7 Essential Care and Maintenace Tips for Your HVAC

January 17, 2024

Your HVAC system is one the most used appliances in the home, and if you rely on it for heating and cooling your home like many other Americans do, then the last thing you want to be doing is neglecting to care for it correctly and causing damage or excessive wear and tear.

HVACs are complex appliances made up of many different parts that need to work cohesively together to perform optimally. All it takes is for one small issue to occur to knock its efficiency off and cause you problems, and you don’t want your HVAC to fail you when you need it the most.

These tips are designed to help you care for your HVAC, extend its lifespan, and ensure that it isn't put under any additional pressure so it can work its best for you at all times.

Servicing and Maintenance

Always ensure that you carry annual servicing on your HVAC to ensure that it is in good working order. While it might not show any signs of faults or wear and tear from use, an HVAC technician gets inside the system and ensures that everything is as it should be. From here, they can identify potential problems you might have a bit to come across, get them rectified before they do cause an issue, and alert you to the health of your system so you can take appropriate action, i.e., change how you use it or even give you tips for more effective use.

Having a professional like Hooley Heating and Air Conditioning carry out your hvac repair can give you peace of mind that everything is as it should and help to avoid any massive failures or repairs that seemingly come out of the blue.

Clean Your Air Filters

On average, you want to clean your HVAC system every two weeks or more frequently if you live in a dusty environment. Over time, dust will build up on your filters and around the system, placing more pressure on the working parts to maintain the temperatures and work consistently.

The air filter will catch any debris from the air, but if you don't clean it regularly, this will build up, and over time, the accumulation will impact the efficiency of your HVAC, making it work harder and use more energy. So put it in your cleaning schedule to clean your system and replace air filters every two weeks minimum to avoid this happening.

Clean Around The Unit

Ensure that your unit is free from vegetation growing around it or in it and that there is no buildup around the area that will impact its ability to work for you. Strong winds, wildlife, and even people can cause debris and vegetation buildup around your HVAC and potentially cause damage.

Give the area quick sweep on a regular basis and remove any buildup you see to keep the unit working at full capacity without any extra strain.

Keep Air Vents Open

Many people wrongly assume that closing the air vents will save them money. It won't. What it actually does is increase the load placed on your system as a whole and, cause it to work harder and potentially overload the air conditioner due to decreased air circulation. This added pressure will lead to issues down the line as your HVAC will struggle to do the job it's meant to, and efficiency will be significantly reduced.

You need to keep your air vents open at all times and ensure that they are free from anything covering them, even accidentally.

Something to bear in mind is that even if you close the vents, the unit will still use the same amount of electricity to operate, and the vents being closed doesn't stop the cooling fan from working. It will still work if the system is on, which can damage the air conditioner and the ductwork, causing leaks to form over time.

Find Your Optimal Temperature

The optimal temperature of your home will be different for everyone and based on your personal preferences and comfort levels. However, most appliances will have an optimal operating temperature that they work best at for maximum efficiency.

Finding this temperature from the manual or asking a service technician will help you to avoid fluctuating temperatures, which can lead to added stress on the system and make the unit work harder, which we now know leads to an increased risk of premature wear and tear and even failure.

Seal Drafts

Your HVAC will be working hard to maintain an even temperature throughout the home. Any drafts or air leaks will allow the air to escape or external air to impact the inside temperatures, meaning your system will have to work extra to compensate for these variations.

Go around your windows and doors and check that they aren't letting any air in or out when they're closed. Check window seals and under doors for any cracks in both internal and external doors that can impact your energy efficiency, and get them sealed. Don't overlook chimneys, attics, basements, and even electrical outlets.

The less air coming into and escaping your home, the more even the temperature will be, and the easier it will be for your HVAC to do what it needs to do.

Clean The Condensate Line

Cleaning the condensate line is a quick and easy fix you can do yourself. Each HVAC will have this line, and you need to ensure that it is clean and clear to allow for excess moisture to drain away. If there is a buildup of dirt or debris in this line, it can cause the system to freeze up and fail.

How often you clean it and how dirty it gets largely depends on how you care for other aspects of the system, but it needs to be part of your overall care and maintenance plan for your HVAC. All you need to do is detach and remove the line and pour in a cup of vinegar and bleach to remove anything that might be building up in the system.

Your HVAC is an extensive appliance, and the last thing you want is to have many ongoing repairs due to poor maintenance and incorrect operations. Take care in ensuring that you clean the unit, pay attention to any build around the system, on the unit in ducts and vents, and you know what to do and what not to do to avoid any mistakes that can damage your HVAC.

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