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Maintenance Tips to Lengthen the Life of Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system, which consists of your furnace and air conditioner, is in charge of heating your home in the winter and cooling your home in the summer. These appliances do a big job, and you want them to keep working so that you can stay comfortable in your home.

In order to keep your HVAC system working properly, you need to do some preventative maintenance work. See below for maintenance tips that will lengthen the life of your HVAC system.

Change the Air Filter

Your air filter needs to be changed no matter the season. It should be changed either every month or every other month, depending on if you have pets—as pets will leave dander behind—or anyone in your home that has allergies or other breathing issues.

Replacement filters can be found at your local hardware store. Purchase the same size filter as was originally on your unit. It's easy to remove the old filter and replace it with the new one. If you aren't sure if you should change your air filter, you can hold it up to the light. If you cannot see any light coming through the filter, it should be changed.

Clean Your Air Conditioning Unit

Your air conditioning unit should be cleaned before the warm weather season begins, as well as throughout the season. Spray the exterior of the unit down with a garden hose to get rid of dirt, dust and other debris. Then open up the unit by taking off the top and spraying from the inside out.
Be careful when spraying that you don't bend the fins. Be sure also to use a garden hose and not a pressure washer, as a pressure washer can damage the fins. 

Clean the area around the unit to remove weeds and other plants that have grown too close to the unit. Plants can block the air flow to your unit, so be sure to keep all landscaping at least six inches away from your unit. Remove any clutter or debris that you may have stored near your air conditioning unit over the winter that can also block air flow to the unit. 

Clean Your Furnace

Clean the area around your furnace. Remove clutter that may have collected over the warm weather months. You want to be sure there is proper air flow to your furnace, otherwise your furnace will over-work itself and break down prematurely.

Open up the control panel on your furnace and, after turning off the power to the unit, vacuum out any dust or pet hair that may have accumulated inside. You can do this by using a shop vacuum. Clean around the motor and the belt. 

Test Your Thermostat

Test that your thermostat is working properly and connecting to your furnace and your air conditioning system. Be sure that both systems turn on and off properly with your thermostat. Test the thermostat before each change of season. 

Maintaining your HVAC system will help ensure your furnace and air conditioner work properly season after season. These maintenance tasks will also help lower your energy bills by preventing your systems from over-working and running excessively. This over-working can cause a premature breakdown of your system, which may result in expensive repair costs or a very costly replacement of your entire system.

Maintenance can also improve air quality in your home. Poor air quality can lead to health issues such as asthma or allergies and can irritate any breathing issues you may already have.
If you need help maintaining your HVAC system, call Action Plumbing & Heating Maintenance for a professional inspection and cleaning of your system to ensure it works season after season, or if you are in need of any repairs.