Every year brings a fresh cycle of maintenance needs for homeowners' HVAC systems. It can be hard to remember exactly what needs to be done and when as the year progresses. That's why it can make a major difference to be able to consult a handy list of HVAC maintenance tips for the New Year.
There are several key tasks to complete to keep your home's HVAC system in top shape throughout the year. In this post, we'll cover these important tasks:
- Change filters regularly
- Clean air vents
- Clean outdoor unit
- Inspect thermostat
- Schedule professional maintenance
We'll look at each of these items with a view to how and when a homeowner can most effectively tackle them. Sometimes, it's just a better idea to call in the professionals to get the best possible results.
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Change Filters Regularly
The primary role of your HVAC system's air filters is to remove dust, allergens, and pollutants from your home's air. When a filter is functioning at peak efficiency, it can improve your home's air quality substantially. It also ensures the efficiency of your home's temperature control.
Over time, however, animal hair, dirt, and particulates can accumulate and clog air filters. To avoid loss of efficiency and reduction of air quality, you should change your home's air filters every three months. You may wish to change them more frequently if you have pets or household members who have allergies or respiratory illnesses.
Clean Air Vents
Regular HVAC maintenance not only improves the quality of your home's air but also extends the life span of your equipment, saving you money in the long run. This is particularly true of your air vents.
The buildup of dust and other particles can majorly impair the efficiency of your HVAC system, increasing your energy bills accordingly. Your home's air duct system can accumulate dust and particles just like your filters, and ducts can also fall victim to mold growth, posing severe problems for your home's integrity and air quality.
Removing and clearing your home's vent covers on your own is possible, and you should aim to do this monthly. For a more thorough cleaning of your air vents as part of an overall furnace tune-up, it's best to call on the professionals.
Clean Outdoor Unit
Your home's outdoor AC unit is crucial to your overall HVAC system in the warmer months. During the colder months when it isn't operating, its cooling fins can collect a vast amount of dirt and debris. That debris clogs and impairs the unit's compressor and condenser, making it harder for your air conditioner to cool the air in your home. The result is a less efficient air conditioner that draws more power and costs more to run.
As with the indoor vent covers, homeowners can clean their outdoor air conditioners themselves. You should typically take care of this task in the spring before you need to start using your system. However, it's best to schedule a thorough professional cleaning and inspection every year for the best results. It's better yet if you can do this as part of an affordable annual heating and cooling maintenance package.
Your home's thermostat is crucial to effective temperature management and overall comfort. There are a variety of possible types of thermostats for your home's HVAC system, and any of them can get thrown out of calibration over time. This can lead to fluctuating and inconsistent temperatures and higher energy bills.
With some thermostats, this can be solved with a simple cleaning. More technologically advanced thermostats may require rewiring, software updates, battery recharging, or other interventions. Unless you have the specific tools and expertise suited to the challenge, it's generally best to leave the recalibration of your thermostat to the pros.
Schedule Professional Maintenance
We've seen above the basic ways that regular HVAC maintenance can impact your home's comfort and the affordability of your energy bills. When the New Year comes calling, the most efficient way to address these challenges is to schedule professional maintenance.
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