When an HVAC firm suggests that you maintain your air conditioner or heating system, it can be tempting to ignore the advice. You may be tempted to put off hiring a specialist unless something is badly wrong with your cooling or heating system. For example, these extreme problems might be that you are not getting any heat in the middle of winter. Especially if everything worked “just fine” in the previous season.
Daily Home Maintenance
There are a few simple HVAC maintenance issues that you can — and should — handle on your own. There are no special instruments or training required, all it takes is a few minutes daily. Here are a few simple things you can do to assist the system and keep yourself comfortable all year.
- Replace the air filter regularly. Consistent temperature management, greater indoor air quality, and lower running costs are all linked to maximum airflow and filtration. Replace the filter at least every other month throughout the heating seasons. During the summer especially, when the air conditioner is on, change it monthly.
- Keep the exterior air conditioning unit free of debris. Keep weeds and other vegetation around the central AC condenser clipped down during the summer cooling season. Preserve at least 2 feet of open space on all sides. This ensures that airflow from the side vents is maximized.
- Look for any signs of leakage. When the air conditioner is running, the condensate drain pan beneath the HVAC interior air handler collects many gallons of condensation per day. During the cooling season, monthly HVAC maintenance should include a brief look at the drain pan with a flashlight. If you notice standing water inside, it’s possible that a blockage is forming, which could lead to an overflow. For service, contact your HVAC contractor.
- Examine the vents in the room. To maintain a balanced, cooled, and heated airflow, all supply, and return vents must be completely open and unobstructed. Ensure that supply vents on the upper wall of each room are open and unobstructed by furniture or drapes. Every room in some homes has a return vent, while others have a central return vent in the corridor. There should be no obstructions to the airflow into these vents.
Monthly Home Maintenance
A few basic monthly maintenance tasks on your home will help you avoid costly repairs in the future. The good news is that most of these tasks are do-it-yourself friendly, you just need ordinary household tools, and are inexpensive to complete. Let’s take a look at some of the things you should be doing every month:
- Examine the grouting and caulking. Up tubs and showers, fill in any cavities or cracks. This keeps them looking great while also preventing water damage from seeping in.
- Check the filter on your kitchen vent hood. If necessary, clean or replace. If you have a home chef, you should inspect the vent hood filter more frequently.
- Examine the filters in your HVAC system. Some filters can be reused, while others are only good for single-use and must be changed. When filters become dirty, which might take anywhere from 30 days to a few months, clean or replace them.
- Keep an eye out for leaks near toilets and sinks. Any trace of water in an area where it shouldn’t be is cause for additional investigation. Every year, even a minor leak can cost hundreds of dollars.
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested. Consumer Reports also explains why batteries should be replaced every six months, in addition to a monthly test. When you adjust your clocks during Daylight Savings Time, make it a routine to change the batteries.
- Take a walk outside. You’re certainly outside your house a lot, but how often do you really inspect it? Look for problems with the foundation, vents, gutters, and drainpipes as you walk around the house and any outbuildings.
Yearly Home Maintenance
Every year, your house and its numerous components age a year, just like you. Here are some annual home care tasks to help your home age gracefully:
- Garage door springs should be lubricated. Greasing your garage door springs can make it much easier to operate whether you have an opener or not.
- Remove the water heater and drain it. Sediment that builds in the heater’s bottom can shorten its lifespan.
- Termite indicators should be looked for. A swarm of termites can cost a lot of money. The EPA’s termite primer might assist you in spotting them.
- The Septic tank should be cleaned. If your sewage is collected in a tank, it should be inspected and emptied regularly. A septic tank cleaning is required every two to three years for the average homeowner.
- Clean the exhaust from the clothes dryer. Lint buildup can reduce the effectiveness of the dryer and perhaps pose a fire hazard. Clothes dryers are responsible for approximately 15,500 house fires each year. The National Park Service has some fascinating suggestions about how to dispose of all that lint.
Wondering Who To Trust With Your HVAC Maintenance?
Superior Mechanical Services, Inc. began in 1948 as a family-owned business with a vision to provide value-minded service with a down-to-earth approach to customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Keeping your heating & cooling systems in good working order means increased comfort in your home and workplace, longer equipment life, lower utility bills, and of course fewer repairs. Too busy or overwhelmed to perform maintenance yourself? No problem! A Superior Club Membership provides peace of mind with twice-yearly inspection and maintenance at a reasonable price. Let Superior keep your system running in tip-top shape, help reduce your utility bills and avoid costly unexpected repairs. Contact us today for more information on how we can save you thousands over the life of your system!