Every home needs a good HVAC system to stay comfortable. Most of those systems are fairly durable, but they still need frequent maintenance to stay at peak performance. Regular maintenance also provides a chance to catch problems early, which can eliminate the need for costly repairs. Most homeowners can do some simple maintenance tasks on their own, such as changing filters, but others are best performed by trained professionals.
1. Change Filters
Almost every HVAC system will include a set of air filters that purify that air that passes in and out of it. That helps to prevent debris from getting into the system, but it also eliminates some forms of air pollution. That can help to make a home much healthier for its inhabitants, so it is vital to keep them filters functional.
Fortunately, that is one of the easiest maintenance tasks. The filters are usually near the outside of the system, and changing them is normally as easy as pulling the old one out and putting a new one in place. In most cases, homeowners should replace their filters every three months or so, but they do need to get changed more often during periods of heavy use. In extreme cases, such as unusually hot summers or cold winters, it’s best to check on the filters every month and change them as necessary.
2. Check the Drain
Water vapor in the air naturally tends to condense when it enters an HVAC system. That condensation can be a serious problem, since a wet system is prone to developing mold growth and suffering damage over time. Most systems solve that problem by including a drain that allows the water to harmlessly exit the system rather than accumulating. If that drain gets clogged, the water will accumulate quickly.
That means that it is important to check the drain regularly to make sure that water can pass through it at an acceptable rate. Clogs are fairly rare, but they do happen often enough to be a concern. It is usually sufficient to check the drain after performing any other maintenance tasks, or when humidity in the home has increased by a significant amount.
3. Examine Connections
HVAC systems include a huge number of pipes, connections, outlets, and other passages for hot air, refrigerants, and other substances. Even a single clog in one of them can be enough to cause problems for the system. Minor clogs will simply cause the system to waste energy, but bigger ones can cause a complete failure. Leaks can form just as easily as clogs, and they have the potential to do just as much damage.
A simple visual examination can catch most of these problems fairly easily, but some will escape from the average homeowner’s notice. It is often wise to have a professional examine the system every year or so to make sure that no problems have been missed. It is also best to have a professional examine it if the system is starting to have problems or suffer from reduced performance. The problem tends to get worse over time, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and have the system examined regularly.
4. Clean Everything
Most problems with the average HCAV system come from dirt or debris getting into the system. The best way to avoid that problem is to keep the system, and the area around it, as clean s possible. Removing dirt from the area around the system’s intakes will make sure that as little of it gets taken into the system as possible, which can prevent a great deal of damage.