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HVAC Maintenance Tips to Get Your System Ready for Summer

Summary

Regular maintenance of your home's HVAC system not only extends the life of your equipment but can also allow it to operate more efficiently. While professional expertise is required for some aspects of HVAC maintenance, there are some simple practical steps that can be performed easily by the average homeowner. In this article, we'll supply some maintenance tips that will help you get your HVAC system ready for the summer cooling season.

Contents

Why maintenance is a must

Your home's heating and cooling system is an essential part of your home. You and your family rely on its smooth and efficient operation to not only keep the temperature of your home at safe and comfortable levels but also to maintain good air quality and prevent emergency repairs. But how much attention do you pay to your HVAC system?

The average lifespan of the units in your HVAC system ranges from 15 to 20 years, so you can be forgiven if you don't pay much attention to them. A good quality system that's properly installed and has regular preventive maintenance shouldn't give you any problems.

However, regular HVAC maintenance and inspection are important if you want your system to operate at its peak of efficiency. And much of this preventive HVAC maintenance doesn't require any special tools and equipment.

By following the tips in this article, you'll be able to discover and correct problems before they happen. And these simple steps will not only extend the life of your system, but they can also result in energy cost savings, too.

So before the heat of summer really settles in, take the time to get your HVAC systems operating at their best with this preventive HVAC maintenance checklist.

The different parts of your system

The typical home HVAC system is comprised of three different parts:

  • The outside unit consists of a heat pump.
  • The indoor unit contains the furnace, air conditioner, blower components, and other internal components.
  • The thermostat controls the heating and cooling system settings. Most modern HVAC systems will have a programmable thermostat that can be set to a predetermined schedule, allowing you to cool your home on a predetermined schedule.
  • In addition, your HVAC maintenance checklist should also include some other simple steps you can take to keep your system operating smoothly and prevent excessive visits from an HVAC technician.

Outside unit maintenance

Most HVAC systems are compromised of components located inside your home and an outdoor unit, usually a heat pump. Keeping heat pumps operating properly is key to system efficiency. Follow these steps to keep the outdoor unit operating properly and avoid costly repairs.

Clean away debris and vegetation

If you allow debris like leaves and dirt to accumulate on and around your heat pump, or let vegetation grow onto it, you'll impede the system's efficiency. Remove any debris and vegetation from the unit and trim back overhanging branches and shrubs.

Clean the fins

You'll see a series of fins on the side of your unit that is used to move heat away from the unit and promote airflow. The system's efficiency will be impaired if these fins are dirty or clogged. Turn off power to the unit and use a garden hose with a spray attachment to clean the fins. Be careful not to bend the fins, as that will hurt energy efficiency.

Check the level of your unit

Your outdoor unit is usually installed on a concrete or composite slab. If this shifts and throws the unit off from level, the flow of refrigerant and oil in the lines can be impaired. If possible, shim the unit to level it.

Indoor unit maintenance

Inside your home, your HVAC unit air conditioning relies on an evaporator coil and a blower to cool the home. The evaporator coil removes heat from the air, and the blower forces air into your vents for circulation throughout the house.

Cleaning the evaporator coil

The evaporator coil or heat exchanger is located behind the access panel of your air handler. Remove the screws holding the panel in place and inspect the coil for dirty. A dirty or moldy coil may clog or freeze when under strain during the hot summer months.

Commercial spray cleaners made for coil cleaning do a good job. Look for no-rinse foam cleaners, and be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging.

Clean the evaporator drain

The evaporator coils process produces water as a by-product of the cooling it does. This water must drain away properly. Be sure the drain pipe coming out of your system is free of dirt and mold. A shop vac and a small brush will usually do the job.

Change the filters

If you're looking for the simplest and most effective piece of HVAC preventive maintenance you can do to prep your air conditioning for the summer, changing the filter would be it. Not only will your system work better, you'll enjoy lower energy bills too.

There are many benefits to you from changing air filters. Clean filters will remove allergens in the air, and your home will be less dusty. You should change your filters every three months, or even more often if you have pets in your home.

Your air conditioning and HVAC systems efficiency will improve with clean filters since the system won't have to work as hard to move air.

Thermostat maintenance

It's easy to overlook the role of the thermostat in your home's HVAC system. But checking this device is an important part of your HVAC maintenance checklist. This device is the brains of your system, and problems here can really affect your comfort during the summer.

Follow these preventive maintenance steps for your thermostat.

Check the battery

Many thermostats are battery-powered. While the battery may last for years you don't want it to fail at a bad time. As a matter of routine, change the battery every year before the summer months.

Clear dirt and debris

Remove the front panel of your thermostat and give it a shot of compressed canned air to clean out any accumulated dust, dirt, or cobwebs. Even small amounts of dust and dirt can interfere with the electrical connections necessary to keep the thermostat operating properly.

Test the functions

Maybe you're used to a "set it and forget it" routine. But it's a good idea to periodically test all the thermostat settings - both the heating and cooling systems - on a regular basis. This preventative maintenance may help you detect a problem before it becomes too bad.

If you have a programmable thermostat set up several different schedules to make sure the unit is operating properly.

Inside the house maintenance

Here is another simple step you can take around the house to prep your HVAC system for the summer months.

Check your air ducts

Regular professional duct cleaning is important, but you can also perform necessary maintenance on your ducts with some simple tools.

Remove your vent covers and clean them with soap and water to prevent dust and dirt buildup. And while they're off, use a flashlight to look inside the vents for dirt and dust. You can easily vacuum this out with a shop vac or vacuum cleaner attachment.

The importance of professional maintenance

The regular maintenance that you perform will help keep your system operating at peak efficiency so you'll stay cool in the summer and enjoy lower energy costs.

But that shouldn't stop you from scheduling regular service calls with a professional HVAC technician. During their visits, they'll usually perform the following tasks:

  • A visual HVAC inspection of the entire system, checking for obstructions, dust, dirt, and mold.
  • An in-depth, "under the hood" inspection of your equipment, checking for leaks in refrigerant lines, proper gas pressure, corrosion, loose wires, and more.
  • Diagnostic tests with the equipment operating.

Regular inspections and maintenance of HVAC units will extend the life of the units and improve the system's efficiency.

Consider a Team Enoch Membership

Team Enoch Membership can provide regular HVAC maintenance plans for as little as $20 a month. With a membership, you'll get yearly HVAC maintenance, plus many other services as well. Check out all of the different membership levels on this page.

Memberships are a worthwhile investment for your home. They'll help you lower heating and cooling costs, reduce breakdowns, and prolong the life of your system.

Choose Team Enoch for your HVAC maintenance needs

If you're in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, you understand that summers can be long and hot, so it's important that you take good care of your air conditioning and HVAC system. Your regular maintenance, in conjunction with professional service from Team Enoch is a smart way to ensure that your system is always in tip-top shape.

Team Enoch is committed to providing high-quality products and workmanship to our customers, at a price that's fair. With over 2500 positive reviews, and over 10,000 jobs completed every year, we pride ourselves on ensuring that our well-trained technicians do the job right the first time.

At Team Enoch you'll know that your system will be serviced properly by well-trained technicians. And if you're looking for a new system, contact us to find out how we can help with all your home heating and cooling needs. Remember, estimates are always free!

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