Without basic HVAC maintenance you could wind up wasting money or dealing with heavy-duty repairs. Here are 5 things your HVAC tech wishes you would do regularly. Thank you to Sears PartsDirect for partnering with me on this sponsored post!
Most homeowners, like myself, aren't experts when it comes to plumbing, electrical or heating and air conditioning. But there are a few things about your HVAC system you should be doing regularly to keep it running properly. This system keeps the temperature and air quality inside your home at a comfortable level.
Some of you may not know this, but I'm the daughter of an HVAC Dad. As a young teen, I would spend summers answering phones and scheduling clean and checks of client's AC units. I was taught the importance of air flow and programming your thermostat.
With that knowledge, I’m the one in our home who stays on top of our HVAC maintenance and I thought it would be important to share these tips with you.
5 Things Your HVAC Tech
Wishes You Would Do Regularly
(Some affiliate links are provided below. Full disclosure here.)
Keep Your Outdoor Units Free from Obstruction
The rule of thumb is to maintain 2 feet of space around the unit. Your outdoor units draw in air on the sides and out from the top. As the growing season grinds on, tree branches and shrubs can start to encroach on your unit. And blocking the necessary airflow can affect the efficiency of the condenser.
Clean any dirt, leaves and debris outside the main cabinet and make sure there is enough space for the air to flow.
Keep Your Units Serviced
As we all know, our car needs serviced with oil changes and tire rotations every few months to keep things running smoothly.
Did you know the same goes for your furnace and A/C unit?
Spring is a great time to get your Air Conditioning checked out. A qualified technician should check your coils, make sure there is adequate refrigerant in the system, and clean the unit as needed.
And this is also the case for your furnace. Before the cold weather comes in, schedule a service call in the Fall to ensure all is operating properly. If you had a leak from your heat exchange, you could be exposing you or your household to carbon monoxide.
While he’s there, ask your technician how often your unit should be serviced. Some may say every other year, but it also depends on the age of your unit.
Just as an older car may need more servicing, the same may go for your HVAC system.
Change Your Air Filters Regularly
Did you know that the most important thing you can do for your system is to change your air filters monthly? Being the daughter of an HVAC Dad, this was the one thing that was continually repeated the moment I owned my own home.
I have a secret weapon I use to remind me each month to change my filter. I use a subscription service, like this one from Sears PartsDirect. Every quarter, a new bundle of filters are delivered. I also set a reminder on my phone for those months in between.
In fact, Sears PartsDirect has thousands of replacement parts for many of your DIY appliance maintenance and repair needs. We just ordered one of their parts to repair the drawer on our stove. I also use this site for owners manuals when I have misplaced one or purchased an item second hand.
And it can’t be just any type of air filter. You need to know what filter your unit requires. The filter in your current return air grill should have a measurement on the side. This is the correct size for your unit. If there isn’t a filter there, you can take these measurements from the inside of your return air grill.
It’s important to install your filters correctly, as well. There is an arrow on the side that indicates the direction the air should flow.
Keep Your Return Air Grills Clean and Free from Obstruction
Not changing your filters frequently enough can allow dust, pollen, or pet dander to be circulating throughout your home.
If you notice that the grills on your unit are dusty, take your vacuum cleaner with the hose attachment and give them a quick dusting.
However, it's also important to keep those grills open to allow the air to flow properly.
Yes, it's an eyesore in your wall, but a necessary one if you want to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
To disguise the unit, you can try painting the grills the same color as your wall. Or if you must put a piece of furniture in front of it, make sure that it is open to allow the air to continue to pass through.
I found this rolling cart and it disguises the return air grill without impeding any necessary air flow for the unit to operate properly.
Use Your Senses - Look, Hear and Smell
One key element for keeping your units in working order is to take action when you notice a problem.
Check for any unusual odors when your system starts. If you smell an odd odor when unit turns on, you may need a repair. When debris gets trapped inside your system, it will start to feel stuffy or smell musty in your home. If you find this, check the system for water leaks, which may cause mildew, and any blockages from leaves or pollen.
There may be visual signs you are overlooking as well. If you notice stains from your return air grills, or debris blowing out from your floor registers, or notice your ductwork has leaks, then it is time to have it checked out.
And if you hear any abnormal noises when your unit starts up, that's a good indicator that it may need to be serviced.
Maybe you knew some of these tips already, or maybe there are a few things that surprised you. But I hope this list of 5 things your HVAC tech wishes you would do regularly helps you extend the life of your units and most importantly, save you money in the long term!
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