Prevent costly HVAC repairs with these simple preventative maintenance tips
Humid and hot summers followed by damp and cold winters can take a toll on your HVAC system. The air filters, fins, coils, and drain channels should be routinely checked to keep the unit operating efficiently throughout its years of service. Studies have shown that air conditioners that go through regular HVAC maintenance last 40 percent longer. Those who neglect to perform maintenance will likely see a steady decline in the HVAC’s performance and an uptick in energy usage as the unit slowly deteriorates.
Why is HVAC maintenance necessary?
• It can lower your utility bills.
An effectively operating unit operating will not need to use as much energy as one working overtime to cool or heat your building.
• You can ensure indoor air is clean and healthy with a properly maintained system.
A well-kept HVAC unit will not only keep your environment warm and cozy or cool and fresh, but it will keep air quality problems at bay. Cleaner components such as filters and coils will provide cleaner air within a building. Neglected units are a magnet for bacteria, dirt, and mold that can cause illness and respiratory problems.
• Your unit’s lifespan will increase with preventative maintenance.
The better you take care of your system, the longer it will continue to perform. Replacing large systems can be very costly. It is more economical to clean and maintain than purchase a new unit prematurely.
Below are some preventative maintenance tips to help you avoid a costly breakdown or repair:
Replace air filters regularly.
One of the most vital maintenance tasks concerning efficiency is to routinely clean or replace air filters. Dirty, clogged filters will prevent the movement of normal airflow and cause the system to use significantly more energy. If a filter is too soiled to work correctly, air that flows through can carry dirt and debris directly to the evaporator coil and weaken the coil’s ability to absorb heat. You can lower your unit’s energy consumption by five- to 15% simply by replacing the filter.
Keep an eye on those coils!
Particles the skimmer has missed typically end up in the hair and lint trap of your pool pump. Turning off the pump, releasing the pressure every week, and emptying the trap will help the pump continue to collect unwanted organic material.
Keep a regular watch on your water levels.
Your HVAC system’s condenser and evaporator coils will collect dirt through everyday use. A clean filter will help prevent the evaporator coil from becoming dirty too quickly, but the coil will still need cleaning over time. Buildup on the evaporator coil will have an insulating effect, reducing the ability of the equipment to absorb heat. To keep the buildup of debris at bay, invest in a high-performance coil cleaner and use it at least twice per year to keep the coil operating at its highest efficiency. Additionally, outdoor condenser coils can become dirty depending on if the environment has lots of grass and trees surrounding the unit or is prone to becoming dusty. A visual inspection can be performed on the condenser coil followed by the use of a quality cleaning agent to remove grease, dirt, and buildup.
Condensate drains and lines can get clogged.
An HVAC system receiving proper care will not often witness clogs, but large units or those in heavy use should be checked and cleaned regularly. A product with eco-friendly cleaning agents and deodorizers that eliminate scum, slime, and other accumulations will ensure lines can function properly. In a correctly functioning unit, moisture will drain through the condensate lines and drip into either a pan or on the ground. If you see puddles around the furnace, air condition, or heat pump, it is likely you have a clog and will need to address it. When a clog is found, a natural solvent-based product designed to clear clogged drain lines can be used. One with a high-pressure spray will directly get to the source of the problem and immediately begin to dissolve grease, oils, and dirt.
Check your refrigerant levels.
Issues that arise from coolant levels are one of the biggest reasons technicians are contracted to look over a system. While all HVAC units need refrigerant for operation, a low coolant level indicates an evaporation problem or leak has occurred. Checking coolant levels once per month will help to alert you if an issue does arise.
Final thoughts on HVAC maintenance
Routine maintenance of your HVAC system can prevent costly repairs, keep your unit operating for many years, and ensure clean air quality in your building. Performing monthly inspections and following through on fixing minor problems with quality products will ensure you can rely on your system to properly cool and heat your home or place of business.