The comfort you and your family enjoy at home depends on how well your HVAC unit operates. The last thing you want is an unexpected outage in the middle of winter or summer.
The best way to ensure your unit gets you through the harsher seasons is to keep it in the best condition possible. Keeping up with regular HVAC maintenance is the easiest way to do this.
Not only does regular maintenance help you stay comfortable, it saves money. A well-maintained unit is more energy efficient and less prone to unexpected and costly repairs.
Familiarizing yourself with basic HVAC upkeep can also help when determining the cause of a problem. Most of the time, it’s best to leave the difficult work to the professionals, but it doesn’t hurt to know your unit, inside and out.
To help, we’re going over six must-know maintenance tips for your HVAC unit.
1. Keep the Filter and Vents Clean For Quality HVAC Maintenance
You may already know this, but it never hurts to mention the importance of changing your unit’s air filter regularly. Doing this helps the overall performance and longevity of your air conditioning system and ensures good air quality.
You want to check your air filter every month and replace it if it’s dirty.
It’s the easiest HVAC maintenance job and doesn’t cost much at all. If you have trouble remembering to change it, just set a reminder for the same day each month.
When you change your air filter, it’s a good idea to check all the vents in your home and vacuum away any dust or debris. This helps maintain proper airflow and improves the overall quality of air being circulated through your home.
2. Keep the Outside Unit Clean
Remember, the outside unit needs attention as well. Because it’s exposed to the elements around the clock, you need to do regular checks and cleanings.
You’ll want to remove any debris that has collected around the outside of the unit. You can also remove the cage from the top of the unit and clear away leaves, grass or other debris.
You can then remove the outer cover and use a shop-vac to get rid of any dirt. Using a garden hose to spray away any debris works well too. Avoid using a high-powered pressure washer, as this may damage your outdoor system.
Once you’ve cleaned the unit itself, rake away any excess leaves or foliage from around the base. If you have hanging branches around your unit, it’s probably a good idea to cut these back to keep debris from falling on or in it.
3. Clean The Evaporator Coils
When performing HVAC maintenance, you’ll want to clean the evaporator coils to prevent poor airflow and unexpected repairs. All of the air that either cools or heats your home must travel through the evaporator coils, so it’s important they remain clean.
You’ll want to turn your unit off before working on the coils. On the furnace, you should see an evaporator coil door. You may need to unscrew the door to access the coils.
Once inside, simply use a soft cloth or brush to remove any dust. Then, spray a commercial coil cleaner on the coils. This spray should create a foam and then drip into the drain pan, which can then be cleaned with bleach and water.
You can then replace the door to the coils.
4. Clean the Evaporator Drain
During summer months, the evaporator coil absorbs the heat from warm air in order to cool it and send it back into your home. This causes condensation, which drips into a pan and then through a pipe and into a floor drain or outside your home.
If left uncleaned, algae or mold will start to develop, which will eventually clog the drain. A backed-up drain has the potential to cause flooding, which means water damage and a huge headache for you. It can also result in a unit that doesn’t cool properly.
To clean the drain, you’ll want to locate the evaporator coils. Most drains are made of PVC pipe and are in the vicinity of the coils.
Once you find the pipe, follow to where it drains. Use a wet-dry vacuum to pull out any debris from the end of the drain. This HVAC maintenance technique will ensure you don’t end up coming home to a huge mess.
5. Insulate Your Attic
Although this HVAC maintenance tip doesn’t involve work done directly to your unit, it’s a great way to help your system operate at top efficiency. By insulating your attic, you’re taking some of the workload off your HVAC system.
Doing this helps keep warm air from escaping your home. As a result, your HVAC system works less but still keeps your home at the desired temperature. Not only does this help with the operation of your system, it’s a great way to keep your home energy efficient.
When installing insulation, you’ll want to make sure it goes high enough to block the view of floor joists. Always take the proper safety precautions when adding insulation.
6. Get Yearly Inspections
Even if you plan on keeping track of the maintenance issues discussed in this article, one of the best things you can do is have your unit inspected yearly by professionals. This ensures that everything is in good working order and no repairs are needed.
The best time to get your unit inspected is in the fall, just before the colder winter temperatures show up. This is the time of year you’ll need your system to provide reliable service, especially in the Indianapolis area.
A qualified HVAC technician will know right away which type of HVAC maintenance should be performed before the mercury drops.
HVAC Maintenance for a Comfortable Home
The best way to avoid emergency outages during harsh weather is keeping your unit in tip-top shape. Perform the maintenance tips discussed above and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a reliable unit.
If you don’t feel comfortable working on your system yourself, we’re here to help. We provide heating and cooling repair throughout the Indianapolis area. Contact us today.