Like many homeowners, you might be feeling frustrated that your heating system tends to break down during the winter when you need it the most, and your air conditioning usually goes off in the summer, when you could really do with a blast of cool air through your home. This isn’t uncommon, because for the rest of the year, these essential systems in the home tend to be used rather sparingly, meaning that if anything is wrong, there’s a very little chance to notice it and get something done about it before the season where you’re going to need it a lot arrives.
The good news is that with regular maintenance and checks, you can make sure that your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are working well through every change in season. And, keeping to a good maintenance routine will also ensure that your HVAC system is working as efficiently as possible, which can lead to saving money on your utility bills each month. So, here’s what you need to know about regular HVAC maintenance:
#1. Schedule Professional Maintenance and Checkups:
Yes, there’s a lot that you can do on your own to ensure that your HVAC system is working well, but nothing beats getting them maintained regularly by a professional. A trained HVAC maintenance professional will be able to spot issues that you may have missed, or pick up on things that could lead to further problems in the future, enabling you to get them repaired straight away before the problem gets worse.
Ideally, you should call a professional to give your home’s HVAC system the once-over before any change in seasons. The general rule is to get two per year – once in the spring and another in the fall, in time for more extreme hot and cold weather. An experienced company like Semper Solaris will offer regular professional HVAC maintenance and can carry out heating and air conditioning repair if needed, ensuring that your system is working well and can be relied on all year round.
#2. Replace If Necessary:
Before going on to carry out all the regular maintenance work needed, it’s also worth double-checking whether your home’s HVAC system could be getting old and out of date. While an older system can be kept working with the right maintenance and care, it’s also worth remembering that even when highly maintained, an older system is not usually designed to be as energy-efficient and could be costing you more when it comes to your utility bills. For that reason, it may be worth looking at the best heating and air conditioning units available for energy efficiency and upgrading yours before the turn of the season. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be able to enjoy a higher degree of reliability from a new unit.
#3. Change Filters Regularly:
Aim to replace the filters in your air conditioning units, heat pumps and furnaces at least once every few months. Even the tiniest amount of dust in the air filters can begin to restrict the airflow, which not only means that your systems won’t be working as efficiently as possible – over time, this can also lead to a complete system breakdown. This is often one of the main reasons why air conditioning systems break down in the summer – the filters have been left gathering dust over the winter.
#4. Check for Leaks:
Leaks can lead to a number of serious problems including mold infestations and water damage, so make sure that you are inspecting the ductwork for leaks on a regular basis. If you do suspect a leak, it’s important to schedule a repair as soon as possible – it will only get worse if you leave it.
#5. Clean and Inspect Regularly:
Don’t just rely on your twice-yearly professional maintenance check to have your HVAC systems inspected and cleaned. Make some time to take a look and do some cleaning work yourself every two months or so, particularly after any extreme weather events such as storms. Look for anything that doesn’t seem right as you clean – even if you’re not sure how to fix an issue, noticing something is the first step to having it repaired.
#6. Keep the Surrounding Area Clean:
Keeping the area surrounding your HVAC units clean is almost as important as cleaning the unit itself. This is especially true if you have any outdoor cooling and heating units; make sure that any nearby trees or shrubs are trimmed down and that the area is free of debris such as leaves, grass, and trimmings. Switch the system off and use a hose to clean any dirt and debris from the surrounding area.
#1. Do Anything You’re Unsure Of:
While there are plenty of simple steps you can take to maintain your HVAC systems by yourself, it’s always important to stick to what you know. Don’t take on any maintenance that you’re unsure of or do anything that you feel is beyond your skill limit; working on HVAC systems when you’re not sure what you’re doing can be a very dangerous game. If in doubt, the best thing to do is call a professional to check.
#2. Make Assumptions:
Everybody would like to think that the previous owners of their home left them with a problem-free property, but sadly this isn’t always the case. If you have just moved into a new home, don’t assume that the previous owners have taken care of any HVAC problems before moving out, as this may not be the case. It’s always a good idea to call an HVAC professional to inspect and carry out regular maintenance work on the systems as soon as you move into a new home.
#3. Overlook the Importance of Professional Maintenance:
If you’re quite handy with HVAC systems and have a good knowledge of how they work, it can be easy to overlook the importance of professional maintenance and fall into a trap of doing it yourself all the time, especially if you haven’t run into any serious issues yet. But, those bi-annual professional checks are crucial to the healthy running of your HVAC system, so make sure that you schedule them even if you don’t think there are any problems.
#4. Ignore Unusually High Bills:
There are many reasons why your utility bills might be higher than usual. Often, it’s simply due to a change in season; for example, during the winter, your home may be using more energy to stay warm and you’re running the heating system every day. Or it could be down to a surge in the use of other electronics in your home. But, it’s never a wise idea to ignore a high energy bill that you weren’t expecting. Often, a spike in energy use could be down to a problem with HVAC systems. If you’re struggling to find the source of all this additional energy use, then call a professional to take a look at your heating and cooling units to determine whether or not they are draining more energy than needed, and why.
Your home’s heating and cooling systems are important for staying comfortable all year round, but they also use the most energy in your home. Regular DIY and professional maintenance is crucial to keep the systems in efficient working condition.