A Routine Maintenance Guide For Your HVAC Unit

For homeowners, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy and comfortable living environment. A major element that makes this possible is none other than the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Sadly, not all homeowners are meticulous in the maintenance aspect. Remember that overlooking routine care for the HVAC system can be detrimental in the long run. Unable to do so can bring about poor indoor air quality, skyrocketing energy costs, expensive repairs, and sudden replacements.  

Professional servicing should be a priority if you’re unable to handle the routine maintenance of your HVAC system. When professionals tackle the job, it ensures the timely identification of potential issues and keeps the system running optimally. 

If you want your HVAC system to operate efficiently and effectively, adhering to a maintenance routine is important. Professional air conditioning and heating services from reputable providers are crucial in this process. Doing so ensures the efficiency of your system while maintaining a comfortable environment for your household. Here are some key maintenance pointers for keeping your HVAC system in good shape. 

1. Clean Or Replace Filters 

One of the key measures in maintaining an HVAC system is changing the filters. Once you allow the filters to end up with dust or debris blockages, the system will strain, which results in higher energy consumption and diminished efficiency.  

The best practice is to clean reusable filters or replace disposable filters every 1–3 months, depending on the type of filter your system uses and your usage. Change or clean the filters once a month during peak times.

It may be time to switch to superior-quality filters. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters would be a good choice since they eliminate most airborne pollutants and allergens, including mold spores and dust.  

2. Keep The Outdoor Unit Debris-Free   

The outdoor unit of your HVAC system requires attention to ensure it functions optimally. The main objective is to ensure proper clearance around the unit. Doing so provides adequate airflow and prevents unwanted damage. For example, if shrubs or grasses are starting to grow around the unit, trim them down and maintain a minimum clearance of two feet for the best performance. 

3. Maintain The Condenser And Evaporator Coils  

Once dirt and debris build up in the condenser and evaporator coils of the HVAC system, it may dampen the unit’s heat transfer efficiency and cooling capacity. Sadly, it forces the system to work harder and utilize more energy. Overlooking routine cleaning may cause soaring utility bills. 

In case your outdoor unit is positioned under a tree, it’s likely for dirt and leaves to build up faster. Generally, your unit requires frequent cleaning to ensure it functions optimally in such scenarios. It’s best to clean the condenser coils at least annually, usually in the spring or summer. When cleaning the unit, turn off the power, remove any debris, and use a soft brush or coil cleaner to clean the coils gently.  

Once there’s an accumulation of dust and debris on the evaporator coils, it can disrupt the heat exchange process. Sadly, it can also reduce efficiency and cooling capacity. You can find the evaporator coils in the indoor air handler. Carefully inspect for any buildup of dust or debris. When cleaning the evaporator coils, it’s best to use a no-rinse coil cleaner or a soft brush once a year. 

4. Unclog The Drain Lines  

When your system has a blockage in the drain lines, it’s likely for the water to overflow and put your home at risk of water damage. Prepare a solution of warm water and white vinegar to dissolve any buildup in the drain line. An alternative is using a wet/dry vacuum to eliminate any clogs. If you want to prevent blockage in the drain lines, make it a priority to inspect and clean the drain line and pan regularly. 

5. Eliminate Dust And Debris Buildup In The Ductwork 

Over time, the ductwork can end up with debris, dust buildup, or even mold formation. Sadly, all of these can negatively impact the air quality and efficiency of the system. When performing routine maintenance, inspect the ductwork yearly and hire a professional to perform thorough cleaning every 3–5 years. 

6. Assess And Lubricate The Blower Components  

The blower assembly is responsible for driving air through the HVAC system. As part of routine maintenance, carefully inspect for dirt buildup, signs of wear, and proper alignment. Make sure to lubricate the motor bearings and other movable components according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  

For example, if you notice unusual sounds or poor airflow, scrutinize the blower assembly for debris buildup or alignment issues and lubricate the motor bearings using a lightweight machine oil.  

7. Secure The Electrical Elements 

If there are loose connections in the HVAC system, it can contribute to poor efficiency or increase safety risks. Once you have faulty electrical connections, it’s likely for short circuits to happen or even cause damage to the system. 

Prioritize the inspection of all electrical connections for any indications of deterioration. Make sure to secure or replace them as needed. For example, if the HVAC system tends to trip the circuit breaker frequently, it may be due to loose or damaged electrical components. In such cases, calling a professional like Denali Heating and Air to handle the task would be best. 

8. Fine-Tune The Thermostat 

The thermostat in your home should work properly and accurately measure the temperature. Doing so ensures the right temperature control and maintains energy efficiency.  

Replace the batteries if necessary or recalibrate if the temperature doesn’t match the thermostat setting. Upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat would be a practical move if you want to boost the overall efficiency of your HVAC system.  

Final Thoughts  

Routine maintenance of the HVAC system in your home should always be a priority for homeowners. It’s the key to optimal performance, a longer lifespan, and maintaining a comfortable and healthy indoor environment for your household. Regular inspections, cleaning, and servicing of your system can prevent expensive repairs, reduce energy consumption, and improve indoor air quality. Proper care of your HVAC system will keep it energy-efficient and reliable for years.