Proper maintenance of a home HVAC system is essential to its functioning correctly and efficiently.
To maintain your HVAC, keep the area around the indoor unit clear of any clutter, regularly clean the dust and debris from outside unit, change the air filter regularly, and inspect the system for signs of wear or damage. Additionally, change the batteries in your thermostat and carbon monoxide detector on a regular basis.
A well-maintained HVAC system is essential for maintaining a comfortable living environment. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure your HVAC system runs efficiently, reducing energy bills and extending its lifespan.
This guide will discuss eight tips for maintaining your home HVAC system in Central, CT. From scheduling regular professional maintenance to monitoring energy bills, these tips will help keep your system running smoothly and avoid costly repairs or replacements.
Read on to learn how to maintain home HVAC system and ensure your family’s comfort and safety all year round.
#1. Eliminate Clutter Around the Indoor HVAC Unit
One simple way to maintain your HVAC system is by keeping the area around the indoor unit clear of clutter. This means removing items stored near the unit, like boxes, clothes, or other items. Doing this improves air quality inside your home and ensures your HVAC system functions efficiently.
When there is clutter around your indoor HVAC unit, it can cause several issues. For one, it can reduce the air quality inside your home. The more items you have near the unit, the more surface area to collect dust, which can enter the vent system. This can cause respiratory issues for those living in the home and exacerbate allergies or other health concerns.
Furthermore, clutter can block air circulation, reducing system efficiency and increasing energy bills. When your HVAC system works harder than it needs to, it strains the system, leading to breakdowns and expensive repairs.
Keeping the area around your indoor HVAC unit clear prevents these issues and ensures your HVAC system functions at its best. This will save you money on energy bills and improve air quality in your home, promoting a healthier living environment.
#2. Keep the Outside Unit Clean and Clear
The outdoor HVAC unit is an integral part of your HVAC system and is exposed to weather elements year-round. Debris, like leaves, twigs, and grass clippings, can accumulate on the outside unit and reduce airflow. This can cause strain on the system, leading to increased energy bills and potentially damaging the unit.
Maintaining your HVAC system by regularly cleaning the outside unit and ensuring it is clear of debris is crucial. You can do this by removing any debris that has accumulated on or around the unit and using a hose to wash it down. Also, it is vital to trim nearby plants back at least two feet from all sides of the unit to allow proper airflow.
By keeping the outside unit clean and clear, you improve the efficiency of your HVAC system and extend its lifespan.
#3. Change the Filters
Air filters are an essential part of any HVAC system. They play a crucial role in preventing dust, pet hair, pollen, and other particles from circulating throughout your home. Dirty air filters can clog your HVAC system and make it work harder than it should, leading to a shorter lifespan and higher energy bills. To prevent this, it’s recommended to change your air filters every 30 days is recommended.
This not only improves your indoor air quality but also makes your HVAC system run more efficiently. When choosing a filter, aim for a MERV rating between 7 and 13. This range strikes the perfect balance between airflow and filtration efficiency. Don’t forget to turn off your HVAC system before changing the filter and dispose of the old filter properly.
#4. Perform a Visual Inspection of the HVAC System
In addition to changing the filter, perform a visual inspection of the HVAC system every month. This inspection will help you uncover potential problems before they turn into major issues. Start by checking the thermostat to ensure it is working correctly and is set to the right temperature. If you notice any issues, call an HVAC contractor in Central, CT to inspect the thermostat and fix any problems.
Next, inspect the indoor and outdoor units. Look for signs of damage, like cracks, rust, or loose components. Check the air registers and return grilles to ensure they are clean and unobstructed. A dirty or blocked register can reduce airflow and strain the system, leading to increased energy bills and potential damage to the unit.
If you have a condensate drain, inspect it to ensure it drains correctly. A clogged or blocked drain can lead to water damage, mold growth, and system failure. Ensure filter access and cabinet door are securely closed and the flue system is securely attached and fully intact. Also, check for signs of mold on registers or other components.
#5. Regulate Your Home Temperature
It’s important to regulate your home temperature to ensure your system is not overworking itself. One way to do this is by installing a programmable thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, you can set different temperatures for different times of the day. For example, during the summer, you can set the temperature higher during the day when you’re not at home and lower at night when you sleep. In the winter, you can set the temperature lower when you’re away and higher when you’re home.
This reduces the workload on your HVAC system, which can help prolong its lifespan and lower your energy bills. Plus, it’s a great way to save money and energy without sacrificing comfort.
#6. Change the Batteries in Your Thermostat
Many thermostats are powered by batteries, and it is crucial to replace them at least once a year to prevent any potential issues that could lead to system failure. Replacing the batteries regularly ensures the thermostat works correctly and accurately communicates with the HVAC system. It is wise to check the battery status periodically to ensure they are not low and to replace them promptly if they are.
Keeping batteries fresh is a simple step to help prolong your HVAC system’s lifespan and prevent any unexpected breakdowns.
#7. Maintain your Carbon Monoxide Detector
A carbon monoxide detector is an essential safety device in homes with heating systems that rely on combustion, like natural gas or fuel oil. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly when inhaled in high concentrations. To protect your household from this dangerous gas, ensure your carbon monoxide detector is functioning correctly.
To maintain your carbon monoxide detector, test it monthly to confirm it is working correctly. This will detect any potential malfunctions or issues with the sensor, ensuring it alerts you in the event of high levels of carbon monoxide.
Additionally, replacing the batteries in the detector at least twice a year is vital to ensure it is always functioning correctly. It is recommended to replace batteries every six months to guarantee optimal performance.
If you suspect your carbon monoxide detector is not functioning correctly, it’s important to replace it immediately. Investing in a reliable and high-quality carbon monoxide detector is an important step in protecting your household from the dangers of carbon monoxide gas. By ensuring your detector is working correctly, you enjoy peace of mind and know your family is safe.
#8. Schedule Professional Routine HVAC Maintenance
Regular maintenance is a crucial step on how to take care of HVAC. You should schedule two seasonal tune-ups each year, one in the spring for your air conditioning and one in the fall for your heating. During these check-ups, a professional HVAC contractor in Central, CT, will inspect and service your system to keep it working efficiently and prevent breakdowns.
What does HVAC maintenance include?
Here are ways on how to do HVAC maintenance. The technician will:
- Check the thermostat calibration and settings: A thermostat that is not calibrated correctly can cause your system to work harder leading to a breakdown. A professional HVAC contractor will check to ensure your thermostat is properly calibrated and set to the correct temperature.
- Tighten electrical connections as needed: Loose electrical connections can be dangerous and cause your system to short-circuit. A professional technician will inspect all electrical connections and tighten any loose connections.
- Lubricate all moving parts: Your HVAC system needs regular lubrication to prevent wear and tear. A technician will lubricate all moving parts to ensure they operate smoothly.
- Inspect the condensate drain and clean it as needed: A clogged drain can cause water to back up into your system and cause damage. A technician will inspect and clean your condensate drain to prevent this from happening.
- Check the system controls: The controls in your HVAC system must be functioning properly to keep your system running efficiently. A technician will inspect all system controls and ensure they work as they should.
- Clean and adjust the blower components: The blower components in your HVAC system must be kept clean and in good working order to ensure your system operates efficiently. A technician will clean and adjust the blower components as needed.
- Clean the evaporator and condenser coils: The evaporator and condenser coils in your HVAC system must be clean to maintain proper airflow and cooling. A technician will clean these coils to ensure your system operates efficiently.
- Check the refrigerant charge: The refrigerant in your HVAC system must be at the proper level to keep your system operating efficiently. A technician will check the refrigerant charge and add refrigerant as needed.
- Check fuel line connections: For systems that use fuel, the fuel line connections need to be inspected regularly to ensure they are secure and not leaking.
- Inspect the gas pressure, burner combustion and heat exchanger: For systems that use gas, the gas pressure, burner combustion, and heat exchanger need to be inspected regularly to ensure they are functioning properly and not leaking.
How do I maintain HVAC furnace?
Maintaining your HVAC furnace is critical to ensure it operates efficiently and safely. Here are steps on how to maintain HVAC furnace; First, remove the combustion chamber door and inspect the burner flames. Then, vacuum out the burner and blower cavities and remove the blower to clean it. Vacuum and brush the blower blades and change the furnace filter. Blow the dust off the pilot and clean the flame sensor, being careful not to touch the hot surface igniter. Inspect the drive belt and lubricate bearings if necessary. Adjust dampers if needed and seal leaky air ducts. Regular furnace maintenance will help extend its lifespan and prevent unexpected breakdowns.
Do HVAC systems require routine maintenance?
Yes, HVAC systems require routine maintenance to operate efficiently and reliably. Neglecting regular maintenance can lead to reduced performance, increased energy bills, and premature system failure.
What does HVAC preventive maintenance mean?
HVAC preventative maintenance refers to a scheduled service program to keep your HVAC system in optimal condition. During a preventive maintenance visit, an HVAC technician will perform various tasks, including cleaning the system, inspecting the various components, and making necessary repairs or adjustments. Preventive maintenance is also part of how to care for HVAC system.
Is HVAC preventive maintenance worth it?
HVAC preventive maintenance is worth it. The benefits of regular maintenance include increased energy efficiency, improved indoor air quality, reduced risk of breakdowns, and longer system lifespan. Preventive maintenance can also save you money in the long run by reducing the need for costly repairs and premature replacement.
What are some signs that my HVAC system needs maintenance?
If you notice that your energy bills have increased without an apparent reason, or if you hear strange noises coming from your HVAC system, it’s time to schedule a maintenance appointment. Other signs include uneven temperatures throughout your home, reduced airflow from your vents, and frequent breakdowns.
What happens if I avoid HVAC maintenance?
If you avoid HVAC maintenance, your system will likely experience reduced performance, increased energy bills, and a higher risk of breakdowns. Neglected systems also have a shorter lifespan and may require costly repairs or premature replacement. In addition, neglecting HVAC maintenance can lead to poor indoor air quality and potentially hazardous conditions like carbon monoxide leaks.
Should I leave my HVAC on all the time?
It’s generally not necessary to always leave your HVAC system on. Instead, consider using a programmable thermostat to regulate your home’s temperature more efficiently. This will allow you to set the temperature higher in the summer and lower in the winter while you are away from home or sleeping, reducing the workload on the HVAC system and prolonging its lifespan.
When should I replace my HVAC system?
The average lifespan of an HVAC system is between 15 and 25 years. When your HVAC system shows signs of aging, like decreased efficiency or frequent breakdowns, it may be time to consider a total replacement. If you’re unsure whether it’s time to replace your HVAC system, consult your trusted HVAC contractor in Central, CT. They will assess the condition of your system and provide recommendations on whether repair or replacement is the best course of action.
Final thoughts: How to maintain a HVAC system
Keeping the area around the indoor unit clear of clutter, cleaning the outside unit, changing the air filters, performing a visual inspection, regulating the home temperature, changing the batteries in the thermostat, maintaining the carbon monoxide detector, and scheduling regular professional routine maintenance are all crucial steps on how to take care of your HVAC.
By following these tips, you can ensure your HVAC system is maintained properly, improving its efficiency, reducing your energy bills, and extending its lifespan.
Neglecting regular maintenance can lead to reduced performance, increased energy bills, and premature system failure. So, ensure you schedule regular maintenance visits with your trusted HVAC contractor in Central, CT to keep your system running smoothly and efficiently.