Keeping up with the maintenance on your HVAC unit is essential to its longevity. A lot of homeowners want to save money on their home repairs. Prolonging the life span of major appliances, the roof, and your HVAC system can be done without calling in an HVAC technician.
One of your bigger expenses will come in having to replace your HVAC unit. Of course, they are not designed to last a lifetime, but getting a few years past the warranty won’t hurt.
There are minor HVAC preventive maintenance hacks you can do to keep your unit running smoothly. It’s well worth the time it takes to learn what they are and how to do them. Preventive maintenance will also maximize the efficiency of the HVAC system and save money on your electric bill.
Are you looking for tips on proper HVAC maintenance? Keep reading to learn how proper maintenance can keep your cooling and heating bills down.
What Is an HVAC System?
Before we get started talking about HVAC maintenance, let’s discuss what your HVAC system is. HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. It is the system that controls the heating and cooling of a home or business. It also controls how air flows.
The ultimate goal is to have comfortable room temperatures regardless of the season. To ensure this happens, it is recommended that you schedule an annual maintenance check. For areas with harsh weather conditions, you may want to have someone come out twice a year.
Your HVAC systems can be one unit that controls both heating and cooling. This is called central heating and air. In some older homes, they may have an AC unit and a furnace. Then there are homes with electrical cooling units, but gas heaters.
Choose an HVAC service provider who is trained in your brand and model, and who can maintain different energy sources.
How Often Should You Get Maintenance on Your System?
As mentioned above, scheduled home maintenance should take place at least once a year. Emergency maintenance can take place at any time. Units are designed to last up to 20 years. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t have parts failures.
A properly maintained HVAC unit is more likely to run without major failures for the life expectancy of the system.
Unforeseen issues beyond your control can happen. Damage during major weather systems can damage your unit. Flooding, power surges, and damage to the home by winds and falling debris are a few things that can cause problems.
What are Things You Can Do Between Scheduled Service Calls?
The preventive maintenance hacks you can do to protect your HVAC unit are inexpensive and take a few minutes. Most you can do on your own.
If you have the owner’s manual to your unit it should provide operational and maintenance tips. This is also where you would look to get parts numbers.
Let’s look at what you can be without calling in a tech.
All HVAC systems have filters. The one that needs to be changed most often is the airflow filter. Simply remove the grate or covering, take the filter out and insert the new one.
Filters need to be replaced every 90 days for better efficiency. A good sign your filter needs to be changed is the amount of dust trapped on it.
For internal filters, it is best to leave to the technician during their annual maintenance check-up.
Check the Units Clearance
Most HVAC systems have an internal unit and an outside unit or compressor. Sometimes the internal unit is housed in a closet, while some homes have a unit in the garage.
Do not place boxes or other items near it. Set at least a two-foot perimeter. Units can overheat and sustain damage if air cannot flow properly.
Clean the Drain Line
If you notice condensation building in the ducts or water leaving the unit, your drain lines may be clogged. As part of your preventive maintenance, keep drain lines clear of build-up.
You can clean the lines yourself but you need to understand what you are doing first. Before starting shut off the power to the unit. Locate where the drain line is connected to the AC and disconnect it.
Follow directions carefully and reconnect the line once water can flow through freely.
Clear Debris Away From the Compressor
Since most compressors are located outside, it is important to keep debris away from the unit. This simple maintenance includes cutting back tree branches and raking up leaves.
If your compressor doesn’t already sit on a raised cement platform, consider having one poured. This could protect the compressor if your property is prone to flooding during heavy rains.
Look for Tears in Air Ducts
Sometimes tears can occur in your air ducts and you don’t know it. The most common causes are rodents in your attic or crawl space.
The signs surface in the form of certain rooms not cooling, and the AC running longer and working harder. When you have tears in the air ducts expect to see higher utility bills.
This is a problem that requires an HVAC technician.
Test the AC and Heating in Off-Seasons
There is nothing worse than a winter storm coming early and your heater is on the outs. Or a heatwave hits and your AC won’t produce cool air.
Do yourself a favor and test your HVAC unit during off-seasons. You can let the AC or Heat run for about 15-minutes just to verify there are no operational issues.
Keep Your Systems Working
Preventive maintenance on your HVAC unit can catch issues before they become big problems. Whether you are a homeowner or a renter, these tips can help your system run smoothly in and out of season.
When it is time for your regular maintenance or in times of emergency, we are only a call away. It’s better to have an HVAC specialist before you need one. Click here to learn more about the services we provide.