HVAC Maintenance Tips for Your Home
Keeping your heating and air systems in good working condition equates to lower energy bills, a more resilient home in big temperature swings, and calling for repairs left often.
Create a Maintenance Schedule
Make it a habit of scheduling bi-annual maintenance service calls. One before the heating season (winter) starts, and one before the air conditioning season (summer). If there are any problems with your system, the effects of the problem are much more dire in times of extreme cold or heat!
Keep Those Filters Clean
Unaware to many, you should be replacing your heating and cooling air filters for every month that they’re in use. Operating your system with old, dirty filters means energy is wasted and your system may even be damaged. While you’re at it, check and clean the filters in your home’s air cleaners and humidifiers for proper ventilation and clean circulating air. Dust mites, debris, and other micro pollutants build quickly and it’s vital you maintain these, especially for those who suffer from asthma or the elderly.
If you have a forced air heating system, be sure to thoroughly investigate your furnace’s blower compartment and blower coils. Next vacuum them if you see dirt and dust there, which you likely will. Next check the fan belt tension, and lubricate fan and motor bearings with common bearing grease.
For steam systems, check the shut-off valve for leaks.
For hot water system radiators make sure you drain and refill the water at least once a year.
Big Important one: Keep the area near your furnace clutter free. It’s an enormous fire hazard, and may keep your system from operating efficiently. You would not believe how many fires are started near furnaces because of unkept debris accumulating near them.
It’s easy to get the most out of your heating system from a simple once a year vacuuming around the heating registers and vents. They are commonly degraded from dust, dirt, and pet hair collected over the years.
Use Your Ears
Listen for funny sounds when your heating or cooling system kicks in. If you hear anything unusual, you can start by Googling for the symptoms. If the problem persists, contact your service professional so you can head off problems before they become to costly or dangerous.
Useful Winter Tip
Warm air rises. To help disperse this heat, set your ceiling fan at its slowest speed and in reverse. This will push warm air down from the ceiling without generating a breeze.