Homeownership entails many responsibilities. In addition to making sure that your mortgage is paid on time each month, you must also monitor the operations of your property to ensure that everything is running well. HVAC system maintenance may not be glamorous, but it is essential for keeping your house functioning smoothly.
HVAC, or “heating, ventilation, and air conditioning,” is the system in charge of keeping your home at a reasonable temperature. It is also responsible for ensuring good air quality and energy efficiency.
Most HVAC maintenance you perform as a homeowner is proactive and preventative, which means you’re performing work to keep future issues from occurring. However, many things might go wrong with your HVAC system, including leaks, corrosion, and problems dispersing hot or cold air. Everything from clogged filters to filthy coils might cause an issue, so it’s critical to keep up with your maintenance activities year after year.
The easiest method to maintain an HVAC system is to have a fixed strategy that you stick to year after year. In this guide, we’ll go over the fundamentals you’ll need to know to put a plan in place, such as what goes into effective maintenance and how often you should perform the maintenance.
Common HVAC issues
As previously said, several issues can arise with your HVAC system, some of which are more prevalent than others. It also helps to understand what these issues are. Here are three HVAC issues to consider when planning your repair schedule and alternatives.
All HVAC hookup and drain lines have the potential to leak. These leaks can cause your HVAC system to work harder than it should. Keep a lookout for refrigerant line leaks and leaks from the condensation line and heat exchanger.
Corrosion may occur wherever a wire is in contact with moisture which can cause your heating or cooling system not to operate appropriately and turn off and on randomly on its own. Corrosion, like leaks, will force your system to work harder and may eventually lead to a total breakdown.
Debris and dirt
All components of your HVAC system, from the filters to the electric panel and everything in between, must be debris-free. Dirty air filters, for example, may pump dust and allergens into your house, lowering air quality and flow and potentially blocking the system, in addition to causing your system to perform inefficiently.
Bring in an HVAC technician
Even if you can do most routine HVAC system maintenance activities on your own, your heating and cooling system is rather complicated, and specific issues may go undetected. In the same spirit, more sophisticated tests must be performed regularly, such as checking for the correct operation of electrical components and ducting.
It’s a good idea to schedule regular maintenance with an HVAC technician. And, if your system is new, you can usually get away with having someone come out only once or twice a year. So instead, plan to have expert maintenance each year in the spring and fall.
Advantages of a Regular HVAC System Maintenance
1. Reduced Energy Bills
Higher energy expenses occur from a poorly maintained HVAC system, which requires more energy to heat or cool your house to the level at which you are comfortable. Therefore, planned maintenance on your HVAC system implies lower energy expenses since a well-maintained system consumes less energy.
2. Less expensive repair bills
All HVAC systems, even the highest-rated systems, will have issues from time to time. On the other hand, regular maintenance can make a difference in fewer repairs since your HVAC specialist will identify them ahead of time. For example, replacing a broken evaporator or frame belt makes far more sense before creating more costly repairs. In addition, regular maintenance allows an HVAC technician to identify possible problems.
3. Prevent Catastrophes
It’s a hotter-than-usual summer night, and you’ve invited some friends around for supper. Or maybe it’s the dead of winter, and you’ve been arranging a family gathering for weeks. You should be able to rely on your HVAC system to perform at top efficiency at all times. A frequent maintenance schedule lowers the likelihood of a catastrophic breakdown. It is also a wise financial choice. The expense of a thorough maintenance plan lowers the probability of spending significantly more for an emergency repair.
4. Equipment has a longer lifespan
One of the reasons you should have regular maintenance on your HVAC system is to ensure that it lasts and provides the highest return on investment. You don’t want to replace it every three or four years because you disregarded maintenance and experienced a breakdown due to preventable wear and tear. A regular maintenance schedule extends the life of your equipment and minimizes the possibility that you will need to purchase a new HVAC system before you have gotten the most out of an older one.
5. Improved Air Quality
When you eliminate mold and dust from the air, your entire family will breathe easier. Indoor air quality is crucial, especially if anyone in your household suffers from asthma or allergies.
6. Maintaining the Safety of Your Family
If your HVAC system fails, it may require costly repairs and become a threat to your family. A fire is always a risk in the case of a short circuit. If you have two units for heating and cooling — an air conditioner in the summer and a furnace in the winter — if a problem arises, there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. A routine maintenance schedule keeps your HVAC system functioning efficiently and protects your family.
While you should have a qualified HVAC expert inspect your system each spring and fall, there are some tasks you can do on your own. Here are some HVAC maintenance items you can do yourself to keep cool during the summer and warm during the fall and winter.
Use High-Quality Filters
The better quality HVAC filter, the better your indoor air quality. As previously stated, you should change your filters based on the filter thickness and method of filtration, generally every month to every three months. You’d be astonished at how few people change their filters as often as they should. A high-efficient clean filter will improve the performance of your HVAC system. When your filters are dirty, your system has to work significantly more to maintain the desired temperature in your home. Purchasing a new filter every month may appear costly, but you will see a return on your investment with lower energy bills.
Remove Debris from Around Outside Units
It’s simple for debris to accumulate around your HVAC unit outside. Debris from falling leaves, twigs, pinecones, and pollen can create a natural mess to accumulate around your HVAC system. Regularly inspect your outside unit to ensure debris does not build up and that you have a minimum clearance of two feet around your HVAC system. Also, when mowing grass in the summer, be sure to clean up any grass clippings.
Perform a Monthly Inspection of the Refrigerant Lines
The refrigerant lines that run from your HVAC system into your home guarantee you have the necessary heating or cooling. If these lines grow old, leak, or become disconnected, the temperature in your home will not be at the comfortable level you want. Therefore, it is essential to check your refrigerant lines each month to ensure everything is in proper working order.
Maintain The level of your HVAC System
If you want your HVAC system to perform at its best, it is imperative that your unit stay level at all times. So be sure to check your unit every few months, and if on pads, make sure they have not shifted.
Get Rid of Clogs
Here’s a great DIY tip for preventing the accumulation of algae and mold in your system. Combine one cup of room temperature water and one cup of bleach. Pour the concoction down the condenser drain once a year to eliminate accumulation.
Turn off the Water Source to Your Furnace’s Humidifier in Summer
Turn off the water in your furnace’s humidifier during the summer months. Install a new filter and set your thermostat to roughly 40% humidity when the weather begins to cool down in the late summer or early fall and you’re considering turning on the heat. After that, switch on the water supply.
Avoid closing too many registers.
You should never close more than around 20% of your home’s registers. If you do, you will place an unneeded strain on your system by making it work harder to provide you with the desired degree of heat or cooling.
Keep Watch for Odors and Noises
When you turn on your unit, note any peculiar scents or weird sounds. They might be symptoms of more serious issues.
Examine the Fan Blades
Inspect the blades every couple of months for signs of corrosion and wear, both while they’re in motion and when they’re stationary. Then, when it’s time to replace the fan blades, call in the professionals.
Examine Your Carbon Monoxide Detector
Your fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector are frequently the same device. If this is the case, you will only need to change one set of batteries every six months. However, if they are not the same device, be sure to change the batteries at the same time.
These steps will help ensure your HVAC system is in good operating order. If you detect any specific issues, you may notify your HVAC expert when they come to do your spring or autumn preventative maintenance check.
Safety and Comfort for Your Home and Business
Proper HVAC system maintenance maintains your equipment and helps protect you and your family, ensuring comfortable interior temperatures and clean air. With proper maintenance and the use of high-quality HVAC filters, you and your family can rest easy. At Filti, our mission is to provide filtration products for homes and businesses that promote healthy, clean air. For more information on Filti, our products, and our mission, visit us online!