We do lots of things to maintain our home and improve its appeal and value. We mow the lawn regularly, freshen up walls with a new coat of paint, and even pressure wash surfaces to remove dirt and grime. But we rarely do the same thing to our home’s HVAC system.
Keeping the heater and air conditioner in good condition is something that every homeowner can do, even if you are not familiar with specific parts like the boiler and PICV control valve. While some things are best left to experienced technicians, some things are simple enough for a layperson.
1. Replace the filters
HVAC filters have to be replaced once in a while. Filters remove harmful particles from your air and protect the system from dust and dirt. All that dirt will slowly build up and block the filter from working optimally. You have to replace the filter at least every two months, depending on how heavy you use your HVAC.
Look for a filter that strikes a balance between airflow and protection. Too much protection and your airflow will be negatively affected, straining efficiency and performance. If your HVAC has an air purification system, you will have to replace its filter as well.
2. Clear the condenser
Almost every air-conditioning unit has an outdoor heat pump, also known as a condenser. It works by dispersing heat through a fan. All the moving air makes it a magnet for pollen, dust, and grime, which can affect its efficiency.
You have to clean the metal fins and the outside enclosure with a water hose. Make sure the pressure is not too heavy as you can permanently damage the condenser.
3. Inspect the unit and clear the area
The outdoor unit of your HVAC is exposed to the elements. The grass and plants will slowly grow, and dried leaves will congregate and build up and around the unit, creating an obstruction that will affect the system’s performance.
Make sure there is a 2-feet clearance around the outdoor unit. Mow the grass and cut down any plants or trees growing within the zone. Plants that produce pollen can also affect the unit as the particles clog up the condensers.
4. Hire a technician
You cannot be expected to do everything yourself, which is why you need to hire a licensed technician to perform the heavy-duty maintenance work. They are not just there for repairs; they will also perform preventive maintenance that guards against early failure.
They can check the voltage, gauge the coolant levels in the AC unit, inspect the drainage system, and repair or replace any damaged motors, wires, and parts they see. Make sure to do this in the spring months, when the temperatures are not as cool or warm.
These four guidelines will help you maintain your home HVAC system and keep your home comfortable throughout the year. Minor maintenance can be performed with some tools and a manual. But for replacement and maintenance, you will have to call in a professional for expert guidance.