HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Nearly every home has an HVAC system, and like any home appliance, HVAC systems need maintenance every so often. While homeowners can hire a professional to come out to the home to do a regular tune-up, it’s more cost effective for them to learn how to do it on their own. Here’s some information homeowners need to know about their HVAC systems and some easy ways they can maintain them.
The Importance of Maintaining HVAC Systems
An HVAC system can do up to three important things: heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. However, there are some systems that will only do one or two of these things. If an HVAC system isn’t taken care of, it can break down. This can lead to being without air conditioning when it’s 100 degrees outside or without heating when it’s below zero. Doing regular maintenance can help keep an HVAC system running smoothly to prevent expensive breakdowns.
Change the Filter Regularly
Just like with an air filter or a furnace, an HVAC system uses filters. The more the HVAC system is used, the faster the filter becomes dirty. A dirty filter can lead to the system needing to work much harder to operate properly than it would with a clean filter, and that can lead to the system breaking down. An HVAC system’s filter typically needs to be replaced every 1-3 months, but other factors can influence this. Some examples of those factors include the type of HVAC system, filter size, and how often the system is used.
Keep the Area Clear
Outdoor HVAC systems can be a bit of an eyesore, which may lead some homeowners to try to hide the system or cover it up. However, this can be a bad idea. If a homeowner lets plants grow around their HVAC system, it can lead to leaves and other debris getting stuck in the machine, which can lead to clogs and breakdowns. Homeowners should always give their HVAC systems a few feet of clearance on all sides of it to help prevent this. It can also be helpful to do regular checks to look for twigs and leaves that may have blown into the HVAC system and remove them before they can cause any damage.
Clean the Drain Pipe and Drain Pan
All HVAC systems have a drain pipe that can potentially get blocked, and it can sometimes even grow algae or mould due to the moisture. Homeowners can use a wet-dry vacuum to suction out any clogs or plugged-up areas. Bleach can also be used if necessary. Again, ensuring the drain pipe is unobstructed can help the HVAC system run more smoothly and makes breaking down less likely.
Clean the Condensing Unit
Most HVAC systems with an air conditioner will have a condensing unit that sits outside of the main unit and has a fan that helps to disperse heat during the summers. The blades on this fan, like any other type of fan, are prone to collecting dirt, grime, and even pollen. Fortunately, the fan is easy to clean. All the homeowner needs to do is use a garden hose to rinse the blades. Nothing even has to be removed to get to the blades. Be sure not to use a pressure washer, because the extra pressure could damage the blades.
A lot of regular HVAC maintenance can be done easily without professional help. However, if there may come a time where maintenance is too difficult or a West Edmonton homeowner is uncomfortable doing something on their own, they should call a professional to come out.
By Justin Havre