For homeowners and business owners alike, the HVAC system is an essential part of the building’s infrastructure. HVAC systems provide heating, ventilation, and air conditioning to ensure a comfortable environment for occupants. Whatever the season is, it’s crucial to stay on top of HVAC maintenance.
What Is HVAC Maintenance and Why Do You Need It?
HVAC maintenance is an essential service that helps keep your HVAC system running optimally. This includes inspections and repairs of the components that make up the unit, such as the fan motor, filters, ducts, and other parts. You or a professional HVAC technician can do it. But you must remember that experts have the necessary equipment, training, and experience to do a thorough job.
Regular maintenance can mean every month, every quarter, or every year. The frequency will vary depending on the type of system installed in your home or business and the parts you’re maintaining. Here are the most significant reasons why you need regular HVAC system maintenance:
- Maximum energy efficiency
A well-maintained HVAC system will operate more efficiently than one that’s neglected. This means lower utility bills and fewer repairs in the future.
- Extended equipment life
With regular maintenance, your HVAC system can last a lot longer since it won’t have to deal with wear, tear, and dirt buildup as quickly as an unmaintained unit.
- Improved indoor air quality
Filters help keep dust particles, mold spores, and other pollutants from circulating around your home or business space and causing allergies or respiratory problems.
- Improved comfort levels
Regular maintenance ensures that the humidity and temperature in your home or business are always kept at comfortable levels with no fluctuations.
HVAC Maintenance Tips You Can DIY
While professional HVAC servicing is necessary to keep your system in good working condition, there are a few simple maintenance tips you can follow to help make your system run optimally, such as:
Changing Air Filters Regularly
Regularly changing air filters is the most significant thing you can do for your heating and air conditioning units. Dirty air filters block the flow of air through the vents and strain the entire system, resulting in reduced energy efficiency and higher utility bills. Replacing or cleaning your filters once a month or every three months should be an essential part of HVAC system maintenance.
If you have pets, your location is dusty with dry climates, or your HVAC unit is older, you may need to replace the filter more often. In addition, if you or a family member experiences allergies, consider getting a filter with a 9 to 13 MERV rating, as this can help reduce allergens in your home.
Checking for Obstructions Around Your Unit
Another simple step you should include in your HVAC maintenance checklist is to ensure that there are no obstructions around your outdoor unit, like leaves and other debris. These can cause blockages restricting airflow and potentially cause costly damage to your HVAC system.
Checking For Leaks
Inspect the ducts and look for any leaks in the system. Leaks can cause a reduction in air quality and energy efficiency. Have them repaired as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
Regularly Cleaning Your Unit
To keep your HVAC unit running smoothly and efficiently, regularly clean the condenser coils on the outdoor part of your system. If you are unsure or don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, consider hiring an expert for professional heating and home air conditioner maintenance services.
Your system’s vents are responsible for pushing air through the system, so they must be kept clean. Make sure to vacuum out any dust buildup from the vents periodically. This will help improve airflow and reduce strain on the system.
Checking the Temperature Settings Regularly
Keep an eye on the temperature settings and adjust them when necessary. This will help prevent your system from running too hard or too frequently, leading to higher energy bills and more wear and tear. For instance, if the temperature fluctuates erratically, you may need to adjust the thermostat settings. The system may be trying to keep up with the changing temperature in the room, resulting in a poorly regulated environment.
Scheduling HVAC Regular Maintenance
If you don’t have time or are not confident about your DIY skills, consider hiring a technician to inspect and maintain your heating or air conditioning unit. Professional maintenance is essential as it can help protect your system against potential problems before they become serious and leave you with higher repair costs. Regular maintenance will also ensure that the system runs at peak efficiency.
Professional HVAC maintenance services can include:
- Inspection and cleaning of the coils
- Checking air filters and replacing them as needed
- Testing for leaks in the ducts
- Cleaning out any dust or debris from the vents
- Adjusting the thermostat settings if necessary
- Checking fuel line connections for safety
- Electrical issues, such as heat exchanger
- Compressor short-cycling
What Are the Steps To Servicing Your HVAC?
1. Turn Off Your HVAC System
Keep in mind that all electrical equipment should be handled with care and caution, so always turn off the power before you start any maintenance.
2. Use a Soft-Bristled Brush, Mild Detergent, and Water for Cleaning
Clean the coils, filters, and other components of your system, using a soft-bristled brush. If your coil has minimal dirt buildup, you can use compressed air to blow it out. For larger buildups, use a soft brush, mild detergents, and water directly on the coils. Sweep any debris and scrub them if necessary. Avoid brushes with hard bristles or wired brushes, as they can cause damage.
You can also use commercial cleaners, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the cleaner to sit until the debris drains away. You can reapply if necessary until the coils are clear and clean.
Use the following mixture of mild detergents and water if you prefer a homemade cleaning solution:
- Mix any simple detergent and warm water in a bottle spray.
- Spray it into the coils and leave it to soak for a few minutes to loosen the dirt.
- Wipe any remaining dirt away with a clean, soft cloth.
- Once you have finished cleaning, dry the coils thoroughly. You may use a fan or blow dryer to speed up the drying process. You can use a vacuum cleaner to eliminate debris from the coils and vents.
3. Replace or Clean Filters
Here are steps on how to replace or clean filters:
- Remove the air filter and take it out of the system.
- Clean the filter with a vacuum or brush, depending on its type. Apply a cleaning solution and let it soak. If the filter is disposable, replace it with a new one.
- Rinse the filter with a hose and let it dry completely before replacing it.
Your HVAC system is vital in keeping your home comfortable, and proper maintenance will help keep it running smoothly. Regular maintenance will also ensure that the system operates efficiently and prolongs its lifespan. By following these simple tips, you can easily maintain your HVAC equipment and reduce strain on the system. Make sure to follow manufacturer instructions for additional maintenance needs for your specific model.
However, there are preventative maintenance tasks that you should leave to the professionals to avoid further damage and costly repairs. Professionals have the expertise and knowledge to properly service your heating and cooling system and prevent potential safety issues. They also have access to specialized tools that make servicing easier and more effective.