A home heating system is the most efficient and effective way to keep you and your family comfortable during the cold of winter. However, for you to continue getting the highest level of performance from your system, you should meet its maintenance requirements. The overall recommendation is that HVAC work should be done by professionals, but there are things you can do on your own to supplement the seasonal maintenance calls.
Some of the things you can do on your own include:
- Changing of Filters – This is a crucial step in HVAC unit maintenance. When your system has dirty filters, it is forced to work harder so as to move the air. When this continues for a lengthened period, it causes poor performance and creates more wear and tear. A clean filter also lowers the cost in energy because your system runs efficiently. It is recommended that air filters should be changed at least once every 3 months.
- Visual Inspection – There are some warning signs that you can easily pick when you inspect your HVAC system. Catching some of these problems early means you will contact your HVAC professional in time thus saving on expensive repairs. When you see water leaks, dirty evaporator coils, and frozen coils, you need to escalate the issues with your contractor.
- Setting Your Thermostat – Generally, the thermostat is a delicate component and your interaction with it should be minimal. However, you can turn your thermostat a few degrees higher during summer or lower during winter to make energy savings and save on wear and tear as well.
Energy Star has a checklist of maintenance items a professional is expected to service or inspect whenever they turn up for a maintenance exercise. Some of these items include:
- Inspecting Electrical Connections – At times, the reasons underlying your system’s inefficient and improper operations are broken, loose, or even disconnected connections. If not checked, these may ultimately lead to component failure.
- Inspecting the Condensate Drain – Any obstruction to your condensate drain may lead to high humidity levels, water damage, or even the possibility of mold growth. After inspecting the professional may advise you on how it should be fixed.
- Lubricating Moving Parts – When the moving parts of your unit have inadequate lubrication, friction increases and this lowers the efficiency of your system. Lubrication therefore prevents the double tragedy of wearing out of system components and frequent repairs.
Other important tasks on the checklist include checking the system startup and shut down controls, cleaning or replacing air filters, and checking thermostat settings for smooth operations.