You rely on your HVAC system to keep your family comfortable year-round, and the best way to do that is to maintain it regularly. Small problems are identified early to prevent big, expensive breakdowns later, which usually happen at the worst possible times. In fact, 90% of HVAC problems are caused by a lack of HVAC maintenance.
Here are five maintenance tips to prevent the most common HVAC problems and keep the equipment up and running throughout the year.
Buying a new AC filter and then installing it takes only minutes. Yet, this task is often neglected. It’s unfortunate because it’s probably the most important thing you can do for the unit. In fact, a dirty air filter can reduce the efficiency of an HVAC system by up to 15%. That translates to higher bills and a system that may overheat. Put this job on your calendar each month!
After you change the filter, go outside and check for debris around the unit. The system will work harder than it needs to if it is blocked. Hose the fins down and get any gunk out of all the crevices. Use this time to make sure the unit is still level. If not, the refrigerants won’t be at the correct level, either, and this can lead to a problem.
Even one or two degrees make a difference in how long the unit runs. Don’t make it work harder than it needs to. Consider a programmable thermostat to ensure the temperature stays where you want it at any time of day. This will save you money and protect the system.
Clean ducts and air vents allow your HVAC system to work at peak proficiency. If the ductwork leaks or is blocked, the system works too hard and your energy bills will begin to rise. It also adds wear and tear to the system, so take some time to prevent this.
Use a vacuum cleaner extension to remove dust and dirt and pet hair in the ducts or around the vents. Or you may want to pay a professional to perform this service so you are sure that all the ductwork is clean and has no leaks. They can also make any repairs necessary ASAP.
Just like your yearly physical, an annual inspection of your HVAC system prevents small problems from growing into large, costly catastrophes. A professional will perform additional tasks that might be difficult for you to accomplish, such as checking the refrigerant levels, the airflow from the vents, the condition of the blower motor, the electrical connections for wear, and the drain line for blockages. This will protect your system and give you peace of mind.
By following the five tips outlined above, you can avoid many HVAC breakdowns. The next proactive step you can take is to pay attention to the following signs that things are not 100% right with the system.
Does the air in your home feel stuffy or sticky? The HVAC system removes humidity from the air and expels it as water through the drain lines. Have it inspected by a professional HVAC company.
Do you notice a burning, moldy, or musty smell? It might be a number of things and the HVAC system is one of them. It might be in a vent or the outdoor compressor (or neither), but you won’t know on your own. Be particularly careful if it’s a chemical smell. It might be toxic to your air quality and your family, so call right away for professional help.
Does it feel too warm in the house even though the thermostat is set at a summer comfort temperature? It might be the thermostat settings, so check that first. Then turn it all the way down to see if the HVAC unit kicks on. If not, it may be the system and not the thermostat. Call for help before the unit overheats or fails completely.
Is the HVAC unit rattling, squealing, or clunking? A belt or fan may be broken or a part may be loose. Trying to handle something like this is tricky and can be dangerous for you, so schedule a maintenance call with an HVAC expert as soon as you can.
Has your power bill suddenly skyrocketed? While there are many possible factors that could cause this, you’ll want to check your HVAC system. This is especially true if you’ve noticed any of the other warning signs as well.
Call Ingersoll's Refrigeration Air Conditioning & Heating today and set an appointment for a complete inspection of your HVAC system! Our HVAC technician has the tools and experience to do the job right!