Top 8 Tips for Maintaining Your HVAC System
Maintaining your home and increasing its value can be done easily by mowing the lawn and painting. Similarly, taking care of your air conditioning and heating equipment can be made effortless by undertaking some measures. This can aid in reducing unexpected emergency calls and promote the longevity of your HVAC equipment. Doing a bit of preventive maintenance in both spring and fall yields remarkable benefits.
Change Your Filters
Have you recently replaced the filters in your unit? Using disposable filters can help maintain a clean system by removing larger particles from indoor air. It is recommended to replace them every 1-3 months, especially during allergy season or if you own pets. Choosing a filter with a MERV rating of 7-11 is advised, as anything higher could restrict airflow and place undue strain on your system, ultimately reducing its efficiency. If you have an air purification system, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s filter replacement instructions. Ductless systems may require regular filter cleaning (see a DIY guide for assistance).
Clean Your Condensing Unit
During the summer season, the majority of air conditioning systems come with an outdoor condensing unit or a heat pump placed outside. This unit usually has a fan on top to disperse heat, but the metal fins tend to accumulate dirt, pollen, and grime. To keep it clean, it’s advisable to use a regular water hose to spray the unit at least once every season. Please note that using a pressure washer can cause permanent damage to your unit, so avoid doing so.
Visually Inspect and Create Clearance Around Your Outdoor Unit
Ensure proper air flow to your outdoor unit by clearing away accumulated leaves and overgrown vegetation. Maintain sufficient clearance by trimming any nearby bushes or trees, leaving at least 2 feet of space on all sides. Watch out for plants that produce excessive pollen, such as Cottonwood trees, which are known to cause clogging in condensing units.
Check Your Evaporator Coil’s Drainpipe and Drain pan
Seek guidance from your service technician if you’re unsure of the location of your drain pipe. Take a moment to examine your HVAC system’s drainpipe and remove any accumulation of algae or mold. A vacuum with wet-dry capabilities would be beneficial in discharging any areas that have been clogged, while bleach could aid in disinfecting the area. A clogged drain line is one of the most frequent issues we encounter during the hot seasons in Houston, Texas. Unless you have a protective float switch or “ceiling saver” in place, which turns off the AC to prevent leaks, a lot of our customers only become aware of the problem when water begins pouring through their roofs.
Seal Your Ducts
To prevent your HVAC system from overworking and ensure long-term cost savings, utilize a can of spray expanding foam to seal any gaps or holes around your pipes and ducts. Refrain from using duct tape since it lacks the insulation benefits that foam and other sealants provide.
Unclog Your Condensate Drain
As time passes, mold, algae, and various debris tend to accumulate in the condensate drain of your HVAC system. To clear the blockage, you can opt to utilize a combination of water and bleach. To avoid future blockages, make sure to pour the mixture down the condensate drain biannually.
Clean the Area Around Your Outside Unit
As autumn approaches, the accumulation of leaves and other waste around your outdoor heating and AC system can impede the system’s ability to draw in air. To maintain optimum performance, remove debris from at least two feet around the unit every week. Trimming sizable bushes and clearing away any entangled weeds, dead foliage, and grass cuttings is crucial.
Call in a Professional for Regular Maintenance
It is advised to have a licensed professional perform preventive maintenance biannually. This should entail tasks such as flushing the coils, examining the drainage system and drain pan, vacuuming the blower compartments, evaluating voltage, examining refrigerant levels in the air conditioning system, assessing furnace performance, and inspecting motors and wires for any looseness.