How To Keep Your HVAC Unit in Top-Notch Condition in Vancouver WA
Keeping your HVAC unit running smoothly and efficiently is key to keeping your home comfortable all year long. If you don’t maintain your HVAC in Vancouver, WA, it could fail, leaving you without air conditioning or heat during the hottest or coldest times of the year.
The upside is that there are some steps you can take to help keep your unit in good working condition. Worried that the many different components involved in an HVAC system will make it tricky to know what needs attention and how often you need to get it checked? The HVAC experts at Entek have you covered.
Here are seven tips to help you keep the HVAC unit in your Vancouver, WA, home in top-notch condition:
1. Have Your HVAC Unit Professionally Inspected
It’s important to have your HVAC unit inspected every year by a professional. An HVAC specialist can tell you if your unit is running as efficiently as possible and catch minor issues that may not be visible to you before they turn into significant problems.
During the inspection, the HVAC technician will also check the ductwork for leaks, rodent infestation, and other problems and determine whether your system’s filters, vents, and ductwork need to be cleaned and/or replaced. Often, HVAC contractors will also clean your unit’s coils as part of the regular inspection process.
Entek offers free estimates on home energy assessments, so get an annual inspection and more, and take advantage of that service if you have any questions about your unit.
2. Check Your Filters and Coils Regularly
The air filters on your furnace and air conditioner can last for one to three months, depending on the type and quality of your unit. As the filters get dirtier, they work less efficiently, so you should check for cleanliness and replace dirty filters whenever you notice a drop in airflow from your HVAC.
More frequent filter changes may be needed during seasons of heavier use or if you have pets or a smoker in your home. Filters that have become extremely dirty or clogged can damage your HVAC’s blower wheels, leading to more costly repairs and poor indoor air quality.
Likewise, the coils inside your unit should be checked for obstructions or damage every few months, particularly if the system is outside, where debris buildup is more likely.
If you have a multi-split system (a system with more than one indoor unit), the coils should be checked in each indoor unit. If you see signs of damage, such as missing fins from your indoor unit’s coils, those should be repaired or replaced immediately. If the damage is more serious—if the fins are gone entirely—you may need to replace the entire coil. Contact your HVAC contractor as soon as possible.
3. Check for Leaks
HVAC units don’t last forever, but they can last much longer if you catch any problems before they become costly issues. This includes leaks. HVAC specialists like Entek can detect even the smallest leaks in your HVAC system and repair them. Leaky ducts can waste up to 45 percent of your energy use, costing you money. Aeroseal duct sealing can solve the problem.
On your own, you can check your HVAC’s pressure reading to see if it’s under too much or too little pressure. If your HVAC has too much pressure, it’s probably overworking, and you should have it checked out soon. If your HVAC has too little pressure, it might be leaking somewhere in the system, so have a professional look at it right away.
4. Change Your HVAC Unit’s Refrigerant
If you notice that your unit is performing poorly and seems to be frosting up excessively, you may need to change the refrigerant in your air conditioner or heat pump. This must be performed by a trained and certified HVAC professional.
Other indications that you need to change the refrigerant include rising energy bills, frost buildup in the unit, and poor indoor air quality.
5. Use Your Thermostat for Efficiency
Depending on the time of year, you can set your thermostat to improve efficiency. One way to do this is to set your thermostat to a higher temperature in the summer so that your HVAC unit doesn’t have to work as hard to keep you cool. During the winter, you can do the opposite and set your thermostat slightly lower than normal.
Installing a smart thermostat is another great way to protect your HVAC from overuse. It can learn your habits and turn your unit on when an area is in use and off when it’s not.
These HVAC adjustments will also make a big difference in your energy bills.
6. Drain the Condensate Pan Monthly
An easy way to keep your HVAC system in good working order is to make sure that the condensate pans are cleaned out monthly. This will keep your HVAC unit operating efficiently and extend the life of your unit.
To drain the pan, clear away any debris in the pan, open the drain valve, and let the water drain out.
7. Fix Any Issues Immediately
If you notice a problem with your HVAC unit, don’t ignore it. Smaller problems can lead to bigger issues down the road, so it’s best to address them as soon as possible. Common issues with HVAC units to watch out for include:
- Leaks: If you notice a leak, call a professional to repair it as soon as possible.
- Loud noises: Loud noises, such as rattling or banging, are usually caused by weak or loose parts.
- Poor airflow: If your HVAC unit is on but you’re not feeling the airflow, you can do some troubleshooting to try to fix the issue.
Call Entek Corporation to Help You Maintain Your HVAC Unit
Keeping your HVAC in Vancouver, WA, in good condition is just as important as buying an energy-efficient unit. Improperly maintained equipment uses more energy and costs more in repairs, making it less cost-effective overall.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to keep your equipment in tip-top shape. With some basic maintenance, routine inspections, and minor repairs from Entek HVAC, your HVAC unit can last for years with minimal trouble and expense. Speak to one of our contractors today.