6 Tips HVAC Maintenance Tips for Homeowners
6 Tips HVAC Maintenance Tips to Better Energy Efficiency
Air conditioning is such a comfort during the summertime; stepping out of oppressive heat and humidity into a cool, dry environment is both welcoming and relaxing. The converse is also true.
Stepping into a home and expecting air conditioning but being disappointed is very stressful and troubling. Wise homeowners don’t just assume their AC will work but take the HVAC Maintenance extra steps to ensure it is kept in good working order.
Change Your Air Filter Regularly
A dirty, clogged air filter leads to two major problems for air conditioners. First, it causes your blower motor to work harder than it should. While the blower fan moves large volumes of air—the entire volume of your home every 2 or 3 minutes—a clogged filter reduces the airflow, and the blower motor must work harder to complete its task.
Second, the evaporator coils bring very cold refrigerant gas into the evaporator chamber. Warm air from the house is being drawn through the filter and exchanged the heat for cold.
Reduced airflow causes humidity to freeze on the coils and this reduces the exchange of heat and cold. Expect warmer air from the air conditioner with an extremely clogged filter.
Clean Your Evaporator Coils and Drain Pan
In addition to exchanging heat with cold, the evaporator removes humidity from the air when it condenses on the coils. By tripping the circuit breaker-marked AC and removing a few bolts, you can access the evaporator chamber and do a little maintenance. First, observe the coils—often a V-shape—and vacuum away any accumulated dust.
Second, observe the drain pan, looking for debris or algae buildup. Carefully pour a cup of bleach or vinegar into the drain pan as a deterrent to algae growth. You may need a wet/dry shop vacuum to clean out algae buildup in the drain lines. After you have returned the chamber cover and flip the circuit breaker back to the ON position.
Clean Your Condenser Unit
Stepping outside, locate the air conditioner condenser unit, a small, boxy component with a prominent fan on the top. The refrigerant gas has collected heat from your home in the evaporator chamber and brings it outdoors for release. The entire box is composed of a network of tubes with very small fins.
Airflow through this network transfers the heat to the moving air and cools down quickly. Quickly, unless the airflow is restricted by the accumulation of dirt, grass clippings, and debris. Use a garden hose—not a power washer—to gently clean the spaces between the tubes and promote good airflow. Trim any hedges and remove any debris within about 3 feet of the condenser.
Check Vents and Registers
In order for air conditioning to work properly, air must flow in large volumes. A normal 15-minute cooling cycle will move the entire volume of your home 7 or 8 times, maybe more. It moves that volume of air unless, of course, the vents and registers in the home are covered. Check each room and find one or more registers on or along the floor.
Rooms with more square footage will have more than one register. Make sure they are not covered by furniture or drapes. Each level of the home will have one or more return air vents.
Observe the vents about ¾ of the way up walls, perhaps in hallways or open spaces. Make sure that furniture and drapes do not cover your vents and reduce air movement.
Program The Thermostat for Summertime
Many homes have programmable or Smart thermostats. This allows homeowners to customize the temperature settings to match the family schedule and comfort levels. Summertime schedules change, so make sure to keep the settings adjusted to the season.
Consider adjusting the setting while the family is sleeping or away, reducing the demand for energy. Create a 30-minute buffer right before the alarm clock sounds or the first family member returns.
Plan an Annual HVAC Maintenance Tune-up
Scheduling a visit from an HVAC Maintenance professional to clean, inspect, and test the system is a sure way to keep your system running for as long as possible. The additional HVAC Maintenance care ensures that components function properly, gas levels are appropriate, and connections are maintained. This HVAC Maintenance TLC lengthens the serviceable life of your entire system.