Each component of an HVAC system, such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, contributes to your home’s interior climate. To ensure that everything functions as it should, all aspects of the HVAC system must be properly maintained, so routine system maintenance is critical to getting the most out of your air conditioner and heater.
An outdoor unit that sits next to your home and an indoor unit situated in a central duct near your furnace are the two basic sections of most central air conditioners. The indoor machine will be in the air handler if you have a heat pump instead of a furnace. Don’t overwork your air conditioner, whether it’s a whole-house or a single-room unit. Follow these guidelines to keep your HVAC system running smoothly so that your home remains cool during the season.
Change Your Filters
What was the last time you adjusted your air conditioner’s filters? Disposable filters keep your system safe by removing large particles from the air you breathe indoors. Ideally, it would be best if you replaced them every 1-3 months. If you have allergies or have pets in your house, you might want to replace your filters more frequently.
It is recommended that you use a MERV 7-11 filter. Anything further would reduce the airflow in your device, putting needless pressure on it and lowering its effectiveness. If you’re still uncertain about when to adjust your filters, go to filterbuy.com/resources/how-often-do-i-really-need-to-change-my-hvac-filter/ to learn about general HVAC maintenance recommendations. There are also guidelines for cleaning and maintaining certain filters.
Clear Debris Around Outside Units
Debris can easily accumulate around an outdoor HVAC system. In the autumn, leaves drop, pollen blows around in the spring, and before you know it, all sorts of things have accumulated around your HVAC unit. Regularly inspect the outdoor unit to ensure that every air conditioning or HVAC heat pump has at least two feet of clearance around it. This entails clearing the area around or on top of the unit of leaves, twigs, soil, and pollen. Often, make sure the lawnmower doesn’t dump the clippings onto the unit while you’re cutting grass in the summer.
Clean The Fins
Remove the outer covers and vacuum all exterior dirt with a brush attachment on a strong shop vacuum. Then, spray through the fins with a gentle stream from a garden hose to clear any built-up dirt or debris from the inside out. Never use a pressure washer to clean the fins because the pressure will hurt them.
Inspect The Ducts
Another critical component of your HVAC system that you might overlook is the ductwork. The ducts can grow holes, cracks, or gaps over time. They can start leaking where the ductwork connects if they aren’t built properly.
When your ductwork is leaking, much heated and cooled air escapes before reaching the desired areas of your house. When you change the thermostat to compensate for the missing air, this can consume a lot of extra energy. Check for visible signs of damage in any exposed ductwork in your basement, crawl room, or attic.
Improve Your Air Quality
According to the EPA, indoor airborne contaminants can be 2-5 times higher than outdoor levels. This is especially important if you or a family member suffers from respiratory problems such as asthma. You share your homes with many things that you would rather not breathe, even though you aren’t aware of it daily. These popular indoor allergens include pet dander, dust mites, cigarette smoke, pollen, and mold, which can cause a variety of respiratory problems.
If you’re worried about mold because of a musty odor, it’s time to get your air ducts cleaned. HVAC cleaning, in general, ensures that the warm or cold air circulating through your vents is as clean and filtered as possible.
Schedule A Yearly Check-Up
Having your air conditioner serviced before the peak cooling season will help you avoid a big breakdown on the hottest summer days. A skilled HVAC cleaner will clean your device and thoroughly inspect it to ensure it is working as efficiently as possible.
It’s also a good idea to get the ductwork checked, particularly if your cooling bills have been higher than usual. Via leaky or uninsulated ducts, up to 30% to 40% of energy can escape. Sealing leaks and installing insulation could also compensate for itself in a few years if your home has forced-air heat that uses the same ductwork.
Over the winter, if your heating system isn’t working properly, your house will easily become uninhabitable. Your heating unit is likely your family’s largest source of energy consumption, in addition to being a significant contributor to overall comfort. By following the guidelines outlined above, you will ensure that your home’s heating system provides sufficient, continuous warmth in an energy-efficient manner in the cold months.