expensive repairs) is to regularly schedule servicing and maintenance. Repairing or replacing a part now could save you a lot of money and hassle in the long-term, while increasing the life expectancy of your system. Our certified technicians will look for signs of wear on key components of your furnace and take care of any maintenance items to make sure it’s ready to fire right back up next year.
HeatSource Mechanical offers fast and reliable service to customers in the Mat-Su Valley, from Eagle River to Wasilla, Palmer and Sutton. Our NATE-certified technicians are here for you anytime, day or night! We’ll never charge you to provide an estimate. You can also consider joining our Comfort Club, where you can enjoy 10% off all routine service and repairs year-round and receive priority scheduling. That means there’s no excuse not to schedule your maintenance early.
Ready to cross HVAC off your spring home maintenance list? Call us today.