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Keeping your HVAC system in proper working order so it can do its job efficiently is crucial. Regular maintenance can also save you money on your utility bills. With busy lives, it can be difficult for folks to stay up to date on such tasks. Perhaps you're confused about where to even start. Check out these HVAC maintenance tips to keep costs down. A bit of knowledge can go a long way toward helping you to feel more confident about keeping your HVAC unit in tip-top shape.
Schedule Professional Maintenance
Perhaps one of the most important maintenance tips to follow is to invest in regular on-site visits by a trained HVAC technician. It's recommended to have a check-up of your system at least twice each year - once at the beginning of the fall and again when spring arrives. This type of inspection allows the technician to inspect things and make sure your HVAC unit is functioning as it should be. A quality tech can also spot and address problems to prevent bigger issues from occurring. A typical HVAC inspection will include checking the fan, cleaning the coils, and clearing the drain lines. Refrigerant levels will also be assessed, and most techs will check for leaks. It's also likely that your filter will be replaced.
Check the Filters
Speaking of filters, checking the condition of your system should be part of your HVAC maintenance duties. Dirty filters are a common cause of improper system functioning. Changing the filter regularly is something you can easily do on your own each month. You can wash a dirty filter. Filter replacement should occur approximately every three months. Staying on top of your filter will keep things running more efficiently, leading to lower utility costs. In addition, the air quality in your home will be cleaner.
Clean the Drain Lines
When your air conditioning unit runs, moisture is removed from the air. The moisture then goes through the drain lines to be directed outside the home. When not in use, the lines can accumulate dust and become clogged. They may also start to grow a buildup of mold or algae. The lines can be flushed with a vinegar solution or warm water every few months to ensure it stays clean and clear. Avoid using bleach, as this can cause damage.
Clear the Outside Unit
Because your HVAC unit is outside, it is exposed to the elements. Such exposure can allow dirt, debris, branches, and leaves to get inside of the unit. This can interfere with the movement of the fan and lead to expensive repairs. To avoid such problems, simply monitor the outside unit regularly. Remove any brush or debris that is on or around the unit. By keeping the area clear, you can avoid obstructions.
Clean the Heat Pump
The heat pump can also become dirty, much like the drain lines. When this happens, the unit will need to work much harder. You may notice higher utility bills when your unit isn't functioning efficiently. A filthy heat pump could also lead to breakdowns. Keeping things clean every few months can save you lots of money and hassle.
Listen for Unusual Sounds
One more simple HVAC maintenance tip to keep in mind is to always keep an ear out for unusual sounds coming from your unit. Pay attention to how it sounds regularly so that you can more easily tell if something doesn't sound right. Thumping, banging, grinding, or rattling sounds are signs that something could potentially be wrong. You don't want to end up with a broken-down HVAC unit on the hottest or coldest day of the year, so it's wise to call an HVAC technician to check things out. A maintenance or repair call will cost you less than a system breakdown. Plus, having things checked out can provide you with peace of mind that your unit will serve you well for the rest of the season.
Keep these tips in mind if you want to keep running and repair costs down. A few simple steps on your part can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Authors Bio: Sierra Powell
Sierra Powell graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a major in Mass Communications and a minor in Writing. When she's not writing, she loves to cook, sew, and go hiking with her dogs.