The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system in your home works continuously throughout the year to provide you a comfortable environment. It’s one of the hardworking home systems that require proper care. When one of the components in the system starts to malfunction or show signs of problems, timely action is necessary to avoid costly repairs.
Keeping your HVAC in good shape throughout the year is the best way to save on your monthly utility bills. It will also help you avoid dealing with the high costs of a repair job or replacement by a professional. Routine maintenance is your best bet to keep your HVAC system running efficiently and prolong its lifespan.
If you want to cut down on your monthly utility bills and avoid costly repairs or replacement, here are some maintenance tips for your HVAC system you need to know.
- Schedule Routine Maintenance By A Professional
One way to keep your HVAC system in good shape is routine maintenance by a professional. Schedule a minimum of two checkups every year, ideally during spring for the air conditioning system and during the fall for the heating. Regular HVAC checkups by a reliable professional would ensure the ideal environment for your home and help you save on your utility bills.
During routine maintenance, a professional will service, examine, and troubleshoot the system to guarantee it works efficiently and prevent any possible breakdowns. Generally, some of the tasks the technician will perform are the following:
- Inspect the thermostat settings and calibration
- Lubricate all movable components
- Secure electrical connections
- Examine and clean the condensate drain
- Assess the system control
- Check the fuel line connections, burner combustion, gas pressure, and heat exchanger
- Inspect the refrigerant charge, evaporator, and condenser coils
If you want to make sure your HVAC system is in optimum condition, don’t overlook the importance of HVAC system checkups and consider hiring a professional.
- Inspect The Filters
A dirty air filter is one of the reasons for a malfunctioning air conditioner. A maintenance task you can do yourself is changing the filters to improve efficiency and reduce the monthly utility bills.
Check the air filters every month to ensure it’s not dirty or clogged. If it’s messy, it requires a thorough wash. You can change the filter once every three months. Sadly, if it looks significantly dirty, it’s best to replace it right away.
If you have a reusable filter, make sure to clean it carefully using a soft cloth. If you don’t have a reusable filter, buy a new one at any home improvement store.
Additionally, if you have family members with allergies, consider getting a hypoallergenic or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to purify the air effectively.
- Clear The Area Around The Outdoor Unit
The outdoor unit requires attention especially if there’s a buildup of leaves and vegetation. Keeping the area bordering the unit free of barriers will prevent any disruptions to the airflow.
Cut down any nearby trees or bushes to ensure adequate clearance, ideally around two feet on all sides. Make sure to watch out if you have shrubs or trees that produce large amounts of pollen since they’re capable of clogging the condensing units.
After clearing the space, spray the unit’s exterior with a water hose to loosen up and eliminate any embedded dirt or debris. It’s not advisable to use a washer since it can cause permanent damage to your unit.
- Clear The Vents
If you want to keep your HVAC system in optimum shape, make sure the air can readily flow in and out of the unit. You need to check if carpets, curtains, or furniture do not block the vents. Keeping the vents clean will allow the air to flow freely, so your system works efficiently.
- Regulate The Temperature
Regular maintenance of your HVAC system will also require you to regulate the temperatures at a comfortable range and avoid overusing it, especially if you’re away or during nighttime.
It might be best to install a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature automatically at different times of the day. Once you allow your home to have a cool temperature during the winter and a warm one during summer while you’re away, the system will run less frequently to lessen the power consumption and prolong its lifespan.
Depending on the thermostat you have in your home, some are part of the electrical system while others operate on batteries. If you have a battery-powered thermostat, you should replace the batteries at least once a year to prevent issues down the road.
- Arrange An Inspection Of The Ductwork
The ductwork is one of the crucial components in your HVAC system. Make sure it gets regular inspections by a professional, ideally every several years, to pinpoint any blockages and problem areas.
Throughout the years, debris, dust, and dirt can build up in the air ducts. If you overlook routine inspection, the buildup can disrupt the flow of air, which can strain the system and eventually allow issues to develop. The ducts can also trap dander, hold pests, or end up with leaks in which the air can seep out.
Routine duct cleaning can help improve indoor air quality and keep your system healthy with the steady flow of air.
- Maintain The Carbon Monoxide Detector
The carbon monoxide detector is a crucial safety device in your home, especially if you have a combustion-based heating system such as fuel oil or natural gas. When an unforeseen event occurs, such as poor ventilation, exhaust or gas leak, and any other malfunction, this device can save lives.
Generally, a carbon monoxide detector has an average life span of around seven years. One way to ensure the device’s functionality is to test it every month to check if it’s working and replace it if necessary. Don’t forget to change the batteries, ideally every six months.
Regular maintenance must be your priority, and you should always consider the importance of HVAC system checkups for the overall safety of your home. Scheduling an inspection with a professional and performing maintenance tasks or correcting minor issues yourself will help prolong your system’s lifespan and overall efficiency. When your HVAC system is functioning optimally, it’ll effectively keep your home comfortable throughout the year.