The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is crucial for any house. The HVAC system runs the whole year round. In winter, you need your house to be cozy and warm, and in summer, you need to cool down the temperature of your house to protect you from severe heat. But you might have noticed that it always breaks down on the hottest day of the year. And that’s because you did not take proper care of the system. Just like your car needs maintenance and regular checks to keep it in perfect running condition, your HVAC system demands your care too.
As a homeowner, you need to ensure that your HVAC system is in a top-notch situation; otherwise, your system might break down unexpectedly, and you will spend more on installing a new system instead of spending on its regular maintenance and performance checks.
So here are five HVAC maintenance tips that every homeowner should know to avoid any serious damages or breakdowns.
Table of contents
1. Change Filters Regularly:
The easiest but surprisingly the most critical thing to take care of is the filters in our HVAC system. You should change your filters regularly. On average, it is recommended to change filters every month or every 90 days maximum. If your filters are unclean, it negatively affects the whole system’s performance. If the filters are dirty, your HVAC system must work harder to keep your house at your desired temperature. Thus, it puts more pressure on the system. Also, keep in mind to choose the right air filters for your HVAC system.
The best recommendation is to install the MERV 8 Air Filters, and there are trustworthy companies that will deliver the MERV 8 air filters to your house. These air filters are made with 100% synthetic media and thus can capture airborne contaminants as small as 3 to 10 microns in size. Thus, with MERV 8 air filters, you will breathe in filtered air and avoid contacting bacteria or allergens.
You might think it’s expensive to replace filters every month or two, but in the long run, it is cost-efficient compared to the big energy bills you pay when you don’t change your air filters and the system runs with dirty air filters. Replacing clogged filters with new ones reduced the system’s energy consumption from 5% to 15%.
2. Schedule Professional HVAC Tune-Ups:
Since not every homeowner can be an expert in HVAC preventative maintenance, it is best to take help from professionals. You should schedule at least two seasonal HVAC tune-ups every year. Of course, one maintenance check should be for heating in the fall and the other in the spring for air conditioning. Contact the best HVAC technicians or installation companies in your area for these checks. These professionals inspect the system and troubleshoot the system in case of some issues so there are no breakdowns and the system keeps working efficiently.
Usually, the HVAC technicians perform these duties in a maintenance checkup: checking system controls, checking thermostat calibration and settings, lubricating all moving parts, inspecting gas pressure, burner combustion, and heat exchanger, cleaning and adjusting the blower components, checking fuel line connections, etc.
3. Clean The Drain Lines:
Air conditioners work in such a way that they take out moisture from the air while cooling the room or area. All this moisture then accumulates in the drain lines of the air conditioner, from where it is, of course, drained out. You should not ignore these drain lines if you want a properly working HVAC system. Commonly, these drain lines get covered in dirt and dust and thus get clogged. Moreover, due to the moisture in the drain lines, these often become homes for mold and algae. This is not only damaging to the drain lines but also hinders the overall performance of your HVAC system.
So make it a habit to clean your drain lines after regular intervals of time. Take off the outer cover of the air conditioner and, using a clean piece of cloth, clean up the drain lines. Usually, cleaning the drain lines with a piece of cloth does the trick, but if you see mold forming in the drain lines, you need to tackle it immediately. The easiest and quickest thing to do is to rinse the mold with a wet cloth damped in the mixture of water and vinegar.
4. Keep the Area around HVAC Unit Clear:
To prevent your HVAC unit from overheating and ensure good airflow, you need to make sure that the area around the HVAC outdoor unit is clean. It’s rather easy for debris to cover up the outside of the HVAC unit. When the wind blows, it brings along dust. Leaves fall in autumn. In spring, pollen blows around everywhere. There are small clippings of grass whenever you cut your lawn’s grass. All these things start gathering around your HVAC unit, and by the time you realize it, there’s either a huge blockage that becomes hard to clean up or the system has already broken down.
That is why you must always keep an eye on the outside area of your HVAC heat pump and air conditioner. Remove twigs, pollen, branches, leaves, grass clippings, sticks, etc., from the top or around the unit. There must be at least two feet of clearance area around the unit. Also, clean the exterior coil yearly.
5. Keep The Indoor HVAC Area Clutter Free:
Nothing must block the system’s airflow if you want your HVAC to work at its peak efficiency. There must be enough free space around your HVAC for proper airflow. When the space is cluttered, there is no proper air ventilation. Thus, the air does not reach every point of the room or area easily, which overheats the system. Clutter thus reduces air circulation, which badly affects the system’s efficiency and increases energy bills.
Ensure you haven’t placed anything right in front of the unit, like rugs, plants or furniture, etc., because that is how the system heats up, eventually increasing the energy costs. Moreover, more things in a room mean more things that collect dust, eventually reaching the vents. Also, the clutter can be a fire and trip hazard, making it harder to repair the system.
Your house’s HVAC system runs throughout the year. As it’s used excessively, you must ensure the system always runs smoothly. And for that, you need to put time and effort into maintaining the HVAC system of your house. It might seem like a tiresome responsibility, but properly maintaining your HVAC system enhances its performance, leading to many benefits, including low energy costs. In this article, we point out 5 HVAC maintenance tips that every homeowner should know and that are quite simple to follow.