clean a/c filter

Keeping Your HVAC Unit in Top Shape: The Top HVAC Maintenance Tips

Keeping Your HVAC Unit in Top Shape: The Top HVAC Maintenance Tips

According to this study, effective HVAC maintenance can reduce energy costs by five to 40 percent.

A routine checkup can help you detect smaller issues before they become bigger ones. Then, you can request professional AC repair services to keep those smaller problems in check.

With these top 10 HVAC maintenance tips, you can reduce your system's energy costs and keep an eye out for smaller issues.

Keep your HVAC system in tip-top shape with these 10 tips.

1. Monthly Filter Checks

To start, make a note to change your filter every three months.

A dirty filter allows airborne pollutants such as dust, dander, and even mold to circulate through the air. Breathing in these pollutants can cause allergy problems for everyone within your household.

Changing your HVAC air filters regularly will keep your home cleaner. Instead of dust floating throughout your home (and landing on nearby surfaces), you can take a breath of fresh air. That means less dusting!

  • A dirty air filter can also increase your maintenance costs.
  • A clogged air filter might even lead to system failure. Instead of setting your system up for failure, check your filter. If it's covered in dust, it's time to switch it out.
  • A dirty filter reduces the system's lifespan, too. This occurs because your HVAC system ends up working overtime to function properly despite the dust.

As a result, your energy bill spikes up.

You might even notice the system overheat and burn out. Replacing the filter regularly can keep your system running longer (and without issues).

Lastly, a dirty air filter can impact your health. If your family members are sneezing more often, check that filter. When you keep your filters clean, you can improve your home's indoor air quality, too.

Buy a better filter with high-efficiency pleated filters if needed.

If you own pets, you might notice the filter needs changing more often. These improved filters can catch the smallest particles, including ones carrying bacteria, to keep your home clean.

dirty a/c coils

2. Coil Cleaning

Your HVAC coils play a big part in making sure the system runs efficiently, reliably, and effectively. This can even lower heating and cooling costs while improving your indoor air quality. Those coils ensure your system runs at maximum operation efficiency, which provides better airflow, too.

That is, so long as they're clean.

Meanwhile, dirty condenser coils can cause a lot of damage. This includes causing:

  • The cooling efficiency of your unit to drop
  • The air conditioning unit to not cool properly, which requires more energy consumption (increasing your energy bill)
  • The unit's energy efficiency to decline

Keep those coils clean and your HVAC unit will continue running at high efficiency.

3. Clean Away Debris

Debris can build up on the unit in addition to the filter and coils. This debris on the unit can reduce airflow, which decreases the system's capacity, too.

Again, this causes the AC system to work harder, which will cause your energy bill to spike up.

This debris can include grass clippings, pollen, twigs, and leaves.

Before you head outside to clean your unit, make sure you grab:

  • Protective eye gear and gloves
  • A water hose with a sprayer
  • Air conditioner coil cleaner

It's best to contact your HVAC service team to take a look. That way, they can recognize any larger issues that are impacting your system's efficiency.

If you're cleaning the unit on your own, make sure you turn it off first.

Then, use a water hose to spray the debris that's on the outside of the unit.

Once the debris is cleared away, use the coil cleaner on the outside unit. Wait about 15 minutes for the foam to bond with any dirt. Then you can use a hose to rinse the coil cleaner off.

Go ahead and clear the area around your system, too. Trim shrubs and plants near the system that might block airflow and circulation.

Now you have a clean AC unit ready to work at its best.

dirty a/c unit

4. Maximize Airflow

Your system's vents and registers need a little attention as well. Cleaning both can boost air circulation.

Never close more than 20 percent of your home's registers. That way, you're not placing any unnecessary strain on the system. Otherwise, you'll see that spike in your energy bill again.

You can also stave off clogs once a year.

Pour a mixture of water and bleach (about a cup) down the air-conditioner condensate drain. This will help prevent a buildup of mold and algae. Otherwise, your systems might experience clogs that decrease its efficiency.

5. Seasonal HVAC Maintenance

Your system requires different HVAC maintenance checks depending on the season.

For example, you should shut off the water supply to the furnace humidifier during summer months. When fall rolls back around, replace the humidifier wick filter. Then, set the humidistat between 35 to 40 percent relative humidity before turning the water supply back on.

Try to schedule HVAC maintenance one to two months before summer and even before winter. This can ensure your system is clean and running at its best. That way, you're saving money during those warmer months.

Switching to ENERGY STAR qualified products can cut your annual energy bill by more than $114.

If your current equipment is over 10 years old, it might not be capable of keeping your house comfortable. Have a professional take a look. They can determine whether your system needs replacing or not.

Scheduling this checkup two months before summer can help you avoid uncomfortable heat waves without a functioning AC.

Here are a few tips for cleaning an air conditioner for the summer season.

new Carrier digital a/c thermastat

6. Thermostat Installation

Newer thermostats can be programmed to change the temperature while you're out and about. They can adjust the temperature while you're sleeping, too.

That way, the temperature is always set with energy efficiency in mind.

This can help improve your home's energy efficiency and cut costs.

While you're at it, make sure the rest of your equipment is installed properly. Replacing your older HVAC equipment is a great step towards energy-efficiency if done right. Otherwise, it could increase your utility bills and shorten the new system's lifespan.

7. Refrigerant Line Insulation

Have the refrigerant lines that lead into your home inspected monthly. That way, you can replace the lines if they're missing or damaged.

You can also seal your heating and cooling ducts. These ducts move air to and from a central air conditioner, which might waste energy. Sealing and insulating ducts can improve your HVAC's energy efficiency by up to 20 percent.

This includes ducts in crawlspaces, the attic, unheated basement, or garage. Once the ducts are sealed, wrap them in insulation.

That way, they won't get too hot or cold during summer and winter months.

8. Carbon Monoxide Detector Batteries

You should also change your home's carbon monoxide detector annually as part of your HVAC maintenance routine.

A carbon monoxide leak could cause injury or death. With routine HVAC maintenance, you can recognize a leak and protect everyone in your home.

The source of these leaks is often the heating system. A professional company can check the heat exchanger, which vents poisonous gases. Over time, the exchanger can develop cracks, holes, or corrosion, so it needs regular attention.

9. Know the Best Temp

If you can't start on these bigger HVAC maintenance tips just yet, check your thermostat first.

The optimal temperature for the summer is 78 degrees. For winter, its 68 degrees. Setting your system to these optimal temperatures can help you save money.

This can also keep your system from working overtime during specific seasons.

HVAC serviceman repairing A/C unit


10. Schedule Regular Servicing

According to this report, regular HVAC maintenance can help your HVAC system last up to 15 years.

With regular servicing, you can make sure someone is on top of the previous nine HVAC maintenance tips. That way, your system is working efficiently and effectively throughout the entire year.

Otherwise, you might neglect to notice a small issue that could lead to bigger problems down the road.

Hiring professionals for your routine HVAC maintenance also means you have access to experience and expertise. These professionals can also:

  • Examine the condensate drain for clogs
  • Check any gas connections if your unit uses natural gas
  • Calibrate and check your thermostat if needed
  • Connect gauges to the outdoor unit to make sure the pressure and temperature is correctly set
  • Add oil to the motor oil ports as needed
  • Clean and check your unit for biological growth
  • Install new filters when needed

If they notice any other issues during their routine checkup, they can also advise you on the next best steps.

That way, you're reducing major problems down the road and improving the comfort of your home.

In Tip-Top Shape: Our Top 10 HVAC Maintenance Tips

With these top 10 HVAC maintenance tips, you can keep an eye on your unit.

That way, you can ensure your home's AC system remains in tip-top shape year-round! These maintenance tips can help you avoid major (and expensive) repairs, too. Instead, schedule regular servicing to detect small issues and keep your AC unit functioning properly.

Schedule an HVAC service call with our team of trained professionals today. That way, you can ensure your home's HVAC system is functioning at its best!

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