If you own a home, chances are you have an HVAC unit. And if you have an HVAC unit, you know regular maintenance is essential to keeping it running correctly. But why is HVAC maintenance so essential? And what exactly do you need to do to keep your unit in tip-top shape? Read on to find out.
Why is HVAC Maintenance Important?
There are a few reasons why regular HVAC maintenance is so important. For one thing, it can help extend the life of your unit. With proper care, your unit should last around 15 years, but it may only last ten years or less without regular maintenance.
Another reason why HVAC maintenance is so essential is that it can help prevent costly repairs. Many of the most common HVAC repairs—such as replacing a burned-out motor or fixing a clogged drain line—result from negligence regarding regular maintenance. By simply taking the time to clean your unit and check its components periodically, you can save yourself a lot of money down the road.
Finally, HVAC maintenance is crucial because it can improve the efficiency of your unit. A well-maintained HVAC unit will run more efficiently than one that isn’t, which means lower energy bills for you. It also means that your unit won’t have to work as hard, which can help extend its life even further. So now that we’ve answered the question “Why is HVAC maintenance so important,” let’s look at how to do it right.
How to Perform Regular HVAC Maintenance
Fortunately, regular HVAC maintenance isn’t complicated or time-consuming. In most cases, it requires a little know-how and basic tools. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most important things you need to do.
Cleaning the External Unit
The external unit, or the condenser, of your HVAC system is commonly located outside your home and can be easily accessed for maintenance needs.
- Turning the Power Off: The first and most important step to take when cleaning your HVAC unit is to turn off the power to your unit. You can do this by flipping the designated switch in your breaker box.
- Clean the Exterior Coils on Your Condenser Yearly: First, remove debris around it. Then use a garden hose with a spray nozzle attachment to gently remove any dirt and dust buildup from the coils.
- Clean And Straighten the Air Conditioner Fins: Like with the coils on your condenser, you’ll want to remove any debris accumulated around your air conditioner fins. Then use a soft-bristled brush to gently remove any dirt buildup from the fins. Once you’re finished, straighten out any bent fins using a fin comb.
Cleaning the Internal Unit
The internal unit of your HVAC system, located inside your home, is where the actual air filtering occurs. As such, it’s essential to keep this area clean, so your unit can continue doing its job effectively.
- Clean the evaporator coil: The evaporator coil door is usually located in the large box-like duct that connects to your furnace. To clean the coil, remove any debris around it, open the door, and use a soft brush to remove any dirt and dust buildup from the coils themselves.
- Cleaning the blower components: The blower is what circulates the air through your home. As such, it’s important to keep your blower’s various components clean, so your unit can continue circulating air effectively.
- Clean the evaporator drain: The evaporator drain is located near the evaporator coil. To clean it, remove debris and use a small brush or pipe cleaner to remove any dirt buildup inside the drain.
- Check and clean your filters once per month: Clogged or dirty filters can restrict airflow and cause your unit to work harder than necessary, leading to premature failure. To clean or replace your filters, locate them inside your return air ducts and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Once you’ve completed these steps, turn the power back on to your HVAC unit and ensure everything is running accordingly.
Cleaning your internal and external units is one of the most important things you need to do to keep your HVAC unit running smoothly. But having a professional come out and inspect your unit yearly is also a good idea. This will help ensure that potential problems are caught early and can be fixed before they cause significant damage.
Regular HVAC maintenance is crucial because it helps keep your unit running smoothly and efficiently. Not to mention, it can also help extend the life of your unit. If you’re not comfortable performing regular maintenance on your HVAC unit, that’s okay! Contact a professional to come out and do it for you.