HVAC maintenance is crucial to keeping your unit running great, but there's always a time when that's not the case.
We’ve all been there before. It’s the middle of summer, a day when you could fry an egg on the sidewalk, and your air conditioner breaks down. Or maybe it is sometime in January when the snow is really coming down, and your heater suddenly shuts off.
It seems as though these things always happen at the absolute worst possible times. Then you have to call an HVAC company and either sit in front of fans to stay cool or snuggle the family under a blanket to stay warm until it can be repaired.
While these things are sometimes unavoidable, some of these instances could be avoided with a few simple steps taken to help maintain your heating and air conditioning systems. Obviously the more complex workings of the system should be left to the professionals, but there are a few things that any homeowner could-- and should-- do to make sure they are not caught in another one of these uncomfortable scenarios. Not only that, proper HVAC maintenance can reduce the energy used by the system, saving you money on your utilities costs.
HVAC Maintenance Steps
- Replace and upgrade your air filters every 90 days. Modern air filters are pleated and have an electrostatic charge that helps draw in dust and debris particles like a magnet. This is especially important if you or someone in your home has allergies. A clean air filter will reduce particles in the air that cause allergies to act up, and cleaner air means a more efficient heating and air system. While this should be at done at least every three months, your filters may need to be changed more frequently, especially if you have pets in the home.
- Check the A/C unit outside to make sure it is clear of debris. There should be between 12 to 24 inches of free space all the way around the unit. Make sure to regularly clean away leaves, twigs, mowed grass and other objects off of the unit. This can easily be done using a garden hose.
- Make sure that vents inside the home are not covered by furniture or other objects. The free flow of air is key to a properly functioning HVAC system, so keep this in mind during all maintenance tasks.
- Check your system during the milder times of the year. Make sure the heater is working just before it gets cold, and do the same with the A/C before summer. This way you can detect an issue before it becomes a huge problem.
- Have your HVAC system checked and maintained by a certified HVAC expert at least once a year.