Did you know that maintaining your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can be up to 40 percent more efficient than neglected ones? It is easy to see how this can translate to serious utility bill savings. Even if you live in a warmer climate that doesn’t see much ice or snow, the fall and winter are good times of year to perform a basic HVAC checkup.
If your system is relatively new, you may think maintenance is unnecessary. But even a new car needs its oil changed, belts checked, and air filters replaced, from time to time. Your HVAC system is no different.
Performing regular maintenance can go a long way to lengthening the lifespan of your HVAC system. Here are some basic tips to get yours operating effectively and efficiently.
Having a running HVAC maintenance checklist is a good idea for any time of year. But transitioning from summer to winter, when your system isn't working as much, is an ideal time to go over these simple tasks.
This is one of the simplest and cheapest things you can do to keep the air flowing properly into your home. Clean air filters maximize air output and will keep your system from having to work too hard. And they improve the air quality in your home by filtering out dust, pet dander, and even bacterial particles that could be in the air.
There are some handy online tools for determining what Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is suitable for your home. The higher the rating, the more particles the filter catches. But if you select a filter with too high a MERV grade, it could put unnecessary strain on your system.
Check your outdoor units to see if weeds or grass have grown up around it during the summer months. Leaves that have fallen in autumn can accumulate here as well. You don’t want anything interfering with the unit's air intake vents.
If you have a heat pump, it will be pulling outside air throughout the fall and winter. If the unit is dirty, you may want to clean it with some soap and water. And be sure to turn your unit off before doing anything to it.
The vents on the inside of your home need periodic cleaning as well. If this isn’t part of your regular dusting routine, it may be worth removing them to give them a thorough wipedown. Like the HVAC air filter, cleaning the vents can ease the strain on your system and help it run more efficiently.
The middle of winter is no time to discover that a loose or punctured duct has been blowing hot air into your crawlspace. Inspect your ductwork for potential issues. Listen for leaks, rattling, or indications that the tubing is obstructed.
You might consider upgrading to a smart thermostat. These are easy to program for automatic temperature adjustments and can save a lot of money, especially during the winter or hot summer months. They can even “learn” and adjust programming to your temperature preferences throughout the day.
Many of the tasks on your HVAC maintenance checklist are simple enough. But, for a deeper dive into the inner workings of your system, consider hiring a professional.
An HVAC technician will be able to check things beyond the basic maintenance chores above, like inspecting wires for electrical issues or checking refrigerant levels. They can catch potential problems early on and help you avoid more serious issues down the road.
At Sun Air Services, we offer comprehensive HVAC maintenance and repair. We have more than 30 years of experience and can make sure your system is up and running at full capacity.