To many people, a heating and cooling unit is a life-saver during winter and summer. But, an equally large number of people complain that their air conditioners are always breaking down when they need them most. Are you also wondering why? In most cases, it may be due to poor maintenance. Failing to inspect, tune-up, and service your AC is the reason for your constant frustrations.
Seasonal maintenance keeps the heating and cooling system in top shape. It also enables you to detect minor issues before they develop into huge ones. Also, it helps in minimizing your overall energy costs as well as repair costs. So, how do you ensure the proper maintenance of your HVAC system? Here are some great tips you can use: check out this guide, or you may check Royal Refrigeration Heating and Air Conditioning to get a consultation for free.
Keep the Area around It Clean
Dust and debris might build around the AC over time. This can affect the functioning of the system due to the clogging of the coils and filter. The AC is forced to work harder than usual, leading to a spiking up of energy bills. To avoid this, clear the area around it. You can spray away debris and dust using a water hose and a mild detergent. Also, trim the vegetation near the AC to ensure the free flow of air in and out of the system.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
If you want to cut down your energy bills, you should control your thermostat. One way to achieve this is by having a programmable thermostat. It is an innovation that enables automatic adjustment of temperatures. It allows you to adjust settings based on the needs of your home. For instance, you can set a given temperature for sleep time and another for day time. Programmed thermostat reduces costs and improves energy efficiency.
Understand Your AC
Do you understand how your air conditioner works? And, do you know its optimal performance level? It is essential to have basic knowledge of how the HVAC system works. This will help you to identify malfunction issues early enough. Pay attention to buzzing, grinding, thumping, and rattling, which indicate a problem with the AC. Besides that, it is essential to keep track of your energy bills. Bills that are spiraling for no apparent reason could be due to a performance issue with the heating and cooling system.
Replace the Air Filter
Maintaining the air conditioner in top shape involves changing the filter regularly. The air filter accumulates dust, debris, and air pollutants over time. If this is not cleaned out, it will force the system to overwork and cause a breakdown in the long run. Worse still, dirty filters can circulate filthy air around the home, causing a health risk. Therefore, you should clean the filters as often as possible. How often to clean filters depends on how dusty the environment is, the number of occupants in the home, and pet presence. It is recommended to replace the air filter at least once every three months.
Leave Air Vents Open
The HVAC system works best when there is maximum airflow. The vents, therefore, need to be open and clear at all times. Closed vents reduce the performance level of the unit due to the increased pressure load. Avoid closing the vents to ensure the maximum efficiency of the unit. Also, remove dust and dirt that might obstruct the flow of air.
Inspect Ducts Regularly
Like other parts of the AC, ducts build up dirt over time. This dirt can block airflow and weaken the system gradually. Moreover, ducts house dust mites, pests, mold, pathogens, and microbes. These organisms may generate leakages in the ducts through which air can be seeping out. It would be best if you inspected the ductwork every several years for any obstructions. If you find leakages, make sure they are sealed off by a professional.
Change Carbon Monoxide Detector Batteries
Your AC maintenance routine should involve the replacement of the carbon monoxide detector. Carbon dioxide is a health hazard that can cause death or severe injury. The gas might leak when the heat exchanger is rusted or cracked. The carbon dioxide detector usually detects the leakage of the poisonous gas. The batteries of the sensor should be replaced annually to ensure that they are in proper working conditions.
Service It Regularly
An annual check-up is a vital aspect of maintaining your AC in good working condition. During the inspection, the HVAC technician will examine the performance of the unit and carry out other tasks, including the following:
· Clean the coils and drain lines
· Change the filter
· Check for leakage in the heat exchanger
· Check and clear the blockage in the ducts
· Check the refrigerant level
· Ensure the fan is working well
Clear the Condensate Drain Line
The condensate drain line might trap algae, mold, and sediments. The system begins to freeze up when the drain line is clogged with this kind of dirt. But, it can be quickly cleaned by detaching the line and pouring bleach or vinegar onto it.
Repair Small Problems Promptly
Small issues often grow to bigger ones if they are left unattended. If the unit is significantly damaged, it will require much time and money to repair it. That’s why you should not ignore the small AC problems. You can fix a small issue on your own. But, it would be best to call a professional technician if the problem is complicated. The bottom line is to have the issues of your AC fixed as soon as they are noticed.
Clean the Condenser Coils
Coils can be costly, and finding the right model is sometimes not easy. Besides that, coils play a vital role in ensuring the efficient running of the system. Condenser coils can build up dirt, which might affect the system’s efficiency. Dirty coils also lower the unit’s energy and cooling capability. To avoid this, you should clean the coils regularly.
The above maintenance tips will ensure that your HVAC system remains in the best working condition. It will save you unnecessary repair or replacement headaches, and so you can focus on enjoying your winter or summer.