Did you know that your HVAC unit could last for about 12 to 15 years?
However, if you don’t do routine maintenance and checks, you may not be so lucky.
Our HVAC units are something we often don’t think about until we have a problem. Check out these 7 critical HVAC maintenance tips to avoid a breakdown.
1. Make Sure There is No Debris
One of the important HVAC maintenance tips is to make sure that there is no debris clogging up the air conditioner.
Sometimes the debris will start to build up if you aren’t regularly cleaning it out. The clogs can reduce or stop the airflow in and out of the unit, which decreases how well the unit can run.
The debris could be anything from pollen, leaves, grass, clippings, bugs, or tree leaves and branches.
If there is debris in your unit, make sure that you are able to safely remove it. Have some gloves and goggles. Depending on what the debris is, use a water hose with a sprayer, or you may even be able to just grab it out.
Before you start, make sure that you turn off the unit. The switch is normally located on your circuit breaker.
Then, use the hose to spray off any dirt or debris. While you’re in there, use some air conditioner coil cleaner and clean the coils. Leave the foam on there for about 15 seconds so that it can attach itself to the dirt.
To finish, rinse the coil cleaner off, and your HVAC system should be good to go again.
2. Clean the Coils
After you’ve removed the debris, you may need to clean the coils. If the coils are dirty, your unit won’t be able to run as well as it could. Once you clean the coils, you may even notice that your energy bill goes down slightly. Your air quality may even seem better as well.
If your coils are dirty, however, this could cause your efficiency to seriously drop. Your house may not be as cool as it used to either since the HVAC unit isn’t doing the best job that it could.
You can use the method that we talked about above to clean the coils but can also clean your drain pipe. If you aren’t sure where to find it, ask your service technician next time they are out there.
When you check for debris, you can check that pipe to make sure that there isn’t mold or algae growing in there. If it is, you will need to clean it out.
A wet-dry vacuum can be helpful when cleaning this out. You may even be able to use bleach to fix it.
3. Change the Filters
One of the most important things to do to avoid HVAC failure is to change the dirty filter.
Not only does the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend doing this, but there are several good reasons why this should be on your to-do list.
A cleaner filter will mean that the air you are breathing in is cleaner as well. It also helped reduce your maintenance costs because you won’t have to keep calling the service technician to come and fix it.
Having clogged filters means that your machine won’t run as efficiently, and it may have to work harder to run. This means that your unit may not last the 12 to 15 years that we mentioned earlier. It will be much more costly to replace the unit than to buy a new filter.
If you have someone in your family who has allergies, cleaning and changing this filter is definitely a must-do.
4. Make Sure No Ducts Are Leaking
When you are checking for debris, make sure that none of the air conditioning ducts are leaking either.
Sometimes the energy to cool or heat your home escapes through some holes and cracks in the unit rather than going into your house.
If you do find holes, you should probably call an air conditioning company to come and help you repair this one, as it will be hard to do on your own.
5. Clean the Condensing Unit
Most units have a fan on top of them to get rid of heat during the summer. The fans are normally made of metal, but the metal can become clogged and dirty as well.
Spray these down every once in a while to keep this from happening.
However, make sure that you turn off your unit before you try this. You should also never use a pressure washer because it could end up damaging your unit.
6. Get a Programmable Thermostat
Sometimes you may want to set your thermostat to one temperature all the time because that makes your house feel the most comfortable.
But this can cause your system to be overworked as it is trying to constantly maintain that temperature.
If you get a programmable thermostat, you will be able to schedule what times you want your house to be cooler or warmer. For example, if you are away at work for most of the day, set the temperature slightly hotter to avoid overworking your system and also save you money.
7. Get Professional HVAC Cleanings
Finally, make sure that you a professional come out regularly to clean the unit for you.
If you haven’t signed up for a regular servicing appointment, definitely set that up. It will save you money in the long run in terms of your electric bill and cost for repairing or replacing a unit.
Having these service appointments can also help keep the air in your home clean and healthy to breathe.
Follow These HVAC Maintenance Tips
If you follow these HVAC maintenance tips, your unit should run properly and last a long time.
You may not realize how important that unit is until it stops working.
If you’re looking for other ways to improve your home, check out some of our blog posts!