Things to Do This Summer to Maintain Your HVAC
Homeowners know that maintenance is a year-round task, but it is easiest to remember at the change of seasons. With summer approaching, you want your air conditioner to be in good working order. In this post, we will talk about why maintenance is so important and a few of the tasks you can do yourself to keep your system running smoothly.
Why Is It Important to Do Maintenance on Your HVAC System?
Regular maintenance on your HVAC system will reduce the risk of your system breaking down and help ensure it runs close to peak efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the more efficient your system runs, the more money you can save on your energy bill!
Making sure to do regular maintenance on your system will also help extend the life of your HVAC system. It will prevent you from spending a lot of money on purchasing new parts or even a new system in the future. Plus, it will keep the manufacturer’s warranty (and labor warranty) valid, which again can save you money down the road.
Something many people overlook when thinking about HVAC systems is how they can impact your health and safety. Changing filters and duct cleaning, especially for pet owners or smokers, is important because it can improve the airflow in your home. Systems that run on natural gas need to be checked more often to prevent leaks that could jeopardize your safety.
What Can You Do Yourself?
While a professional HVAC company can take care of all of your needs and ensure your equipment is running at peak efficiency, there are some things that you can handle on your own to help maintain your system.
Change the Air Filter
Changing the air filter is one of the easiest things to accomplish. A fresh filter will allow the system to clear the air of any pollen or allergens, pet dander, dust, or other contaminants. It will also keep your system running at peak efficiency.
Clear Away Debris
The condenser unit is that big box that is outside your house. Clear away any debris that may have gathered over the past few months (that includes leaves, sticks, excess dirt, grass clippings, etc.). Keeping clear the area around the units to a space of about 2 feet will allow the unit to function to its fullest.
Some people will plant shrubbery, flowers, or other vegetation around the unit, but that means there is a good chance of leaves, twigs, or other items being sucked into the coils and clogging the system. When you mow around the area, be sure to use a mulching blade that will allow the grass clippings to return to the soil or if you use a side discharge, be sure it blows away from the condenser.
Clean the Condenser
While you are cleaning debris away from the unit, remove the outer cover and use a shop vac or leaf blower/sucker to remove any debris that may have accumulated inside. You can use a garden hose on very gentle spray from the inside to the outside to remove any dirt or dust on the fins.
Check if the Unit is Level
Be sure the entire unit is level. If not, the lubricating oil will separate and the refrigerant will not move through the system well. Check the coolant lines that go from the condenser into the house. Be sure there is no strain and they are free of cracks.
Inspect the Rest
Doing these tasks will be a huge step towards maintaining your HVAC system, but the condenser coils, dampers, burners, pressure switches, evaporator, flue pipe, and much more should also be inspected and adjusted. Schedule an appointment with your HVAC company to give your furnace and air conditioner a thorough check and to fix any problems before they occur.