5 Ways to Keep Your HVAC System in Top Condition
Air conditioners are major investments and if you are like the thousands of Bay Area homeowners in Northern California, you would much rather do anything possible to maintain your current HVAC system than purchase a new one. These are a few ways you can ensure your HVAC system remains in top condition.
1. Clean Air Filters Regularly
This is easily the simplest DIY thing you can do to ensure your HVAC system keeps running in good shape. You need to check the air filters regularly to make sure it is not clogged with dirt and dust. Regular changing of air filters prevents dust from creating a barrier that may restrict airflow to the air conditioner.
Reduced airflow can cause major problems in the air conditioner, such as less conditioned air blowing from the vents and frozen evaporator coil. Dirty air filter creates a thick wall of dust that prevents air from entering the system. This means the air conditioner stops working as it should.
Evaporator coils freeze when there is limited air flow in the HVAC system. This limits the amount of air coming out of the vents as well. Experts recommend changing air filters every 2 – 3 months and not waiting till the last minute.
2. Clean Your Outdoor Unit
Majority of homeowners neglect an HVAC system’s outdoor unit. It is important to keep the outdoor unit uncovered and free from debris if you want your air conditioner to run efficiently. The outdoor unit or condenser takes heat from inside the house and dumps it outside.
If the outdoor unit is covered in plants or is dirty, heat is unable to escape quickly. This means that your system will need to work harder to cool the inside of your house. You will also have higher energy bills.
3. Seal the Ductwork
Almost all homes that don’t have their ductwork maintained develop leaks in the ducts. This causes conditioned air to escape, which basically equates to wasted money. Leaky ductwork also causes an air conditioner to work harder in keeping the interiors cool. You should call professionals to seal the ducts.
They will use metal tape or mastic sealant for covering leaks and holes. They will also add insulation around the ducts and refit any poorly connected ducts. These steps will ensure that your HVAC system is more energy efficient and does a better job of keeping your home comfortable.
4. Repair as and When Necessary
You may end up paying more in the long run if you ignore the repairs required by your air conditioner right now. Don’t wait to call the professionals when you smell something funny or hear strange sounds. This is important even if you are getting cold air from the vents. Small problems when fixed in a timely manner can help you save on major repairs later on.
5. Get Annual Maintenance
You should schedule AC maintenance at least once in a year, preferably before the summer season, in spring. This is to make sure the air conditioner works in good condition. Tuning an HVAC system is similar to changing a car’s oil. You can get better mileage and performance when you have your system professionally checked and maintained.