An HVAC system requires regular maintenance to work properly throughout the year. This helps reduce energy bills and repairs while enhancing air quality.
Sudden rises in energy costs despite usage and temperatures remaining the same are an early warning sign of problems with your heating and cooling system. These can be due to dirty filters, duct leaks, or broken parts.
Clean the Outside Unit
Keep the area around your outdoor unit free of plants, weeds, grass, and debris. These items restrict airflow and cause your system to work harder, which increases energy costs and poses a fire hazard.
You should also clean the coils and drain pan on your outside unit. To do this:
- Shut off the power to the unit by flipping the breaker switch, then vacuum the coils and remove any accumulated dust, cobwebs, and debris.
- Use a garden hose to spray down the inside of the coils.
- Be careful not to get the fan motor wet.
Performing these Extra Air Conditioning and Heating maintenance tips can help ensure your system works efficiently throughout the year and prevent costly repair bills. So make sure to put these tasks on your fall to-do list!
Clean the Ductwork
A duct system is a network of pipes that run throughout your house to transport conditioned air from your HVAC system. These ducts are usually in walls and ceilings, but sometimes, they’re located in crawl spaces or attics.
Ducts can be dusty, and it’s a good idea to clean them at least occasionally. However, it’s important to do this correctly so you don’t dislodge debris and re-introduce allergens into your home.
Ensure the HVAC system is turned off, then remove the cover from each duct. Secure a flexible vent brush to the end of a cordless drill and slowly slide it into the duct. When you reach the last two feet of duct, switch off the drill to avoid creating a dusty mess.
Change the Filters
Your HVAC system’s air filters are responsible for catching large particles and allergens from the air before they can reach your indoor air quality sensors. Keeping these clean is essential to reducing allergies, preventing damage to expensive machinery, and improving energy efficiency.
To change a filter, start by shutting off the power. This can be done at the thermostat or breaker box or by removing the access panel for your unit (or the filter rack door in the case of window units).
Next, locate the old filter and remove it from the slot that holds it. Once the new filter is in, close the cover or panel. Make sure it’s oriented properly and has airflow arrows facing toward the unit. Then, remember to check it again next month!
Clean the Condensate Line
One of the most common HVAC issues is a clogged drain line. This line is responsible for carrying away the condensation from your evaporator coil. It can easily become clogged with algae, mildew, and other growth. Cleaning the drain line is easy and only takes a few minutes.
Pour a cup of bleach down the drain line at the access point. The bleach will eat away at the mold, mildew, and other growth that may be causing the clog.
When you’re done, just run water down the drain to flush out the system and ensure it’s clean. Be careful not to get any water on the metal parts of your unit, as this can cause corrosion. This is especially important in hot, humid climates.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance is the best way to prevent problems that may lead to costly repairs. A professional technician can spot and fix tiny faults before they escalate, saving you money in the long run.
In addition, a well-maintained HVAC system is more efficient, so it will use less energy to warm or cool your home. This helps you save on energy costs and also reduces your carbon footprint.
Monitor your energy bills and look for spikes that could indicate a problem with your HVAC system. A sudden increase in your energy bill may indicate clogged filters, duct leaks, or low refrigerant levels. A visual inspection of the outside unit, ductwork, thermostat, filter access, cabinet door, and indoor evaporator coil can help you identify these problems early on.