While it’s no substitute for professional annual maintenance by a qualified HVAC technician, certain aspects of preventative HVAC maintenance have a place on the to-do list of the average homeowner. Keeping up with a few DIY details helps improve energy efficiency and system performance, as well as reduces wear and extends the service life of furnaces and air conditioners. Here are some monthly preventative HVAC-maintenance tasks.
- Change the air filter. A dirty air filter reduces system airflow, one of the most common causes of poor performance and high operating costs. Replacing the filter at least every other month keeps airflow up to specs and also safeguards indoor air quality. If you don’t know how, any qualified HVAC contractor can show you.
- Check the vents. Inspect all HVAC supply and return vents in the house. Make sure they are fully open and unobstructed by objects like furniture or drapes. Closed or obstructed vents unbalance system airflow and result in inconsistent temperatures throughout the house. In most central HVAC systems, all rooms have a supply vent, usually located on the upper portion of the wall. Some houses have return vents in rooms also, near the floor. However, others have one central return vent, which is typically located in a hallway.
- Maintain the outdoor unit. Don’t allow weeds or shrubbery to grow too close to the outdoor component of the central A/C system. Cut back any encroaching growth to allow 2 feet of clear space on all sides for proper air circulation. Also, keep the top of the unit free of fallen leaves, twigs and any other objects.
- Seal air leaks. Inspect weatherstripping around doors and windows and look for structural cracks or crevices that allow outdoor air into the house. Replace worn weatherstripping and seal cracks with caulking. Infiltration of outdoor air makes your furnace or air conditioner run longer cycles and work harder to maintain temperature settings. This increases component wear and tear, as well as monthly operating costs.
For more tips about preventative HVAC maintenance, talk to the pros at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, Inc.