HVAC Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

An important part of being a homeowner is keeping up with the routine maintenance of your home, including your HVAC system. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning and includes your furnace and central air conditioning units.

 As one of the most expensive components of your home, doing routine preventive maintenance will help to extend the life of your HVAC system. In turn, this can save you thousands of dollars by avoiding potentially costly repairs or unit replacements.

 By following through with these maintenance tips, you will keep your HVAC system in tip-top shape for years to come.

Keep Your Air Vents Open

You may think closing the air vents in rooms that are used less often would be a good idea to save money but think again. If you close the air vents in some rooms, it actually makes it more difficult for air to flow through the system, leading to lower levels of efficiency and performance. With an increased burden and pressure on the system, ductwork can be damaged, and leaks may develop.

If you want greater control over the heating or cooling of various areas in your home, you may want to look into installing a zoned HVAC system where you have different thermostats for different sections of your home.

Clear Debris From Around the Unit

Periodically you will want to inspect your air conditioning unit outside and remove any debris that has settled on or around it. Leaves, sticks, and grass are all typical yard waste that can get into your unit and potentially cause major issues if it is not removed in a timely manner. If you have any bushes or trees planted close to the air conditioning unit, keep them well-trimmed and at least two feet away from the actual unit to ensure enough clearance for airflow.

If you are in a colder climate where you would not need air conditioning in the winter, putting a cover over the unit will keep it protected from the harsh winter weather. If you do use a cover, use one made from breathable material.

Schedule Routine Maintenance Appointments

When was the last time you had your HVAC unit serviced? If you are unsure, you will want to check the last time a service technician came to service your HVAC system. If it has been over a year since your last appointment, it would be a good idea to give your HVAC service company a call and set up an appointment. The longer you go without having a service technician check out your unit, the greater the chances are that something could go wrong or a minor issue becomes a much larger issue. By being proactive and keeping up with regular maintenance, you can help to extend how long your HVAC system will run.

Change Your Air Filters Regularly

It can’t be said enough how important it is to change your air filters. A clogged air filter can lead to your HVAC system having to work harder for air to flow through, putting unnecessary strain on the unit, and increasing your utility bills.

In your heating unit, change your filter every 30 to 90 days to ensure efficient airflow. To determine how often you should be changing your air filter, reference your owner’s manual for specific recommendations.

In your cooling unit, you have filters that can either be replaced or cleaned. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, by having a clean filter on your air conditioning unit, you can reduce its energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent.

Check Ducts and Vents

While your HVAC unit is running, you will want to check all vents in your home for adequate airflow and to check that there is no debris coming out of the vent. If you do see debris, it may be a sign that the air duct is damaged.

Keep Air Conditioner Condensate Drain Line Clean

The condensate drain on your air conditioning unit helps to remove condensation produced by the coils. When the condensate drain line on your air conditioner is clear, your HVAC system will run more efficiently. Keep the line clean by removing any potential mold or algae that can clog the drain if not eliminated. If the condensate line becomes clogged, it can lead to water damage or increased humidity. You can easily clean the line out by pouring in hot water, bleach, or distilled vinegar.

Clean Air Conditioner Coils

The evaporator coils and condenser coils on your air conditioner unit can become quite dirty. Keeping the coils clear of debris will help maintain the airflow necessary for the unit to run properly. If the coils are too dirty, it can decrease efficiency, increase utility bills, increase stress on the system, and lead to costly repairs. Keeping the filter in the unit clean helps prevent the coils from getting dirty as quickly.

If you clean the coils yourself, be very careful and follow the owner’s manual instructions detailing how to clean the coils. If you accidentally damage the coils in the unit, it can be costly to repair. If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning the coils yourself, you can hire a professional HVAC service technician to do the cleaning.

An Informed Homeowner is a Prepared Homeowner

Knowledge is power. Knowing what you need to do to stay up-to-date with your HVAC maintenance will help prevent problems from becoming expensive maintenance repairs. While there are actions you can take to keep up on HVAC maintenance, you also want to schedule preventive maintenance with your HVAC service company to take care of items you can’t address.

If you have any questions or need to schedule your routine HVAC maintenance, we are here to help! Contact us at 813-773-6500 to schedule your next HVAC service appointment. 

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