Those who wish to control their expenses should look no further than their heating and cooling devices. They are responsible for more than half of your energy bills and influence 3/5th of total household energy consumption. If your HVAC system is not well-maintained, it typically consumes more energy than it normally would and incurs high costs. Thus, keeping your HVAC system in top condition should be a priority to save money on monthly energy bills.
So, to help you out, we have enlisted some HVAC maintenance tips for house owners. Here you go!
How to ensure proper HVAC Maintenance?
1. Change the air filter:
The air filter can become clogged over time when the surroundings are dusty. It may get filled with debris and other particles. The build-up is unsuitable as these air particles can make your air conditioner work harder and raise the energy bills. Also, it may increase the risk of breakdown. Thus, cleaning your air filters regularly is recommended to lower the load of the HVAC unit. You can take up this task every once in two weeks or once every week if your surroundings are particularly dusty.
2. Wipe away the dust:
Along with dust, many branches, leaves, and dirt also infiltrate your HVAC devices. On getting stuck, they may cause several problems and lead to severe breakdown of the unit. Catching this problem at an initial stage can avoid expenses. Thus, it is recommended to take some time to clear the growing vegetation around the unit and check for debris. Wipe away the small specs to ensure all works well with your HVAC.
3. Leave the vents open:
While many believe closing the air vents can help save energy costs, it is untrue. On the other hand, it is one of the worst things you can do to your air conditioning system. Closing off the vents can increase the pressure load as it blocks the cool air and lowers the unit’s performance. When you shut the vents, you send less air into the home, but your AC consumes the same amount of electricity. And, since the fan hasn’t stopped working, it damages the system and ductwork. It may result in air leaks.
Thus, to ensure maximum efficiency and prevent overloading, you should keep the vents open and safe from possible obstructions.
4. HVAC tune-ups:
HVAC servicing can lower your heating and cooling bills. Besides, there is also the risk of the system shutting off. If you do not want to be forced into spending a hot day without your air conditioner, you should do a monthly tune-up to catch the problem before anything blows up. Also, periodic tune-ups can help lengthen the lifespan of the system.
5. Set the unit at an optimal temperature:
While you are likely to set the thermostat temperature according to your comfort levels, HVAC devices have an optimum temperature. Running the equipment at this level assists with the efficient utilisation of energy. You may want to fluctuate the temperatures less often, as this will allow your system to work smoothly without putting in much effort. It also results in decreased efficiency. Thus, when the maintenance guy comes, ask him about the optimal temperature settings and make changes accordingly.
6. Check the ducts:
Another crucial step in HVAC maintenance is checking the ducts. It is so because leakage from ducts can cost you big bucks. Here is how you can make sure that nothing is wrong with the air ducts of your heating and cooling devices.
Get a few supplies, including your grease pencil, plastic sheets, plywood, smoke pencil, painter’s tape, paintbrush, foil-backed fibreglass insulation, and fog machine. Turn on the furnace and air conditioner to blow with some consistency. Place the hand close to the duct joints where the ducts are attached. If there is a big leakage, you can easily notice it and mark the area with a grease pencil. To find small tears, light the smoke pencil and see where the smoke wavers because that indicates leakage.
Next, tape the room vent with plastic sheets and painter’s tape. Place a fog machine near the bower intake and point towards the fan. Observe the exit points with fog and mark leaking points with a grease pencil. Once the leakage points are identified, wrap them with tape and apply mastic. If you don’t want to conduct repair work yourself, you can call the HVAC professionals to take care of the problem.
7. Clear the surroundings:
Those using a split system comprising an internal and external unit, should conduct proper maintenance work for the outdoor unit. If the outside unit is surrounded by trees, trim the shrubs to prevent them from creating an obstruction. In general, nearly 12 inches of the area around your air conditioning system should be clear. Maintaining this can help prolong the lifespan of the unit and prevent other problems.
8. Clean condensate drain line:
Your HVAC unit features a condensate drain line. This should be maintained and kept clean because clogging can freeze the unit and cause failure in operations. Cleaning the drain line is a quick fix to this problem. To make this happen, detach the line, and pour in a cup of vinegar or bleach. It can help clean the accumulated sediments, algae, and mould. How frequently you must perform this exercise depends on how you maintain the rest of the unit, including the air filters and other parts.
9. Maintain condenser and evaporator coils:
Whether you are working with the indoor or outdoor HVAC unit, you should keep the coils as clean as possible. This part of HVAC maintenance ensures smooth airflow. When the unit refuses to power on, it can signal a blocked coil. Now, cleaning the coil is easy and can be done by following the instructions given in the catalogue. But, be careful when doing so, as a damaged coil can be expensive to replace. Another problem with damaged coils is difficulty with replacement. It can be challenging to order individual parts of HVAC.
10. Check the flame:
When checking the flame of the furnace, make sure it is crisp blue. In case it isn’t, you should take care to contact an HVAC specialist. While blue flame signifies proper combustion, long yellow or orange streaks suggest that you need to adjust or clean the furnace. Thus, it is necessary to take special care of the furnace flame.
11. Schedule a professional visit:
Despite taking all these steps, you still need to schedule professional HVAC preventative maintenance. Align two tune-ups during a year, one during the spring for the air conditioning and another during the fall to look after heating equipment. On these visits, the technicians will thoroughly inspect and troubleshoot the system to keep it working efficiently. He will lubricate the moving parts, tighten connections, check fuel connections, inspect gas pressure, adjust blower components, check refrigerant charge, and inspect the heat exchanger. These steps will help prevent breakdowns.
Ensuring the smooth functioning of your HVAC equipment can help prevent breakdowns. For this purpose, conducting monthly maintenance and tune-ups is necessary. It will help ensure the energy efficiency of your system doesn’t dwindle and repairs don’t come in frequently. Also, it can minimise the trouble you will otherwise experience in finding replacements.