HVAC Maintenance Tips for 2018
With the New Year arriving, the average human pauses to take a moment and reflect on the past year and looks forward to the New Year by making goals or resolutions to accomplish.
For homeowners, this is your chance to make a resolution to take better care of your heating and cooling systems. By maintaining your HVAC system, you will gain increased comfort in your home, better indoor air quality, and especially energy and cost savings. As 2018 comes in and 2017 goes out, why not make it a resolution to take better care of your home’s heating and cooling system? Here are some tips and tricks for bettering your home in 2018.
Note: some of these items require special equipment or training. If you’re not sure how to accomplish something, call in a professional HVAC technician.
Cleaning Up Your HVAC System
- Get rid of any dirt that has accumulated around your outdoor heating and cooling units since you last cleaned around them. Don’t forget to remove any obstructions that could prevent the flow of air around the system.
- Clean up any control cabinets within your system. Getting rid of bugs or spider webs that might have made the cabinet their home. This will help protect the electronic components of your system.
Maintaining Your HVAC System
Making schedules can be used in so many different parts of our lives, so why not for your HVAC system as well?
- Make a schedule for checking and replacing your filters, usually every 2 to 3 months. Regularly changing your filters will maintain the system and ensure optimal performance.
- Check out the blower assembly, cleaning throughout the wheel, housing and the motor.
- Inspect the heating elements of the HVAC system for any potential damage that may have occurred while heating your home.
- While inspecting the heating elements, be sure to clean and adjust the burner assembly, the ignition system, and related safety controls.
- Clean the outdoor and indoor coils semi-annually in order to prevent any dirt or dust buildup preventing heat transfer. This will insulate and prevent the flow of air in your heating and cooling systems.
- Carefully check on your drain pan lines, and clean any dirt that may have accumulated on them.
- Add some grease to the motor about every three months or so to help lubricate it. This can help avoid building up friction between their moving parts, something can cause your system to overheat and ultimately fail.
Inspect and Replace
- Take a close look at your control box and any writing, connections, or controls. Repair as needed.
- Inspect your home’s flue system, if you have one, ensuring that it is properly attached to the furnace. Keep an eye out for any sections that have become dislocated from the rest of the system, this may result in needing to be replaced.
- For older heating and cooling units, check the motor and fan belts. Don’t forget to lubricate the former and replacing the latter if there are any signs of wear!
- Carefully inspect electrical and mechanical connections. Like screws for example. These are so important to catch, as loose connections can short out and may even lead to a fire.
- Lastly, pay attention to your refrigerant levels. You can check them with a pressure gauge. In order to make sure the system it operating normally and efficiently, it is important to have refrigerant oil tested annually. This ensures that the bearing is not wearing out. Be sure to send a sample to be tested for a variety of things: foreign deposits, acidity, and moisture content.*
- Look for any leaky or damaged ductwork. Repair accordingly.
- For gas-fueled furnaces, inspect the carefully for any potential leaks that could be costing you energy and even safety.
- Make an appointment EACH year to have your HVAC system inspected with an electronic leak detector.
- Purchase and install a programmable thermostat for your home. This will save energy and money by giving you greater control over your home’s temperature. Installation is relatively easy.
- Make regular appointments with your HVAC contractor to have a professional technician come out to inspect and even do some additional cleaning. An ideal schedule consists of a spring inspection and cleaning of your conditioning system and a fall appointment for a closer check-up on your HVAC system.
If You Don’t Know How…
Again, if you feel these tips are ever too advanced or even you just don’t feel comfortable performing them yourself, call the reputable, experienced HVAC professionals at Pickerington Heating & Cooling.