That said, HVAC systems are a significant investment and should be treated as such. To get the most out of your HVAC appliances, you can use a few best practices to minimize wear and tear. Read this article for our best tips!
Replace HVAC Filters
Replacing your air filters is one of the simplest things you can do to reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Not only will this improve your overall air quality, but it also improves airflow so that your HVAC appliances don’t have to work as hard to heat and cool your whole home.
How often should you change the furnace filter?
All air filters, furnace filters included, should be changed regularly for optimal use. Generally, most manufacturers recommend changing your filters every 90 days. This prevents dust and debris from building up and minimizes wear and tear on the whole HVAC system.
Clean Vents and Ducts
Your home’s air vents and ducts will likely collect more dust and debris than any other part of your HVAC system. Some parts will also be impossible to reach without special equipment.
Something homeowners can easily do is clean all vent grates and the areas around the vents. You can then unscrew the grilles and clean the ducts as far as you can reach. You can also use a vacuum or duster to reach deeper into the ducts. However, you will likely need to hire a professional to clean out the entire ductwork system.
Regardless, regularly cleaning the vents will prevent larger buildups of dust and debris from accumulating deeper in the system, meaning you won’t need professional deep cleans as often.
Set the Thermostat Correctly
Did you know that you can set your thermostat incorrectly? Setting the thermostat too high can cause strain on your furnace, while setting your AC temperature too low can cause a breakdown. In addition, you should be adjusting the temperature based on your needs. For example, it should be lower when you’re out of the house and higher at night. A programmable thermostat can help automate these settings entirely.
If you’re wondering what to set the thermostat to in the winter, then you’ll be happy to know that room temperature, around 20 degrees Celsius, is ideal. That said, if you’re experiencing especially cold weather, you should reduce the thermostat by a couple of degrees to minimize strain on the system.
Reset Your Thermostat
With HVAC systems, you also run the risk of a thermostat malfunction. This means the thermostat is not adjusting the temperature at all or is not communicating the right temperature to the furnace. In this case, the thermostat may need a reset.
How to reset a thermostat:
- If your thermostat has one, locate the reset button and use a point (such as the end of a ballpoint pen) to depress the button. If you cannot find the button but know it’s there, consult your thermostat’s user manual.
- If your thermostat can be switched on and off, try this.
- If your thermostat is an older variety with no buttons, find the breaker that powers it and switch it on and off.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
If you have an older, analog thermostat model, then it may be time for an upgrade. Upgrading your thermostat can reduce wear and tear on your HVAC system by optimizing settings and increasing energy efficiency. A programmable thermostat is a basic upgrade that will allow you to set the temperature based on the time of day and day of the week.
A more advanced upgrade would be to a smart thermostat which automatically adjusts the temperatures in the home based on the outside air temperature, energy consumption and more.
Remove HVAC Airflow Obstructions
This is another easy step you can take to decrease the strain on your HVAC system dramatically. First, you’ll want to locate all the vents in your home. Then, you’ll want to remove any obstructions in front of and around the vents to ensure adequate airflow throughout the system. That means moving any furniture that may be blocking vents so that your systems don’t have to work as hard to push warm and cold air throughout the home.
Schedule Your Annual Maintenance
Scheduling HVAC preventative maintenance is one of the best things you can do for the longevity of your heating and cooling system. Wondering how often you should be scheduling HVAC servicing? Experts agree that it should be at least once per year. Annual maintenance can prevent breakdowns, larger and costlier repairs, and ensure your equipment runs safely and efficiently.
Is annual HVAC maintenance necessary?
Beyond minimizing wear and tear, annual HVAC maintenance does so much more for your system. It ensures everything is working properly and operating safely and efficiently. This can therefore improve indoor air quality and reduce your monthly utility bills. For safety reasons alone, most experts agree that servicing is necessary at least once per year.
Schedule an Inspection
HVAC system inspections are different from maintenance since they merely assess the state of the system and look for any potential problems or broken parts. If you notice any changes in the performance of your HVAC system, you should schedule an inspection. In addition, inspections can be conducted in between regular maintenance to further improve the longevity of your appliances. Inspecting your system before the peak heating and cooling seasons is generally a good idea.
Clean Your Home
Dust and debris that get into your HVAC system don’t come from thin air. It’s the result of air flowing from your home’s spaces into the vents and carrying particulate matter with it. Therefore, you can reduce dust buildup by maintaining a clean home. Aim to dust and vacuum about once per week and wipe down surfaces with a damp cloth to prevent the spread of airborne contaminants.
Seal Doors and Windows
Notice any drafts? You may have an improperly sealed door or window in your home. This can put tremendous stress on your HVAC unit since the set air temperature will be much harder to maintain, with cool or warm air escaping and flowing in from outside.
Upgrading the seals on your doors and windows is a good idea if you want to minimize wear and tear on your HVAC appliances. Plus, you’ll save money on your utility bills since the system will be much more efficient.
Clean Your Outdoor AC Unit
Since it’s exposed to the elements, your outdoor AC unit will likely be covered in more than just dust. Pollen, dirt, twigs, tree sap and other outdoor pollutants may clog up the unit.
How to clean the outside air conditioning unit:
- First, you’ll want to remove any large pieces of debris you can easily access, such as leaves and sticks.
- Then, you can wash off dirt, dust, pollen and mud with a garden hose.
- To clean coils or anything inside the unit, make sure you cut power to the unit.
- Then, remove the casing with a screwdriver.
- Simply wipe down each surface inside, including coils, with a damp cloth and then a dry one.
- Finally, use a soft bristle brush to clean the fins and grills.
Or contact an HVAC professional for annual AC maintenance and they will be able to take care of these cleaning tasks for you.
Install HVAC Surge Protection
Power outages and surges can cause irreversible harm to your HVAC appliances, especially AC units. As such, installing surge protection is a smart idea if you live in an area that sees frequent thunderstorms. Typically, surge protection equipment for appliances costs anywhere from $75 – $150, making it a relatively affordable addition to your HVAC unit. Then, contact an electrician or HVAC technician to have it installed.
Replace Old or Malfunctioning Parts
Switching out older HVAC system components can boost efficiency and effectiveness while lowering your overall maintenance and utility costs. Although you may think some parts are built to last a lifetime, it’s best to check with an HVAC expert on what should be replaced in your system.
Ensure Your System is the Right Size
It’s possible that your home heating and cooling systems aren’t properly sized for your house’s square footage. For both AC and furnaces, this may result in the appliances breaking down much sooner than expected since they must work harder to maintain the set temperature. Check the area measurement your AC and furnace are rated for by reading stickers on the unit or referring to the user manual. If it doesn’t match the size of your home, then it may be time for an upgrade.
Home Heating and Air Conditioning Repair Services
Looking for someone to help you get the most out of your HVAC system? Advantage Airtech offers repair services, preventative maintenance and an extensive catalogue of appliances so that you can get everything you need in one place. Contact us today to learn more about our services!