In recent years, the hottest temperatures recorded have been around 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if your local area doesn’t get that hot, having a broken HVAC unit can make every minute unbearable. And you don’t want that to happen to your household!
To make sure you’re prepared for hot weather (and cold), it’s important to keep your HVAC system maintained. By taking some steps during the year, you’ll extend its lifespan and also set your family up to be comfortable, no matter what the temps are outside.
Don’t know where to start? Below is an HVAC maintenance checklist you can use to make sure your unit is working when you need it!
Replace Air Filters
Air filters are vital for allowing air to blow through your HVAC system without issue. If they’re blocked, the system will work harder than it needs to, which can shorten your HVAC’s lifespan and drive up your utility bills. You’ll find yourself needing a unit years before you would’ve needed a replacement.
Every 30 to 90 days, you’ll want to check your air filters. Hold them up to the light and if you can’t see light passing through them, it’s time to change to a new one.
Be aware that air filter changes won’t always be on a regular schedule. Your local air quality fluctuates, especially if there’s been a fire or something else that impacts your air negatively. This is why it’s important to check and replace them when needed.
Consider buying high-efficiency pleated filters. These might cost more, but they’re able to grab the tiniest particles in the air, which will have your household breathing easier.
Check the Refrigerant Lines
Every month, you should check the refrigerant lines.
Over time, they can become worn out, which might mean leaks or even complete detachment from your HVAC unit. For the latter problem, you can hook the lines back up again. But if there are leaks, you’ve got a bigger issue on your hands; the lines will need to be replaced.
If you notice anything wrong, call an HVAC professional right away. Otherwise, take this time to also clean the evaporator coils and condensers.
Flush the Condensate Drain
Because it’s so cold in there, the condensate drain for your air conditioner often grows mold and algae. These things can grow with time and soon enough, the drain will get clogged.
An easy fix is to flush the condensate line every year. Mix equal parts bleach with water, then pour it down the drain. This should kill off any growth in there and keep the line clear.
Inspect the System
Every season, you’ll want to give your HVAC system a thorough check. If you find any mold, dust, pollen, or debris, you’ll want to clean it off. This will keep your unit working efficiently.
You’ll also want to make sure there’s good clearance around it so it won’t overheat easily. You need at least 2 feet of clearance. Sweep up all leaves, twigs, and other debris so the area is clean.
Take this opportunity to double-check that your HVAC unit is level on the ground. Not only that, but it should also be stable and not get knocked over by strong winds.
Also, take a moment to see if you hear any strange sounds or smell any odd odors. If you notice either thing, then call an HVAC professional.
This HVAC maintenance guide highly recommends you check and replace batteries at least once a year. If you’re not able to test the batteries, just replace them every year to be on the safe side.You should do this with both your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
While you’re at it, press the test button. That way, you’ll get peace of mind knowing these devices are working correctly.
Check the Thermostats
Before the seasons change, you should check and reset your thermostats.
First, check that they’re working correctly. Then, change the settings so they’re appropriate for the upcoming season. This can prevent your HVAC system from trying to heat up a house in the summer or cool down a house in the winter, which can have you thinking your thermostat’s broken when it really isn’t.
Keep the Right Number of Registers Open
There’s a common misconception that if you close as many registers as possible, this will heat or cool your home faster and lower your utility bills. However, you never want to shut more than 20% of them.
If you shut over 20% of your home’s registers, this will make your HVAC system work unnecessarily hard. So be mindful of your registers and keep the majority of them open.
Schedule HVAC Maintenance With a Pro
You can DIY some parts of HVAC maintenance, but the most important thing to do is to hire a professional. Have them check your HVAC unit once or twice a year.
They’ll be able to perform a lot of the tasks from above, so you won’t have to worry about them. They’ll also ensure the tasks are done correctly!
If you’re not sure how to hire the best person for the job, learn more here.
Use This HVAC Maintenance Checklist Regularly
Having an HVAC maintenance checklist is vital for keeping your unit running smoothly. From changing the air filters to removing debris and hiring an HVAC professional, all of these steps are worth doing so you’re prepared for anything Mother Nature throws at you.
So keep this article bookmarked and refer to it regularly to ensure you’re following the correct steps to keeping your HVAC system up and running.
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