4 Essential HVAC Maintenance Tips to Keep Your System Running Smoothly
Your HVAC system is one of your home’s most intricate and essential aspects. It typically comprises a furnace, air conditioner, ducts, and temperature regulation equipment to regulate temperatures.
Regularly maintaining your HVAC system is an excellent way to reduce energy bills and avoid expensive repairs. If you need help repairing any aspect of your HVAC system, including your AC, you should team up with a reputable HVAC company like Hurliman Heating & Air Conditioning.
Below are a few HVAC maintenance tips that will help your system run more efficiently:
1. Change the Filter
Filters become clogged when their surfaces become covered in contaminants, restricting airflow and leading to allergy symptoms, respiratory conditions, and bodily irritation. To minimize this risk, change your HVAC filter as part of a regular home maintenance schedule and make it a part of your regular home maintenance regimen.
Start by turning off the power at the thermostat and breaker box, remove the access panel or filter door cover and locate the old filter. Noting any direction arrows indicating which direction air flows, place the new one, align it with notches on the frame or spaces within the rack, close the access panel/door cover backup and restore power to the unit.
Filters that are dirty force your system to work harder to push air through them, leading to higher energy bills and raising repair and breakdown risks over time. By regularly replacing filters in your home and equipment, you can help keep the air clean while prolonging its life and keeping home comfort levels up high.
2. Clean the Condensate Drain
Every time you replace your filter, be sure to inspect the condensate drain line as well. If stagnant water is collected in the drain pan, this indicates a blocked condensate line and should be attended immediately.
Unclogging drain lines isn’t great for either your system or home; it can cause water damage and prevent the air conditioner from working as expected.
Scheduling regular maintenance visits is the key to avoiding drain clogs. A service technician will clean and flush out your drain line as necessary, thus protecting against algae, mold, and mildew build-up in your drainage system.
To check whether or not your drain line is clogged, turn off your air conditioner and locate its drain line – usually a T-shaped vent tee with a cap – then remove this cap to check for signs of obstruction. If clogs exist, pour some distilled vinegar down the drain to dissolve them; if this doesn’t work, call your HVAC provider.
3. Check the Electrical Connections
Your HVAC system could consist of either a furnace and air conditioner or a heat pump that heats and cools; either way, its electrical components must function optimally to ensure proper operation.
Your system requires a dedicated breaker to ensure you have adequate power. If the system keeps tripping the breaker, this could indicate an electrical problem; professional help may be needed to assess and resolve this issue accurately.
Signs that your system isn’t performing optimally include high energy bills, reduced efficiency, or an age of 10-25 years or more. Furthermore, any unusual noises such as humming, rattling, or clicking should also be observed, as these may indicate that repairs or replacements are necessary.
Finally, always ensure the area surrounding your HVAC unit is clear of furniture, rugs, plants or debris as this may obstruct airflow and cause it to overheat. Furthermore, any outdoor unit must be placed two feet from anything nearby.
4. Check the Compressor
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Though it requires time and effort, regularly inspecting, listening to and considering your HVAC system could save a great deal of hassle in the future.
Faulty compressors can be devastating to your business, not only by restricting customer access to cooling solutions but also leading to costly repairs or even complete unit replacement.
One of the earliest indicators that a compressor is failing is when it starts blowing warm air instead of cold. Many issues could cause this, but it usually stems from an inadequate refrigerant level.
An effective way of checking this is with a multimeter with a continuity setting, connecting its red pin to the C terminal on your compressor while the black one connects to its S terminal. Switch on your meter before touching its test probe against its shunted terminals to obtain an electrical reading.