With warm weather arriving across most of the nation, thoughts turn to how thankful we all are for air conditioning. Will your home AC unit be up to the job of keeping your home cool? What about your furnace or other heating system when the cold weather invariably comes back around? There are some useful tips for keeping your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning functioning at peak efficiency. These are especially helpful during this pandemic when you don’t want workmen in your home, which increases the chances of spreading the coronavirus to you and your family.
- Cleaning or Replacing the Air Filter
This is HVAC maintenance 101. If you have central air conditioning and central heat, there will be an intake vent that the air gets sucked in through for it to be warmed or cooled. There will be a filter at some point between the vent and your HVAC system that is there to keep dust or dirt from getting into and damaging the unit. If your home has central heat but window unit air conditioners, each AC will also have a filter that you should change.
Every three months is a good benchmark to replace an HVAC filter. If it’s a high-quality filter that also traps contaminants that aggravate those with allergies or asthma, you may simply want to clean it a few times at this interval before replacing it. This is such a simple maintenance step to do to keep your HVAC system in good condition. Having a dirty air filter in place too long will cause a variety of problems. A dirty filter will make your HVAC system less efficient, which makes it take longer to heat or cool your home and increases your energy bill. It will eventually cause it to fail.
- Get a Programmable Thermostat
Overuse is one thing that prematurely wears an HVAC unit. A good programmable thermostat can help you avoid this. You can “set it and forget it” to automatically allow the temperature to go lower while you’re at work or away on vacation in the winter, or conversely, set it to allow it to get warmer in your home in the summer. This tip helps your HVAC system last longer and saves you money on your utility bills.
- Clean Your Vents
The warm or cool air will be delivered through ducts in your home and exit through vents in each room that’s hooked up to the central HVAC system. Obviously, you want to regularly check these vents for any obstructions that might be blocking the airflow. Particularly if you have anyone in the house with allergies or asthma, you should just vacuum the dust out of them on a regular basis. Preferably, you don’t want to let them get near the point of becoming blocked.
- Schedule Regular Maintenance
You may not want anyone in your home at this time except those who are absolutely essential. That being said, this pandemic, as with anything, will end at some point. You should definitely have regular maintenance done on the unit. Particularly if it’s overdue for such maintenance, you should schedule it for as soon as you feel comfortable doing so. In an ideal world, you should have the air conditioning part of the system checked out every spring and the heat checked every fall.
- Keep Your Condenser Clean and Free of Debris
The condenser is a part of your HVAC system that is located outside. It’s typically behind the home. If you’re not scrupulous with regards to groundskeeping, the area around the condenser can become overgrown. It’s important to keep any bushes pruned back and vines and leaves cleaned off your condenser. You can also clean the inside by removing the panel to vacuum out any debris that may have already gotten inside it. While you’re in there, it’s a good idea to clean the fan and coils as well with a hose.
The above tips should help you put off the day that you’ll need to call someone in to repair your HVAC system. They’ll help you keep your unit operating at maximum efficiency, which keeps your air quality high and your energy bills low. It will also put off the eventual day of having to get a new unit installed.