Your home depends on a reliable HVAC system to maintain indoor air temperature and other indoor conditions that affect not only your comfort, but potentially your health. To ensure this system is always up-and-running, it’s important to perform routine HVAC maintenance that tunes up appliances, looks for early signs of trouble, and prevents breakdowns before they take place.
Prevention is often less expensive—and far less stressful—than dealing with mechanical breakdowns, or the high cost of utilities created by inefficient HVAC operations. The best way to approach HVAC maintenance is through a seasonal approach that considers when and how your home relies on these appliances throughout the year.
With that in mind, the following five HVAC maintenance tips will help you keep track of various maintenance tasks as they arise throughout the calendar year. With these tips at your disposal, you can keep your HVAC system running on all cylinders, extending the life and efficiency of these important home appliances.
1. Clean Out Debris from Your Outdoor A/C Unit
If you have an outdoor air conditioning unit as part of your HVAC system, spring is the time when you should clear away branches, leaves, dirt and other debris that has made its way into your unit—which can lead to overheating issues, and increase the risk of a mechanical breakdown. The best way to clean this appliance is by spraying water onto the coils to wash away buildup.
Remember to disconnect the unit from power before you perform any cleaning or maintenance work. You should also take time in the spring to cut back bushes or trees branches that may be crowding the unit, which can create another source of debris or disruption.
For the best HVAC system performance, along with minimal maintenance requirements in the fall, consider purchasing a seasonal cover to place over your air conditioner. This will greatly reduce the debris buildup in the unit, resulting in less cleaning and overall better performance from the appliance.
2. Change Air Filters at the Start of Every Season
The filters on your furnace and other HVAC appliances get clogged with dust and debris over time. The more debris they accumulate, the less efficient these filters become—and the more work it is for your HVAC appliances to operate.
By replacing these filters at least every three months—and more often if dust buildup is thick—you reduce the dust and debris circulating in these appliances. HVAC equipment can then run with greater ease, which reduces energy costs and extends the life of the appliance. Remember, air filters aren’t just for the benefit of your indoor air—they’re also crucial to the maintenance of your HVAC system.
3. Clean Out Vents and Registers in the Spring
One of the best HVAC tips for spring is to clear out all of the dust that has accumulated in vents and HVAC registers over the winter. With cold weather forcing people indoors, and with windows shut for much longer periods, dust often builds up faster during the winter than in warmer months.
A spring cleaning of the vents and registers connected to your HVAC system improves air pollution and pulls dust and debris out of your circulating air, which benefits your air filters and your appliances.
4. Schedule a Furnace Cleaning in the Fall
Preventative maintenance is a wise investment for any HVAC system. In the same way you clean and perform routine maintenance on your AC unit during the spring, a furnace cleaning and tuneup is a simple way to improve furnace performance and avoid potential breakdowns that could throw your furnace into disrepair.
After sitting dormant for months during the spring and summer, your furnace may need a little TLC to clear out dust and make sure other mechanical elements are in proper working order. An HVAC technician can provide this service, and ensure your furnace is operating efficiently as the cold weather arrives.
5. Check for Air and Condensate Leaks in Your System
Leaks in your home’s air vents can lead to inefficiencies in heating and cooling your home, all of which can ramp up energy costs and force your HVAC system to perform more labor, which stresses out the appliances. Similarly, a leaking condensate line can create potential drainage issues in your home.
As you conduct seasonal HVAC maintenance, it’s worth having a professional inspect vents and condensate lines to make sure there aren’t any leaks—or to seal up any leaks that do exist. By addressing these leaks, your HVAC system will operate more smoothly, and you’ll be able to avoid certain mechanical breakdowns or other damage caused by these inefficiencies.
If you’re looking for more HVAC tips or need a professional to provide maintenance, tune-ups or other services for your HVAC units, contact a local HVAC specialist today to schedule a seasonal visit to your home.