As a homeowner, it’s important to understand the essential maintenance tasks required to keep your Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system running efficiently and reliably. HVAC systems are responsible for maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures and air quality throughout the year. Regular maintenance is crucial for ensuring that your HVAC system operates at peak performance, which can help reduce energy costs, prevent breakdowns, and extend the life span of your system. By staying informed about the necessary HVAC maintenance tasks, you can help ensure that your system operates reliably and efficiently, keeping your home comfortable and healthy.
Preventing Breakdowns, Optimizing Performance
With such a significant investment in your HVAC system, you must want to preserve and protect its function for as long as you can. Preventing breakdowns and optimizing performance involves more than wishful thinking, however. Knowing what maintenance to schedule and when is an essential part of ensuring your unit’s performance and improving your home’s overall energy efficiency. Recent statistics point to nearly 40 percent of a homeowner’s annual budget going toward heating and cooling costs. With this amount of money invested in keeping your home comfortable, caring for your HVAC system becomes even more important.
Seasonal HVAC Care and Maintenance
Performing seasonal HVAC maintenance and repair will help keep your system operating at its best. Between chilling winter temperatures and scorching summer sizzle, your furnace and air conditioner keep you comfortable. With a little attention every few months, you’ll potentially save yourself thousands of dollars in repair or replacement fees and avoid the surprise of waking up to a malfunctioning HVAC unit. Each season has its own unique challenges for your system; with a little forethought and planning, you’ll watch your HVAC handle the changes with ease, keeping you comfortable all year long.
Fall Maintenance Tips
Fall is a great time to replace air filters, especially if they haven’t been changed in a few months. A clean air filter can improve indoor air quality and increase the efficiency of your HVAC system.
Dirt, dust, and other debris can accumulate in air vents and ducts over time, reducing airflow and efficiency. Have them cleaned by a professional to ensure optimal performance for all that anticipated time you’ll be spending indoors.
Make sure your thermostat is working properly and set to the right temperature. You may also want to consider upgrading to a programmable thermostat, which can help improve energy efficiency in your home.
Clear away any leaves, branches, or other debris that may have accumulated around the outdoor unit. This can help prevent damage and maintain optimal performance. Make sure you cover your unit to protect it from other debris that can compromise its future function.
Winter Maintenance Tips
If you followed fall protocols, then your winter maintenance checklist will be much easier to handle. Keep an eye on system performance and react quickly to issues. A failing furnace in the winter is not something you want to deal with.
HVAC experts recommend that you change your air filter every three months, perhaps more if you have pets or smokers in your home. Preserving indoor air quality is a must for protecting your health and that of your loved ones.
Your furnace space should encourage proper airflow in and around the unit. Keep the area in your furnace room free from debris and belongings to ensure that it doesn’t have to work harder than it should to regulate airflow and temperature.
Spring Maintenance Tips
With the furnace getting ready to take a vacation, it’s time to think about gently waking up your AC unit. Consider an annual AC inspection just before temperatures warm to make sure you and your unit are ready. Change the air filter and clean debris away from the exterior unit. Remove any protective coverings prior to starting the unit.
Running your unit after a long winter’s rest should be a gentle process. Start first at a lower setting for a shorter period of time; never turn it on full blast to get your exterior unit going, or you could end up with a repair on your hands.
Never attempt to take the exterior box off your AC unit; it contains dangerous electrical components in it that can cause injury or even electrocution if not handled correctly. In-depth assessment and cleaning of your unit should only be handled by a trained HVAC professional with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to perform the work correctly.
Summer Maintenance Tips
Summer is the time that you use your AC the most. Even so, your air conditioner should be given a break from time to time to make sure that it doesn’t freeze up completely when you need it. Shutting your unit down for a few hours in the morning each day will allow it to defrost and ready itself again for a full day of cooling. Here are some additional things you should be doing at the start of the summer:
- Inspecting your unit often to see if it’s meeting demand
- Changing the filter inside your home
- Ensuring a 2-foot clearance around the outdoor unit
- Checking refrigerant and condensate line for leaks
Avoid the temptation to handle refrigerant on your own, as it is a highly volatile compound that can have devastating health and environmental consequences if not handled correctly. When in doubt, have your HVAC professional inspect your unit and make recommendations for repair and upkeep to improve energy efficiency and unit function, even on the hottest days of the year.
The Need for Preventative Maintenance
Adding an annual or bi-annual inspection by a qualified HVAC professional can literally add years to its service life. Staying on top of future repairs will help you avoid the dreaded emergency service call in the future, with prevention being the key to your success. Annual inspections will improve your unit in the following ways.
A reduction in energy bills
A system that is optimized for performance doesn’t have to work as hard to regulate your home. You’ll use less fuel or electricity to power your unit, and you’ll see the savings translate to lower monthly energy costs.
Longer service life
Having your furnace inspected regularly may reveal minor issues that need repair. In doing so, you could possibly avoid catastrophic breakdown and premature system failure. Taking care of issues early and often will add years of life to your unit.
If your heat exchanger cracks, carbon monoxide can easily make its way into your home. This creates a very dangerous situation that can have disastrous consequences for you and your family members if you aren’t aware of the issue. Regular inspection by a trained HVAC professional will alert you to potential problems and exposure, finding solutions that keep you and your family safe and healthy.
By Your Side Through Every Season
Charleston Heating and Air has been proudly serving valued residents of Charleston and the surrounding area since 2009, and we know what our clients have come to expect from our superior service. With high-quality services related to heating and cooling installation, repair, and maintenance as well as plumbing services and indoor air quality inspections, we tend to your HVAC needs as if they were our own. Let us partner with you through all seasons to keep your home comfortable and safe. Contact Charleston Heating and Air today to set your maintenance inspection appointment.