Springtime HVAC Preventive Maintenance Checklist
If you don’t take care of your HVAC system, it just isn’t going to work right.
Think of how you take care of your car.
When the tread on the tires gets low, you take it to the shop to get new tires. When the oil gets old, you replace it. When the check engine light turns on, you check that engine.
You do these things to keep your car working so it’s safe to drive.
Now, you’re probably thinking keeping a car in good condition is way more important than keeping your HVAC system in good condition. After all, a car that doesn’t work right can be a serious safety risk for you and your family, and an HVAC system is always harmless.
An HVAC system blows air through your whole house. Having a dirty system means you’re breathing dirty air. This can cause some serious health problems, especially if there is mold growing inside your system.
That’s why you need a preventive maintenance checklist.
So How Do I Keep My HVAC System Working?
You should follow the preventive maintenance checklist at least once a year to keep your system in good condition. This will ensure the filters are clean and the parts work the way they should.
If you don’t do this, your system will start to wear out. This means you could end up with a higher energy bill (because the system will require more power to run), water or refrigerant leaks, or a stifling hothouse in the middle of summer.
There’s nothing more frustrating than your air conditioning shutting down right when you need it.
But, if you perform the right maintenance, you won’t have to worry about that.
The Preventive Maintenance Checklist
There are several things you can do for your HVAC system on your own to keep it running well. If you don’t have the free time to do these things on your own (or just don’t have the right tools), you can always call a professional to do them for you.
When it’s time to start your spring maintenance, you should make sure you include the following things.
1. Replace The Filters
Depending on the HVAC system you have and how you use it, you may need to change the filters way more often than once a year. In fact, you should almost never wait an entire year to swap out your filter.
Most filters need to be changed every month, and the best filters need to be changed about twice a year.
Either way, checking and changing your filter should be one of your main priorities during your spring maintenance.
The filter is what blocks harmful particles from entering the rest of the system, which keeps the system from breaking down. When the filter gets dirty, it stops working as well. This means those harmful particles get inside your system and back into the air of your home.
This is both bad for your system and for your family, so make sure you take good care of those filters and change them whenever required.
2. Vacuum Inside The Unit
If you can get inside your unit to vacuum, spend some time removing any buildup of dust or other debris. One of the most important places to get is the evaporator coil.
3. Clear Drain Pipe
Most air conditioning units will have some kind of draining pipe or hole. Sometimes this can be found at the base of the cabinet under the evaporator fins.
Find something small and skinny, like a paperclip or a safety pin, to poke into the hole. This will make sure the hole stays open so the system can drain properly.
4. Clean the Condenser
This is the part of your HVAC system that sits outside, also called the unit’s exterior. If it doesn’t get proper airflow, the rest of your system won’t work properly.
Clear away any dirt that has built up around the condenser. Any plants near the condenser should be at least two feet away. So if they have overgrown, especially if they are touching the unit, trim or remove them.
This should be done at least once a year, but if you have a lot of plants around your condenser that need frequent trimming, it may need to be done more often.
5. Remove The Top Grill
This will allow you to inspect the fan inside. If any of the cooling fins have been bent or damaged, use a butter knife to straighten them back out. Do not stick your hands in the fan unless the system is completely shut off.
You can also check for leaks in the pipes or coils. If you find one, you should call a professional right away. These leaks could lead to mold growth, and refrigerant leaks can be a health hazard.
Lastly, make sure nothing else has damaged the inside of your system. Sometimes small animals find their way inside and make nests. If you see anything like that, remove it can make sure the unit is completely clean.
When the condenser doesn’t work properly, the rest of your system will function poorly as well.
6. Turn It On
Once you’ve finished everything else, turn on your HVAC system and see how it works. Listen for any strange noises and check for bad smells coming from the vents.
You should go into every room in the house to make sure the system is working properly. Sometimes, an air conditioning unit will work fine in some rooms but leave others stuffy and hot.
If you notice any of these things, you have a bigger problem on your hands. Call a professional so you can get your system repaired before summer.
Go Over Your Preventive Maintenance Checklist
If you don’t think you’ll have time to do this maintenance on your own, hire a professional to do it for you. But don’t put it off until next year. If you ignore the maintenance, your system will have a harder time working in the future.
Need help with your preventive maintenance checklist? Give us a call!
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