Maintenance on HVAC equipment is often seen as a chore. However, it’s a necessary part of home ownership. The HVAC system is one of the most expensive and important components of the home, and because of this, it’s important to keep it maintained.
But how should homeowners maintain their HVAC units, and what do they need to look out for? We’re going to tell you in our simple homeowner’s guide to HVAC maintenance.
Common HVAC Problems
Dirt & Debris: It’s very common for dirt and debris to build up in and around parts of your HVAC system. This can cause problems by obstructing wiring and air flow in the units. It can also cause this dirt and debris to flow into the air in your home.
Leaks: This is common to any drain line or connector and causes reduced performance. It can increase overall operating costs and efficiency. Severe leaks can cause breakdowns.
Corroded Wires: Wires get corroded over time with exposure to moisture, which HVAC units inevitably get. An experienced HVAC technician needs to make sure that the wires are in good working order to prevent reduced performance and breakdowns.
Should You Hire a Technician?
For some tasks, you can do the maintenance yourself. Here are some good DIY HVAC maintenance tasks you can do yourself:
Check the AC units and heating units for debris and obstructions including grass, leaves, and other things that may be in the way.
Make sure that all HVAC system components have 2 feet of clearance.
Check your filters, and replace them to manufacturer’s specifications. If possible, get high efficiency air filters.
In the summer, turn off the water to the furnace humidifier. In the fall, replace the filter in the humidifier and turn the water back on. This will depend on where you live.
Inspect your AC refrigerant lines for leaks. These are copper lines that connect your outdoor unit to the indoor evaporator coil. If you see any leaks, report them to an HVAC technician. Do this monthly.
Replace the batteries in your CO detectors. Do this yearly.
Clean your AC condensation drain line. Do this yearly.
However, it’s still important to have an HVAC technician take a look at least once a year. Your HVAC system might have problems or potential red flags that you can’t see, and an experienced HVAC technician will be able to help you with that.
Heat Pump Draining Issues
If you’re seeing dripping from your heat pump, then a draining issue is likely present.
This could be the result of your heat pump being submerged in snow during a storm, exposed to a great deal of precipitation, or simply being on an unsteady surface.
This might not be a big problem in the short term, but if you notice constant dripping, then you should get a technician in to fix the issue.
Big Red Flags: Should You Replace Your HVAC System?
1. Does your HVAC system turn on and off at random?
2. Is there a severe difference in temperature or air flow between rooms?
3. Are you hearing odd noises from your system?
4. Do you see a drastic increase in your energy bill?
5. Is there poor air flow?
If your HVAC system is exhibiting any of these signs, call an HVAC technician right away. You may need to replace your system.