An HVAC system is an essential piece of hardware for most households today. HVAC systems are expensive, and it is in your best interests to keep it running trouble-free without spending a lot on professional care.
The best way to do this is preventative maintenance services which can extend the life of your HVAC unit.
HVAC preventative maintenance
We’ve put together several tips in this article that can help increase the life of your HVAC unit. While professional care is critical to the functioning of the unit, there are some things that require only minimal expertise. You can do this by yourself and save a good amount of cash that way. Check out this guide on HVAC maintenance if you are looking for more tips.
Benefits Of Regular Maintenance
There are several benefits when it comes to preventative HVAC maintenance that you should consider.
Saving money – considering that regular HVAC maintenance cuts down on the risk of breakdowns by as much as 95%, you need to opt for a maintenance schedule if you aren’t on one already. Also, add to the fact that regular maintenance can reduce energy bills, further easing pressure on your wallet.
Improving indoor air quality – regular maintenance can have a significant positive impact on indoor air quality. An HVAC system that is not regularly maintained can have close to 2 – 5 times higher particulates than the outdoors.
Safety and comfort – there are a lot of instances when a badly maintained HVAC system has resulted in life-threatening situations. From burst pipes and water damage to shorts resulting in fires, carbon monoxide leaks, just to name a few. A well-maintained HVAC system is a lot safer as well as more comfortable when you don’t skip maintenance.
6 Tips For Preventative HVAC Maintenance
Here are tips that we think will offer you a much better experience when it comes to HVAC maintenance.
All about filters
The filter is one of the most important components in your HVAC system that needs your attention. In fact, a significantly large number of problems arise in an HVAC unit because of some issue related to the filter.
First off, check what kind of filter element came with the HVAC system and search online if there are better alternatives available. Most likely, they will have better materials or technology used when compared to your existing filter. For example, there are new pleated filters that carry electrostatic charge useful for trapping dust and dirt particles.
Another aspect of filters that can drastically alter the quality of indoor air is regular cleaning. You need to make sure that you stick to an interval which is not more than a month when cleaning out filters. You’ll also need to change the filter every 90 days, and if you have pets, an even shorter time frame.
Outdoor air conditioning units and heat pumps
There are several things you need to check when it comes to the outdoor units of your HVAC installation. The first thing you need to do is keep the area (at least 2 feet around the unit) free from obstructions that could hamper the free flow of air. You also need to remove debris that might have accumulated on the outdoor unit like twigs, leaves or other types of vegetation.
You could also check the lines that lead back into the house for breaks in them or their insulation. Another problem many people have are with the placement of their units – if they are on soft ground, the concrete around them is prone to sinkage or listing. The unit should be maintained perfectly level so that the refrigerant can flow through the unit without any issues.
One of the things at the top of your shopping list (if you don’t have it already) should be a programmable thermostat.
This allows a lot of flexibility when it comes to adjusting your home temperature. For example, competent programmable thermostats automatically adjust your home HVAC temperature depending on the weather or if people are in the house at any given time.
Programmable thermostats can give you the option of setting the temperature for various times of the day. These devices can ease the strain on your HVAC system as well as save you money.
There are several types of thermostats available from simple 7-day thermostats to “smart” thermostats that can actually learn and adapt to different patterns. The more advanced thermostats also come with connectivity options which you can use to change settings even when you’re away from home.
Since your HVAC system has to cool or warm your home depending on the season, you need to make sure that some basic checks are carried out so that you can be sure that it won’t give out on you during bad weather. The best time to schedule a checkup is right before and at the end of summer and winter. However, if your HVAC dealer is busy with appointments (as these are peak times), you could also schedule it during the spring and fall.
You need to make sure that you schedule an annual maintenance check with your dealer or an HVAC professional in the area. Comprehensive annual checks can prevent many problems from occurring and goes a long way to keep your HVAC system from breaking down.
These types of detailed checks can uncover several problems with your HVAC unit like tubing and wiring problems, wearing down of parts, malfunctioning equipment, just to name a few. This kind of maintenance will also reset your performance numbers, getting your system working as close to new as possible.
Consider the age of your HVAC
If the HVAC system you have is more than 15 years old, it might be time to replace it. This is especially true if you are buying a new house. The chances are that the HVAC system has not been maintained well. This will result in high energy bills, ineffective cooling or heating, noisy operation, and many other issues.
Summing it up
HVAC systems are sensitive pieces of equipment that have gotten pretty complex over the years. A lot of people don’t pay any attention to several warning signs HVAC systems throw at them and end up with expensive repair bills. Preventative maintenance, while expensive initially, can definitely help you keep costs down in the long run because it prevents more expensive problems. An annual HVAC system maintenance program is something that you need to look at for a longer functioning HVAC unit.