HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Your HVAC system is one of the most important elements in your home, so be sure to keep it in great working order. Here are a few tips for at-home HVAC maintenance, as well as advice on when to call a professional.
Keep the area around your HVAC system clear.
Keeping a clear radius of four or more feet around your system will make it much easier for you, inspectors and HVAC professionals to get access. It also helps ensure that your system stays in top working order without object interference.
Set reminders to change your filters.
One of the easiest aspects of HVAC maintenance is also one of the most important. A dirty filter causes poor performance because your system has to work harder to move air. Changing your filters every one to three months will help keep your system from overworking, saving you on energy costs. Keeping a clean filter in place also helps maintain high-quality indoor air since it stops dust, dander, and skin cells from being circulated inside your home.
Go easy on your system.
Our first instinct is to prioritize comfort and set the thermostat accordingly. But compromising by two to three degrees can help make a big difference when it comes to wear and tear on your system in addition to energy usage. We recommend installing a programmable thermostat so you can set timers and control your home’s temperature from your smartphone.
Schedule a tune-up time twice a year.
Scheduling an HVAC tune-up with a licensed professional in the fall and spring will help you catch any underlying issues well before the extreme cold or heat set in. During a tune-up, your HVAC technician will also make sure that your system is clean and operating safely and that your thermostat is giving accurate readings.
Here are the crucial components of your HVAC system:
Air Supply Duct: A duct that carries conditioning air from air supply units to room diffusers.
Refrigerant Filled Tubing: Circulates refrigerant between outdoor and indoor units.
Evaporator Coil: A device that is primarily responsible for cooling air. The blower passes air, which cools as it passes across the evaporator coil.
Air Handling Unit: A device that works to condition and circulate air. Usually a large metal box, the air handling unit contains the blower, heating or cooling elements, filter racks, sounds attenuators and dampers.
Filter: A replaceable porous shield made of pleated paper that helps trap impurities before they are recirculated into the indoor air of a home.
Return Air Duct: A duct that carries air from a conditioned space to the mixing air duct.
Fan: A device that creates a current of air.
Condenser Coil: As part of the air conditioning system, this part removes heat from refrigerant and is located in the outdoor unit.
Compressor: A device that increases the pressure of air or gas. The compressor is located in the outdoor unit of your system.
Blower: A device that creates a current of air.
Each part of your HVAC system should be clean and free of corrosion or other signs of wear and tear. They should also be up to proper safety standards and in good working order. A visual, non-invasive assessment by your local inspector can tell you a lot of information about the condition and projected lifespan of your unit.
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