Spring is right around the corner, and with that, so is warmer weather. That means you’re probably thinking about when you’ll open your windows, turn on your air conditioning, and blast the tunes. If you’re like most people, you rely on your HVAC system to give you the comfort you need—and you want it to be there when you turn it on. But no matter how wonderful your HVAC system is, it will need maintenance from time to time. Luckily, it’s not too difficult. You can do some easy things regularly to help your HVAC system operate more efficiently, as well as spot potential problems before they become full-blown issues.
If you haven’t yet, now’s the time to start thinking about the warmer months. Sure, we experienced a mild winter here in Minnesota, but summer is sure to arrive soon, and you’ll want to be prepared. As you prepare your home for the warmer months, you’ll also want to look after your HVAC system. Many homeowners are unaware of the importance of preventive maintenance, but it can make a big difference.
Here are a few things you can do to help reduce the need for service and keep your system running as long as possible.
Change your filters
To maintain your HVAC system, you need to change your filters regularly. A dirty filter restricts airflow, increasing energy bills and shortening your lifespan. When it comes to your HVAC system, cleaning your filter regularly is one of the easiest things you can do. Change your air filters every month. At least the common aspiration is to change them every 3-6 months, but Americans rarely follow the advice. The fact is most filters should be changed every 30 days. If you have pets or people in the home who shed, you should change the air filter more frequently. The filter should be replaced if the filter is dirty or needs to be replaced.
Clean your condensing unit
Cleaning your condensing unit is one of the easy ways to maintain your HVAC system. If your unit is blocked or dirty, it may not properly cool your home. The condenser collects dust and debris as air flows through the indoor coil, which is normally located inside an attic or crawlspace. Condensing units also run on refrigerant, which can collect dust, dirt, and debris. Dirty coils don’t absorb heat from indoor air as efficiently, resulting in increased electricity use and a shortened unit’s lifespan. Check the coils, remove the covers, and check for dust and debris.
Visually inspect and create clearance around your outdoor unit
The outside unit, or outdoor compressor, is responsible for pushing air through your home’s duct system. A dirty, clogged outdoor unit can result in air that does not circulate as effectively, resulting in increased energy consumption. To solve this problem, you should regularly inspect the outside unit, looking for obstructions, dust build-up, and grime. If your home’s outdoor unit shows signs of dirt build-up, you can clean its coils by spraying them down with a strong hose. Doing so will also allow you to watch for any physical damage to the unit. If you see anything that concerns you, or if you notice ice or frost forming on the outside of the unit, you should contact your HVAC professional immediately.
Check your evaporator coil’s drainpipe and drain pan
The evaporator coil is an important part of your home’s HVAC system, and like many HVAC components, it needs to run smoothly. The evaporator coil, usually located in the home’s attic, is designed to pull warm air from your home and move it to the furnace. It’s not hard to imagine why this component can become obstructed. Debris can end up on the evaporator coil, preventing it from running efficiently. If the air conditioner runs, it pushes the debris onto the evaporator coil, making it less effective.
Many people don’t know it’s very important to maintain your HVAC system. It’s the most important system in your home, yet it’s often overlooked. The furnace and air conditioner in a home keep it comfortable but unseen. Without them, the house would heat up like an oven in the summer and become very cold in the winter (so cold that pipes would burst).