How to Extend the Life of Your HVAC System
Whether your HVAC system is older or brand new, it’s a good idea to invest in preventative maintenance and care. Taking a few basic steps in HVAC maintenance can help extend the life of your heating and cooling unit and ensure that you save a good deal of money over the years.
In addition to getting regular inspections and service from a professional HVAC company, you can also do a certain amount of maintenance and care yourself. This guide will provide you with some hints and tips in caring for your HVAC system whether it is old or new.
Step one: Change the filters
This step is an easy one that you can do yourself with only a few minutes of effort. Even so, it is an absolutely essential one to ensure your HVAC system is always running at maximum efficiency.
Over time, air filters become dirty and clogged with dust and debris that pass through the system. As this happens, the ability to circulate air properly is reduced. Leaving a dirty filter in too long can have numerous unwanted consequences, not the least of which is an increase in your heating bills as your HVAC unit struggles to pump air through a dirty filter.
The additional wear and tear on your system can also reduce the lifespan of your HVAC system. Check your filters regularly and, as you notice they are becoming dirty, replace them with new ones which can usually be purchased at your local home supply store. Generally, you will want to replace the filters around every three months. You may need to do it more frequently if you have pets in the home or if you suffer from allergies. It’s also a good idea to spend a little extra money and get a higher-end, modern filter, which can remove particles from the air far more effectively than older designs.
Step two: Don’t overwork the system
You can save time and money on HVAC maintenance if you take care to ensure you don’t overwork the system. Any time you block a vent or leave a door open while the air conditioning is on, you are forcing your HVAC system to work harder, and increasing the wear and tear on the unit.
Decreasing your HVAC unit’s workload can be as simple as turning your air conditioning up a few degrees; it can also be a more complicated task. At some point, you should do a thorough inspection of your home and make sure that you don’t have any leaks where air can escape from your home. Repair any cracked or broken seals, and check the insulation of your home as well. The more effectively your walls and windows are insulated, the better your HVAC system can do its job. Modern technology can also assist you with this; for example, many thermostats nowadays can be preprogrammed to automatically adjust as necessary to avoid wasting energy if you aren’t home or if the weather changes outside.
Step three: Keep an eye on the drainage pipes
HVAC maintenance can become extremely costly if a drainage pipe is damaged or otherwise compromised. It’s important that you discover where the pipes are in your system and periodically inspect them. Usually, any trouble starts small and only becomes a larger problem over time, so it’s a good idea to investigate regularly and catch problems as they arise. Check for blockage from leaves or any other debris. You will need to be extra vigilant during the winter as ice and snow can also do a number on your drainage system (and any of the other pipes in your home).
Step four: Regularly clean your ducts
The ducts in your home are just as susceptible to the buildup of dust and debris as any of the other parts of your HVAC system. Regularly cleaning and maintaining them will keep the unit running at maximum efficiency and add years to any HVAC system.
Basic cleaning of the ducts in your home is something you can do yourself if you are willing to put in the time and effort. You will simply need a vacuum cleaner to get most of the debris and a brush to get the rest of the smaller particles. However, to clean an entire air duct systems, you will need to hire an HVAC professional. This person will come equipped with a special vacuum truck, motorized brushes, and various accessories to ensure your ducts are cleaned properly to work to maximum efficiency.
Step five: Invest in regular inspections
While there’s a good deal of prevention and HVAC maintenance you can do on your own, your HVAC system should also receive regular inspections from certified professionals. An HVAC system is a complicated piece of technology and there are many variables that contribute to it running at maximum efficiency. That’s why you should look for an HVAC technician that is certified by a reputable organization such as the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Check for this and other certifications, as it will provide you with peace of mind knowing that your HVAC engineer is both capable and experienced. Your HVAC engineer can give you recommendations as to how best to increase the efficiency of your system as well as make repairs as necessary. In the Pacific Northwest, a company like Entek is a great choice for HVAC maintenance.
Step six: Upgrade your HVAC system
At some point, it’s a good idea to upgrade your system to the most modern version. Modern HVAC systems are more energy efficient and reliable than ever before. A good system will last you many years and although having a new HVAC system installed can seem costly, ultimately it will save you a good deal of money in the long run. Contact a reputable company such as Entek to get a consultation on the best HVAC system to set up in your home or business.