6 DIY Tips to Keep Your HVAC System Running Smoothly

October 18, 2019

HVAC systems are important year-round; they’re important in the summers when you’re trying to stay cool and unaffected by humidity, and they’re important in the winters when you’re trying to stay warm. HVAC systems are not cheap, though most home and business owners that have them installed remark that they’re well worth the investment. HVAC systems can effectively control the temperature inside homes and buildings, regardless of what the season or weather outside may be, and they’re reliable and inconspicuous as long as they’re installed properly.

HVAC systems are great, but keeping them working at optimal conditions requires HVAC maintenance and knowledge. Once a system is installed, performing maintenance on it is not difficult, especially if you adhere to the six tips detailed below.

But if DIY maintenance of your HVAC system seems unappealing when compared to hiring experienced HVAC professionals for in-depth maintenance, it’s a good idea to get in touch with a first-rate company.

1. Clean Filters Regularly

If you don’t clear and clean the filters on a routine basis, the following things could be happening:

  • You could be breathing in air that’s contaminated with allergens, dust, spores, bacteria, and other unwanted particles.

  • You could be paying more for your electric bill, and that’s because a unit with a dirty filter requires more energy to run.

  • There could be dust, bacteria, grime, or mold growing on the unchecked filters.

Cleaning a filter is actually quite easy if you have the necessary cleaning products. Once the filter is removed from the unit, it should be vacuumed to clear any debris. The hose attachment is great for this task. Once the preliminary vacuuming is done, it’s time to wash! Scrub the filter with warm, soapy water to remove unwanted grime and dust that’s caked on. Once the surfaces have been thoroughly scrubbed, dry the filter off with a clean cloth.
Before you go through all the trouble cleaning the filter, first make sure it’s not overly worn or damaged. Replacing a filter that’s on its last legs could save you time and hassle.

2. Clear and Clean Drainage Holes

Cleaning your system’s drainpipe, or condensate drain regularly can positively impact the system’s overall performance. As you may have assumed from its name, the condensate drain removes excess condensation that’s created by the system’s evaporator coil. If the condensate drain isn’t cleared and cleaned regularly, you run the risk of letting algae, mildew, and mold grow inside the drain. These unwanted growths can elevate humidity levels, cause musty odors to be emitted throughout the home or building, and even expose the property to expensive water damage.

To clean the drain, you’ll first have to find the system’s condensate pan, which is typically under the unit. If there’s water in the pan when you remove it, it’s likely the drain is clogged. Suck up the water with a small vacuum, and then clean the pan with warm soapy water.

While you let the pan air-dry, tackle the drain pipe. Use the vacuum you have to pull the blockage through the drain opening that’ll probably be located somewhere along the exterior of the property. Once the blockage is removed, flush the drain with distilled vinegar and peroxide. Some recommend hot water and dish liquid for this task. Once the solution has sat in the drain for 30 minutes, you can release it. Flush out the drain with water and you’re good to go!

3. Clean Ducts and Vent Covers

Cleaning the system’s ducts may seem like a difficult job at the onset, but once you know how to tackle the task it is quite easy. The ducts should be cleaned regularly so the air quality throughout the home or building remains good. You’ll need a vacuum, brushes, cleaning cloths and paper towels, and some other household tools to get this task done. There are several points from where the ducts can be accessed, and you should utilize each one to achieve the most effective results. Refrain from using hazardous or harsh cleaning chemicals for this job, especially if you’re unsure of how they’ll affect the system in both the short and long term.

4. Use a Smart Thermostat

As it’s been said earlier, an HVAC system that’s not functioning properly typically requires an abnormal amount of energy to run, and high energy usage equates to high energy bills. Home and business owners who use HVAC systems usually try to limit energy waste, but sometimes energy-wasting malfunctions are hard to detect. Using a smart thermostat helps cut down on energy waste, mainly because this piece of advanced technology controls the temperature with precision and reliability. Owners of eco-friendly homes swear by smart thermostats, and this makes sense considering how much good these devices do for the environment.

These thermostats can be calibrated to meet all your preferences, and they can also be used to detect air-distribution issues; if one room is unusually hot or cold while other rooms are comfortable, a smart thermostat will usually indicate what’s causing the problem.

Want to know more about programming your smart thermostats? We’re written another post you may want to read:

5. Check for Leaks in Ductwork

Examine your system’s ductwork regularly to see if any noticeable cracks or holes have appeared. If you do find visible defects, correct these if possible. If there are no visible defects but you can feel that there are leaks somewhere along the ductwork, isolate areas of ductwork until you can pinpoint all the spots where air is leaking out. Like most problems related to an HVAC system, leaks in the ductwork will cause your energy bills to rise, especially during the months where you use your system often. Patching leaks yourself is quite possible, though such a task does require the right materials and tools. Contact a professional HVAC installer to get some input.

6. Check for Odorous Smells Emitting from the System

HVAC systems are not only important because they keep a home or building at a comfortable temperature; they’re also important because they help promote good air quality. If you’re stuck inside for a cold winter, it’s likely your access to fresh air will be limited. Therefore, having access to clean air via a first-rate HVAC system is essential. But HVAC systems are not perfect, and unfortunately, they’re prone to mold, algae, mildew, and bacteria buildup. Breathing in particles and spores from these growths can be detrimental to one’s health, and some have even ended up hospitalized because of HVAC-related illnesses.

If you start noticing a pungent and musty odor throughout the house, there’s a good chance your HVAC system is backed up with a lot of unwanted growths. If you think you can handle the cleaning job, go for it! Otherwise, get in touch with a professional to get this serious issue taken care of.

Where to Go When You Don’t Feel like Maintaining on Your Own

While it’s certainly true you can handle most aspects of HVAC system maintenance on your own, that doesn’t mean these tasks are easy. In fact, most individuals hire professional HVAC maintainers to regularly check their systems, and they do so because taking a risk with air quality is never a good idea. Trusted professionals like us here at Team Enoch can take care of all your HVAC servicing needs. Get in touch with us the next time you need system maintenance or an HVAC installation!

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