You can enjoy the benefits offered by an HVAC system if it is in good working condition. To keep your system in tip-top shape, follow this easy, workable preventative HVAC maintenance plan.
What to do NOW
- Purchase a high-quality and high-efficiency pleated air filter
- Remove any blockages, such as leaves, grass, pollen, and stones
- Make sure that approximately 2 feet of the area surrounding your outside system is clear of clutter
Monthly and Seasonal HVAC Maintenance
- Examine refrigerant lines every month
- Change your filters at least every 3 months
- Turn the water off on the furnace humidifier during summer
- Change the humidifier filter and turn the water on during fall
- Change your carbon monoxide detector battery
- Make sure that your outdoor AC is placed on solid, flat ground
- Mix bleach and water to clear the air conditioning condensate drain
Tips on Keeping Your HVAC System Healthy
- Make sure your filter is excellent. If not, replace it with a superior quality filter. Superior quality pleated filters have an electrostatic charge. This functions like a magnet so they can grasp very small particles, including those that transmit germs and bacteria.
- Check the filter every month and depending on the model of filter follow a 30, 90 or 180 day period when replacing the filter . Replace the filter as soon as it looks dirty and clogged. You will need to change the filter more frequently if you have pets.
- Leave at least 2-feet clearance around the external AC unit and heat pump. Clear the top and sides of the external AC units and pumps by removing rubble and litter, such as stones, leaves, twigs, and pollen during spring, summer, and fall. Avoid unloading cut grass or clippings near the HVAC.
- Examine the insulation of on the refrigerant lines that lead into your home. Replace it immediately if it is damaged or missing.
- Ensure that the system is flat on the floor. Examine your external AC unit and heat pump annually to make sure that they are on level and firm ground.
- Remove any clogs and blockages. Mold and algae accumulate on your system. Remove this by mixing a cup of bleach with water then pour it into the AC condensate drain. Do this once a year. Set the humidistat between 35-40% relative humidity then switch on the water supply.
- In summer, turn the water supply to the furnace humidifier off. Alternatively, change the humidifier wick filter in fall.
- Prevent adding unnecessary strain on your system. Avoid closing more than 20% of your home’s registers.
- Change the battery in your carbon monoxide detector every year.
- Have a reliable heating and cooling provider service your system yearly. American Air will send an expert HVAC technician to your home to conduct an inventory on your system and examine its status. If you need information, do not hesitate to ask the technician.
Practicing the above preventative HVAC maintenance tips will help in lengthening the lifespan of your system.
An efficient HVAC system allows you to get the best possible function. Aside from getting your money’s worth, you get the assurance of meeting your preferred temperature and energy savings. Check our homeowners guide to extending HVAC life.
Clean your filter regularly and replace if needed. A dirty or clogged filter will cause your HVAC to stop functioning.
- Replace the 1st disposable filter every 2-3 months
- Replace the 4th high-efficiency media filter every 6-9 months
- Clean the electronic air cleaner and pre-filters every 3-6 months if necessary (Check your HVAC manual for details)
Make sure to purchase high-quality replacement filters from your local heating and cooling provider.
Save on energy costs by keeping your thermostat within the recommended levels. This will prevent early equipment set-back and extend HVAC life.
The thermostat cooling settings should be kept from 70° to 76°, and heating settings should be kept from 68° to 72° .
Setting your air conditioning too low can lead to HVAC system failure. Turn off your AC if you believe it has stopped working. Then, call your local HVAC contractor to service your unit.
Schedule a yearly check-up with a licensed HVAC technician. HVAC manufacturers recommend yearly assessment of the system to keep it in good condition. A regular yearly check-up and maintenance will improve how it runs and can lengthen your system’s lifespan.
When to Schedule Maintenance with a Licensed HVAC Technician
Spring – gas furnace with air conditioning
Fall – heat pump with gas or electric furnace
However, you can also request an HVAC technician anytime during the year to check your system.
Before Calling an HVAC Technician
- Reset the HVAC system.
- Confirm if your settings are correct and if the thermostat is displaying that the heating or cooling is on as shown in the thermostat manual.
- Turn the equipment off.
- Switch the equipment off for 10 minutes to 1 hour.
- Remove and clean or change the filter.
- Switch the heating or cooling on.
- Inspect the airflow from the registers.
What to Do if the System is Not Working?
- Remove any blockages around the furnace for safe and easy access.
- Call your local HVAC contractor immediately.
Remember that your HVAC system works hard and knowing how to take care of it will lead to better overall function. Follow the above homeowner’s guide for extending HVAC life and a better functioning HVAC system.
Your Home Air Conditioner Maintenance
Home air conditioner maintenance will not only help in lowering your energy bill, but will also extend the life of your AC unit. It will also save you from costly repairs with just more diligent care of your AC. Before doing any preventive maintenance, remember to shut off electrical supply to your unit. This will ensure safety when working around the air conditioner’s moving parts.
Air Conditioner Filters
You should change filters, or clean reusable filters, at least twice a year. Ideally, this should be once before the cooling season begins and then before the heating season as well. Having dirty filters make your AC unit work harder since this reduces air flow and thus lower its efficiency. If your location is in a dusty, populated area, you may need to change or clean your filter more often. A regular, monthly inspection of your AC’s filters will give you an idea whether you need cleaning or replacement twice a year or every two months. See a related article in preventative maintenance.
Condenser and Evaporator Coils
The filters help prevent dust, dirt, and debris from getting into your AC unit. However, your AC’s condenser and evaporator coils will still gather dust over months and years of service. The outdoor condenser unit collects dust and debris because a central fan sucks air from around it. This pulls dust all sorts of debris such as dead grass, dead leaves, and those floating “cotton” from dandelions and cottonwood trees.
With all these blocking the air flow into your unit, it lowers your AC’s cooling efficiency. You can further help your unit by cleaning debris around the condenser and cutting foliage by at least 2 feet to allow enough air circulation around the condenser. Keeping the coils clean will help in the cooling efficiency and years of service of your AC.
The coil fins are the fine metallic blades on the coils. These are fragile and can bend easily, and thus block air flow. In such a case, there is a tool easily available in hardware stores called the “fin comb” which will straighten them back to nearly original condition.
Regular Check Up of Your AC Professional
Other than the ones mentioned above, there are some tasks that only your AC professional can do. Checking the refrigerant level is one. Regular home air conditioner maintenance by your licensed AC technician will help in maintaining the efficiency and prolonging the years of service of your unit.
The biggest challenge your air conditioner will have to face this spring and summer is to keep you cool. How can you expect it to run smoothly if it’s been years since you changed the filter? HVAC Hilliard OH services recommend changing the ac filter regularly so it will function properly all throughout the summer months. How frequent is “regularly?” The general rule is to do a monthly check of your AC filter. Replace it with a new one if it looks dirty.
Air filter change is normally within 90 days, although this can vary on certain factors, such as:
- Filter type. The one to three-inch filters should be replaced within 30 – 90 days while the high-efficiency filters have different conditions. Read your AC’s manual or call the manufacturer to obtain details about changing the filter.
- Responsiveness to airborne contaminants. Changing the AC filter on a monthly basis is healthier, particularly for those with allergies.
- Allow pets inside your home. Your air conditioner filter is expected to amass faster compared to an AC in a home without pets. So you would need to change the filter earlier than 30 days to prevent restriction of airflow.
- The level of toxins inside and around your home. Your home is usually dusty and polluted if you live near a busy road or construction. This requires you to clean the filter monthly to keep the air inside your home cleaner.
- The number of occupants. The home is dustier and has more airborne pollutants if there are more occupants compared to one with fewer residents. This requires changing the filter on a monthly basis. Alternatively, it is recommended to change the AC filter in vacation homes every six to 12 months.
It is important to remember when to replace your air conditioner filter.
To help you remember this date –
- Keep a calendar of filter change
- Write the next replacement date on the filter’s edge
- Keep a note on your phone
For more details about air filter replacement call American Air for HVAC Hilliard Oh services.