The HVAC system is one of the essential pieces of equipment in every home. For one, running year-round, your HVAC system helps keep your home as comfortable as possible. It helps keep your home cool during the springs and summers while keeping you toasty and warm during the cold season. Plus, it provides air filtration and ensures proper humidity levels, so you and your family can enjoy a well-ventilated space, allowing you to breathe easier.
Due to its important role in your home, you’d want to keep up with its maintenance and extend its lifespan. With that, this article shares expert HVAC tips on how to maintain and care for your home’s heating and cooling system.
1. Book Professional Routine Maintenance
One of the most important tips to keep your HVAC system in tip-top shape is scheduling regular professional HVAC maintenance and tune-up. While you can do this on your own, leaving it to the professional can ensure that your HVAC system is properly serviced and checked for the smallest potential issues. This can go a long way in preventing costlier and bigger issues in the long run.
Plus, professionals also have the necessary tools and equipment to clean all parts of your HVAC system. They can provide a full inspection of your unit, its connection, and wirings, ensuring that they are working efficiently.
A professional tune-up also ensures that moving parts are properly lubricated, replacing or cleaning filters, checking thermostat calibration and refrigerant levels, and other routine steps to keep your HVAC system in good working condition.
Ideally, you want to book professional preventive maintenance at least twice a year. Schedule a furnace maintenance in early fall or late summer and an AC service in early spring. This way, your system will be optimized and ready before it’s time to switch systems.
2. Leave HVAC Repairs To The Professional
In line with the previous tip, if you notice your HVAC is acting up or it suddenly breaks down, you shouldn’t try to go the DIY route. In fact, one of the best cooling and heating repair tips to know is to always call a professional when your HVAC system starts malfunctioning or loses its efficiency.
It’d be good to note that DIY repair poses safety risks, including injury, electrocution, fire accidents, and exposure to carbon monoxide and freon poisoning. In addition, while it may look easy, HVAC repairs are quite complex since it involves technical skills and know-how, and going DIY may cause you to do more damage to your HVAC system.
To save time and money, it’s best to leave the repairs to the professional. They have the necessary tools and experience to diagnose and repair your HVAC system in no time.
3. Replace Or Clean The Filters
Filter replacement or cleaning is probably the most important maintenance step for homeowners. And yet most homeowners tend to forget this task. While it’s often included in professional preventive maintenance, changing or cleaning HVAC filters is something you can do yourself regularly.
Most HVAC systems are equipped with a 30-day fiberglass filter or a 3-month pleated filter. You need to check the filters regularly, ideally once a month. Replace or clean your air filters if they’re dirty, even if it’s ahead of schedule.
A dirty filter can reduce your HVAC system’s performance. Moreover, accumulated dirt and debris can cause blockages in the system’s pipes, reducing airflow and causing the fan to overwork. And if left for longer, dirty filters can significantly decrease the system’s efficiency and cause wear and tear, reducing its lifespan in the process.
4. Eliminate Clutter Near Your HVAC Unit
From the indoor HVAC unit that regulates the temperature inside your home to the outdoor unit, also known as the condenser, which is responsible for releasing collected indoor heat, you’d want to keep both units clear of debris and clutter.
Keeping the area around the indoor unit clear helps improve air quality and safety. The more clutter sitting around, the more surface area there is to collect dust which can cause dirtier filters. And as mentioned before, dirty filters can reduce air circulation and overall system efficiency.
Meanwhile, the outside HVAC unit or condenser can easily become a collection point for twigs, fallen leaves, and other debris. Weeds and grass can also grow around the unit, causing poor air circulation and providing a habitable area for pests. So, make sure to always clear up unwanted debris and keep nearby plants trimmed back at least two feet of the unit to ensure proper airflow.
5. Use Automatic Fan Mode
The fan is a critical element of your system, whether you want to heat or cool your home. However, it doesn’t mean that the fan should be running all the time. While there are benefits to a constantly running fan (i.e., improving air quality by removing more debris and dust in the air), leaving the fan ‘on’ can take a toll on your HVAC system.
So, instead of leaving it on, switch to the auto fan setting. This means that the fan only runs while actively cooling or heating your home. Since it doesn’t run all the time, you can save your HVAC system from unnecessary strain that can shorten its lifespan and costly electric bills.
6. Use Proper Insulation
While home insulation isn’t a part of your HVAC system, it has a direct impact on your system’s overall performance. Poor insulation can cause your HVAC unit to work harder to maintain comfortable temperatures. This can result in higher energy bills and reduced integrity of your system. So, help your system by upgrading your home’s insulation.
In particular, you’d want to focus more on your attic. Proper attic insulation can help keep warm air inside your home and prevents it from escaping outside, ensuring warmth during the cold season. During the hot seasons, sufficient attic insulation can keep the harsh sun rays and heat from penetrating the attic and entering your home.
Aside from the attic, make sure to insulate your basements and wall cavities, as well as sealings holes or gaps in doors, windows, and other openings.
Your home’s HVAC system can only be as efficient depending on how much time and effort you exert to maintain and care for it. And so, as a good start, consider following the above tips and tricks to keep your HVAC system in tip-top condition. This way, you can avoid costly repairs and major inconvenience while ultimately ensuring that it can continue serving you for years to come.