HVAC Maintenance Tips

HVAC systems are a year-round necessity; these systems help us keep warm in the winter and cool during the summer. With continuous usage such as this, an air conditioner can be under plenty of strain, and it can eventually break down. To prevent this from happening, it is good to perform routine HVAC maintenance and catch a problem before it has occurred.

Apart from HVAC system repairs, completely replacing an HVAC unit can result in even more costs. It is critical to follow regular maintenance tips for preventing costly HVAC repairs. The sooner you realize there is a problem or the more time you take to do routine checks to avoid a problem from occurring in the first place, the lower your HVAC maintenance costs.

HVAC Maintenance & Tune-up Services in Newtown, PA

Why is HVAC maintenance critical?

An HVAC system needs proper care and maintenance to function correctly. As an additional benefit, proper maintenance can reduce unexpected emergency calls and can lengthen the life of your HVAC unit. Here are the biggest benefits of keeping your HVAC system in prime condition:

Reducing utility bills is one of the most important reasons households should maintain their HVAC units. An efficiently operating HVAC unit, as well as a properly insulated home, will cost less money to heat and cool. Annual maintenance is also critical to prevent the need for major repairs or complete replacements.

A well-maintained HVAC unit will not only keep your home at your preferred temps but will limit problems with air quality. The cleaner your air filters and coils, the better breathing for your entire household. Units that are maintained poorly are magnets for dirt, mold, bacteria, and many other pathogens, all of which cause worsening respiratory problems for those living in your home, especially those with allergies.

The better you maintain your HVAC unit, the longer it will be able to perform. Installing a new HVAC unit is not cheap, so it makes sense to want to keep that unit operating in excellent condition for many years.

It's obvious that a more efficient HVAC system will cost less to run. Dirty or unmaintained HVAC units require 20% more energy to generate the same cooling or heating level as a perfectly maintained HVAC unit.

Unfortunately, from time to time, all HVAC units will require emergency repairs. A well-maintained unit is less likely to break down during months of sustained use, particularly in the summer months from June to September and the winter months from December to March. Keeping your HVAC unit up-to-date with yearly inspections and maintenance will remove the worry that your unit will break down when you need it most. This also will save you from costly repair or replacement costs in the future.

6 Must-Know HVAC Maintenance Tips

1. Clean the Condenser or Heat Pump

Outdoor heat pumps and air conditioner units can get very dirty, causing the system to work harder to create the cold and warm air you desire in your home. Cleaning the condensers and heat pumps will reduce the likelihood of damage to any internal components. Households must ensure that there is no debris on the top or sides of their outdoor air conditioning pumps and units.

Be sure to get in-between the crevices to get all the build-up out. Your garden hose works great to complete this task. Make sure to double-check that your unit is level. If it's lopsided, the refrigerants that are crucial in helping your a/c work well will be disjointed. Your condenser and compressor could be at an increased risk of breaking down as a result.

2. Check the Filter

One of the most common reasons for HVAC repair is a dirty filter. Changing the filter is one of the most straightforward ways of doing maintenance to improve its efficiency, reduce energy costs and decrease the likelihood of needing repairs. Check your filter monthly to ensure it isn't clogged or dirty. If it is, it's a good idea to give it a good wash and run air over it. As for changing the filter, about once every three months should be more than satisfactory. If your household has pets, you may notice you have to change your filter more frequently. If your filter ever looks dirtier than usual, replace it at once.

The a/c filter can freeze if it is too dirty and then thaw, causing water damage. If you have a reusable filter, clean it gently with a soft cloth. Then add some mild soap and water. If it's not reusable, purchase a new one. If someone in your household has allergies, it's always a good idea to get a HEPA or hypoallergenic filter. These filters will help purify the air the most.

3. Regular or Annual Professional Check-ups

A check-up consists of an onsite visit from one of our certified HVAC technicians, who will examine the HVAC system and ensure it operates at optimum performance. The inspection will include:

  • Ensuring the fan is working correctly
  • Cleaning the coils
  • Checking (or possibly changing) the air filter
  • Cleaning the drain lines
  • Checking the refrigerant level
  • Checking for leaks in the heat exchanger

A tune-up can be a one-time event or provided yearly as part of regularly scheduled maintenance.

A professional check-up only needs to be completed once a year and aids your household to ensure that your HVAC does not break down when you need it most. Getting your HVAC serviced means that all the components will be cleaned and inspected and working at their best. This will prevent costly energy bills, and not to mention, unexpected repair bills.

4. Clean the Drain Lines

An air conditioner, along with cooling, also takes out the moisture from the air. This moisture then accumulates within the drain lines of the air conditioner and is directed outside. Over time, with the accumulation of dirt and dust, the drain lines can become clogged and even be a home for algae and mold.

It is a good idea to periodically clean the drain line. Take off the air conditioner's outer cover and clean the drain line with a clean piece of cloth. Moreover, you can rinse it with a mixture of water and vinegar, removing any mold which might have formed.

5. Keeping the Outdoor Unit Clear

The outdoor unit is continuously exposed to weather and other environmental factors such as dirt and debris. Growth and vegetation can cover the outdoor unit over time and prevent the exhaust air from being ejected effectively. Sometimes, the branches and leaves can even get inside the outdoor unit and interfere with the fan's smooth functioning.

It makes sense to monitor the area around the outdoor unit, and observe any bushes or leaves that might need trimming. This is a DIY job, which does not take up a lot of time, but can save you significant expenses later on.

6. Get a Smart A/C Controller

By making your HVAC system smart, you can access additional features that can help with preventive maintenance. For example, smart air conditioners or smart a/c controllers allow you to monitor your usage history and receive alerts every time your ac may need a filter cleaning. Some thermostats can even detect when your ac is not performing optimally or if there is an issue with the air quality. These are significant signs of a defective HVAC system. With other mods such as scheduling or geofencing, you can activate your HVAC systems depending on your set time or location. This ensures your HVAC system performs efficiently and does not run unnecessarily or wastes energy.

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