HVAC maintenance is always important, but especially important just before heating season and just before cooling season! If the groundhog is to be believed (really more accurately, if you live in southeast Texas), spring will be here before you know it. It will soon be time for you to need your AC system in top condition.
Your HVAC system has worked hard all winter to keep your family warm. Now is the time to give it a little TLC to make sure it’s ready to run at maximum performance before the hot, humid summer is here.
Homeowner HVAC Maintenance Tasks
Here are some things you, as the homeowner, can do to ensure your HVAC system performs at its peak this spring and summer:
Change the air filter. I know it seems like we remind you of this a lot. But let’s take this opportunity to think of the last time you replaced your filters. This should only be a concern for you if you value clean, clear air. Air filters catch dust and other particles out of the air so they don’t accumulate on the components of the HVAC system. Get in the habit of changing the air filter every month or when dirt is visible.
Check air ducts. If your air ducts are cracked or separated, you might be cooling parts of your home that you don’t use. This also means you are paying for cool air you never get to enjoy. Before you run the air conditioner, take some time and inspect all of your air ducts for cracks. If you find any cracks (where the ducts have separated from itself), make sure to seal it immediately to properly conduct the cool air.
Clear your outside unit of any debris. You can clean the coils of your outdoor A/C unit carefully with a garden hose. Using a garden hose with low pressure, you can clear the dust and debris from the coils to allow for efficiency. Be sure that there are no low-hanging trees above your unit. Clear any leaves or other debris from around your unit, as well.
Ensure that your HVAC systems cools. Once you’ve changed the air filter, checked air ducts, and cleaned the coils, it’s time to fire it up! Using your thermostat, switch to your cooling system. Listen for unusual sounds or smells coming from the cooling system. Turn the temperature on your thermostat up, then down, to be sure the system responds appropriately. Contact your HVAC professional if anything seems out of the ordinary.
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While some parts of regular maintenance you can handle yourself, a trusted HVAC professional should inspect your system each year before spring or summer. Here are just a few of the things that a professional will do that you typically cannot do as a homeowner:
Lubricate parts of the HVAC system
Check for proper functioning of all parts of your HVAC system
Identify potential issues before they are apparent in functioning of the system
Test amperage of compressor unit
Verify all electrical connections are sound
Safety test controls
In conclusion, there are many HVAC maintenance tasks you can tackle yourself, but some should be handled by an HVAC professional. Regular maintenance of your HVAC system will help it to run more efficiently, thus saving you money on utilities.