In order to get the most out of your time and money, maintaining the features of your home is a critical part of home ownership. Nothing can be truer for your HVAC system in particular. Think of your air ducts and the way your home is heated and cooled in the same way you would your own lungs and internal temperature control. When things are out of balance, many problems can develop. When systems are properly maintained, though they can run problem-free for a long time. Here are some key tips to help you maintain your heating and cooling system.
Maintenance should be done at least once a year. Even if you haven’t experienced any problems during the summer with your AC, that doesn’t mean that small cracks aren’t developing in the lines or that the refrigerant level doesn’t need adjusted for example.
Don’t wait until you have a problem in order to solve it. Remember to take advantage of “pre-season” maintenance. What does this mean? It means having your regular maintenance and inspections done before you need to run the AC at full throttle or turn up the heat. If you use the winter season to check up on your air conditioning unit and the summer to check on your heating unit, you avoid having to wait in line if your cooling system dies in the heat of summer. You don’t want it to fail just when you need it most! Doing a check during the off season also ensures that you will catch any needed small repairs and save yourself hundreds in energy bills later when you are actually using the unit.
Be sure to clean any debris, dirt or leaves from the outside unit. This can interfere with how hard your system has to work in order to produce the energy needed to heat or cool your house. What is more debris and leaves attract small animals who can very well get into the unit during its offseason and damage it. Regular cleaning will ensure your unit is efficient and safe.
Be comfortable, but do not run your unit unnecessarily. Only you can determine your true comfort level, of course, but if you don’t have to run your AC unit at its peak performance, then don’t. This allows the unit to rest, especially on days where the weather may be warm, but not really that hot.
Avoid putting any electronics or other heat producing devices such as lamps near your wall-mounted thermostat. By doing so, you could accidentally create a situation where the air conditioning system is overcooling your home in response to a “false” heat reading coming from a lamp or a television set.
Take advantage of these tips to help maintain your heating and cooling system and reduce your energy costs.