No matter what the temperature is outside, you are always going to be somewhat reliant on your Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioner (HVAC) unit, and it is especially true today when extreme weather changes are becoming the norm, so it is vital to the health of your HVAC unit to keep it maintained and ready for whatever weather is coming your way. There are many ways that you can keep your HVAC unit in the best condition while lengthening its lifespan. Not only will self-maintaining save you money on service technicians, but it will also save you money by putting off inevitable future repairs or even replacing your HVAC unit. So, here are just a few simple things you can do to extend the life of your current HVAC unit.
1. Pay Attention
That’s right; pay attention to your HVAC unit. Your HVAC unit is a machine, much like a car, and if you start to hear something that doesn’t sound normal, chances are you have a problem. The only difference here is there is no check engine light for you to ignore! So make a habit of walking past your HVAC unit while it’s running, especially when it is under the most stress, like on a sweltering summer day. If it is making a noise, you can even try to record it so you can help the technician pinpoint the issue easier.
2. Replace the Filters Regularly
Did you even know that you can change the filters on your HVAC unit yourself? Many people tend to leave this to professionals because they do not understand how simple it is. These filters help keep the dust out of your unit and your house, so their importance should not be underestimated. If your filters have not been changed regularly, they can even block the airways, causing undue strain on your HVAC unit, which will cost more money to fix down the road. So, follow the manufacturer’s instructions that came with your HVAC unit and be sure to replace the filters every 2-4 months, depending on your needs.
3. Clean the Fan
Most HVAC units will have a large fan on the top to help disperse the warm air. These fans are prone to a build-up of dirt, dust, and debris, which is not suitable for a variety of reasons. So, to make sure that this does not become a problem that needs a technician to come out to your house, you can do one simple thing, giving the fan a spray with the hose. You can do this every time you are mowing the lawn, which is a good idea due to the grass that could be sucked into the unit while you are mowing! One thing to consider, however, is the amount of pressure that you use to wash the fan, it is best to use just a regular garden hose for this.
5. Keep an Eye on the Coil Drainpipe and Drain Pan
This one is a bit trickier, and you may need to talk to a technician to understand what and where the coil is. But, once you have a basic understanding, you will be able to check this regularly without the help of a professional. Once you have sorted out where the drainpipe is, make sure to check it regularly for any build-up or blockages. Sometimes mold and other moisture-loving substances can find their way into the drainage system and eventually clog the whole thing. If your HVAC unit gets plugged this way, you will have to call a professional to fix it. So, it is best to consistently check on this so you can avoid any unwanted repair costs down the road.
6. Call a Professional
Performing your routine maintenance is excellent and will save you a ton of money in the long run. However, it is a good idea to have a professional service your HVAC unit regularly. If you are following these steps and taking proper care of your HVAC unit, then you should not have any problems, but remember, you are not a trained professional. So, perhaps every year or two, have your local HVAC service technician stop in for a quick check-up. You can always use the internet to find the best technician in your area and shop around for the right one. If you did everything right, you probably wouldn’t have any issues to deal with, but he or she will be able to tell you what kind of condition it is in, and whether or not you need to repair or replace it soon.
So now you should have a pretty basic understanding of the little things you can do to help extend the life of your HVAC unit. Taking care of it now will keep your unit running more efficiently while extending its lifespan and saving you money. And remember, if you are ever in doubt, do not hesitate to call a professional, that is what they are there for, and they can teach you a few things. That way you don’t have to call them the next time!