While sometimes you’ll need to call in the big guns, most of the time you can maintain your HVAC system with just a few easy steps. Regularly inspecting and adjusting your HVAC system can not only help you avoid costly repairs, but also improve your system’s energy efficiency, reduce electricity bills, and help keep your home cool without busting your budget.
To help you optimize your HVAC performance, we’ve rounded up some essential tips to help you maintain your system.
Maintain regular inspections by a licensed professional.
Most A/C unit assessments by an HVAC professional cover cleaning, air filter inspection and replacement, and other preventative maintenance. Without this crucial step, your unit can lose up to five percent of efficiency per year due to residue buildup, clogged filters, and progressive equipment decline. Don’t forget to book that inspection appointment early in the year to avoid any major catastrophes when summer begins.
Check your filters.
Dirty filters can impede air flow and cause ice to build up on the A/C evaporator coils. Coils can also freeze as a result of low refrigerant levels, impacting performance, and even resulting in clogged condensate lines, a rusted drain pan, and possible water leaks. Replace your filters periodically to avoid build up and sustain unrestricted airflow.
Keep an eye on location.
Keeping your A/C unit away from heat and direct sunlight can go a long way towards optimizing performance and reducing energy use. It’s also important to avoid placing your A/C unit on cement or asphalt, or any surface that radiates heat. The south and west sides of your home should also be avoided, as they will receive the most direct sunlight throughout the year.
Manage your thermostat.
First and foremost, make sure to place your unit’s thermostat away from direct sunlight, which can effect temperature readings, and cause your A/C unit to operate inefficiently. In addition, make sure you set your indoor thermostat to a reasonable indoor temperature, somewhere between 68° in the winter and 78° during the warmer months of the year. Changing the temperature can make a huge difference as even a one-degree difference can lower your bill by eight percent.
Trim those hedges.
Outside, you’ll want to keep debris away from your unit for better airflow. Removing plants or tree branches crowded around your unit can help the A/C easily access fresh air, improving overall performance.
Check your furnace.
Make sure the flame in your furnace is blue, anything orange or yellow should trigger a call to your A/C technician.
Keep it clean.
Dirt can clog drainage lines and impede airflow, so make sure to keep condensate drain lines clean by pouring a bleach solution (one cup bleach and three cups water) down the drainage tube to remove algae, mold, and other debris.
Of course, if you’re noticing any odd problems or sounds, or your HVAC is not working properly, the best thing to do is call an HVAC specialist to come and check your system. But following these tips can help you keep your HVAC system in top shape.