Nearly 94 percent of homes in the United States have central heating and cooling systems in place. These units are efficient and make keeping your home comfortable at all times easy. However, they require ongoing care and maintenance if you want the HVAC system to last for years to come.
If you’re not sure where to start, you’re not alone. HVAC maintenance can seem intimidating with so many components to take care of.
Luckily, keeping your system in good shape is simpler than you think. Here are a few key preventative HVAC maintenance tips to help you keep it working well at all times.
1. Keep an Eye on Your Filters
Every HVAC system uses air from outside your house to provide your home with fresh, temperature-controlled air anytime the unit turns on. Unfortunately, that air isn’t always clean.
It contains tons of dust, dirt, debris, pollen, and other contaminants that your system needs to filter out before it can send the air into your house. To do that, your HVAC unit has a series of filters in place.
The more you use your system, the more air gets filtered through the unit, and the dirtier the filters will become.
The best thing you can do as part of your standard HVAC maintenance checklist is to inspect your filters. Try to do this at least once every three months. If the filters look dirty or you notice tons of debris collecting on the surface, replace them.
Keep in mind that if you or anyone in your household has severe allergies or upper respiratory conditions, you’ll want to inspect your filters more often. The cleaner they are, the fewer contaminants will make it into your house. This means your indoor air quality will be better and your loved ones will have to deal with fewer environmental triggers for their conditions.
2. Clean the Outdoor Condenser Unit Often
Most modern heat and air conditioning systems use an outdoor condenser unit to help heat and cool your home. This unit gets exposed to the elements at all times and, as a result, gets dirty quickly.
Get in the habit of inspecting your condenser unit at least once a week. If you notice a buildup of leaves and plant matter collecting along the sides, clear it away.
Use gardening gloves to protect your hands while you work and clear the area thoroughly. This will help keep the condenser unit cool and reduces the risk of premature wear and tear throughout the year.
If you’re having trouble keeping the area clear, you may want to invest in a cover for the units. You can use these covers during the off-season when you’re not relying on the condenser to keep your home comfortable. This will keep the components clean longer.
3. Inspect Your Air Conditioner’s Fins
Air conditioners generate a lot of heat every time they turn on. This is why they have a series of metal fins in place to help dissipate the heat and encourage air circulation.
Though the fins are durable, they can get bent or warped. When they do, your air conditioner will start to get warmer. If the damage is too severe, your unit may overheat when it turns on.
Take the time to inspect the fins anytime you’re cleaning the condenser unit. If you notice warping or bending in the fins, call your HVAC technician and let them fix the damage. If you’re handy and confident that you can make the repairs yourself, head to your local hardware store and pick up a fin brush.
Use the fin brush to straighten out any bends as soon as you notice them. The sooner you do, the more efficient your HVAC system will be.
4. Inspect Your Air Vents
For your HVAC system to work well, each room needs to get the full amount of air sent from the system itself. If there are items blocking the air vents, your system will have to work harder to keep your home comfortable.
Every few weeks, walk around your house and inspect your air vents. If you moved furniture to cover them or notice a buildup of dust on the vent covers, clear it away.
The more the air can circulate throughout your house, the more comfortable it will be and the less energy your system will use to keep it that way.
5. Schedule Routine Duct Inspections
Your ductwork is essential to the functionality of your home’s HVAC system. It sends the heated or cooled air throughout the house and into different rooms anytime the system turns on.
If there are leaks inside the ductwork, the air won’t be able to circulate as effectively. Worse, you’ll be paying to heat or cool parts of your home that aren’t usable.
The only way to stay on top of this is to get your ductwork inspected each year. Call your HVAC technician and let them take a look. If they notice any signs of damage, you’ll want to get it fixed as soon as possible.
You should also ask if there’s an excessive buildup of dust and dirt in the ductwork. If there is, schedule a duct cleaning appointment. This will help keep your home’s indoor air quality great and reduces upper respiratory irritation over the course of the year.
Follow These Preventative HVAC Maintenance Tips
If you’re looking to keep your home’s heating and air conditioning system in good condition, you’ll need to be proactive. Keep these HVAC maintenance tips in mind and follow through with them throughout the year.
When you do, you’ll be able to keep your system running smoothly for years to come. If you notice anything out of the ordinary or just want an experienced professional to take a look, schedule a professional tune-up at least once a year. This way, they’ll be able to fix any minor repair issues before they become a major problem.
Keeping your home’s HVAC system running smoothly is just one part of being a responsible homeowner. Check out our latest posts for more tips to help you keep your home in pristine condition at all times.