Your home’s heating and cooling systems are two of its most important components. If either of these systems are not functioning properly, it may not be safe to spend time inside of your own property. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that you can take to keep your HVAC system in good shape throughout the year.
Furnace Maintenance Can Be Easy
One of the easiest ways to ensure that your furnace functions for the entirety of its useful life is to keep it clean. At least once a month, you should wipe down as many surfaces as possible to get rid of excess dust, dirt or pollen. Eliminating these and other contaminants will prevent them from accumulating on fans, motors and other parts that don’t work well when weighed down by a layer of grime.
Dirty parts must work harder than normal when they are heavier than they are supposed to be. This may result in a greater amount of friction being generated, which will make a moving part extremely hot. If too much heat is created, it could interact with potentially flammable contaminants in the air and create a fire that might spread throughout your property.
It’s also a good idea to change the furnace’s air filter on a regular basis. Depending on the type of filter that you use, it may need to be changed as often as every 30 days. You can consult with the box that the filters come in to determine how long they can stay in your furnace without issue. If you fail to take this basic maintenance step, you could also run the risk of serious damage to this component. Furnace filters generally cost a few dollars and can be found at most home goods stores or other retailers.
If you hear strange noises or notice odd smells coming from your main heater, be sure to call for help immediately. The professionals at Mister Greenway can inspect, repair or replace your furnace in a timely and affordable manner. As a general rule, the sooner that you call for assistance, the easier it will be to save your furnace or avoid secondary problems that could be expensive to fix.
Basic AC Maintenance Tips to Keep in Mind
Regularly cleaning the compressor unit may be one of the most effective ways to keep it in good condition for the duration of its useful life. Furthermore, like with a furnace, changing the air filters as instructed by the manufacturer can also prevent unnecessary damage to your home’s cooling unit.
However, since your cooling system will likely be located indoors as opposed to in a basement or garage, you’ll need to take extra steps to keep it safe. During the winter months, it’s generally a good idea to cover the unit with a piece of cardboard to keep snow or ice from getting inside of it.
Covering the unit during the winter season may also prevent rodents or other small animals from using it as shelter. Even if they don’t use the compressor unit as shelter, they may migrate from it to your home in search of warmth and safety from predators.
You will also want to make sure that nothing is allowed to grow near any cooling system components that are located outdoors. You should also make sure to cut the grass and pull any weeds that might spring up during the spring and summer months. Doing so may prevent them from growing into these components and clogging them up.
Keeping grass and weeds away may also keep pollen, insects that feed on grasses or weeds and other possible pests away. Trees or shrubs that were in close proximity to cooling system components prior to buying the home should be trimmed to make sure that branches or leaves aren’t able to damage or clog them.
Finally, you’ll want to check coils and condenser lines for coolant leaks or other problems that may make it difficult or impossible to keep your house cool. It may be a good idea to have a professional check your air conditioner during the late winter or early spring period. Doing so may make it easier to catch problems before they are expensive to fix or result in increased cooling bills.
Don’t Forget About the Ducts and Vents
Ducts that are loose, dirty or clogged with debris may not allow air to circulate efficiently throughout your house. In many cases, loose ducts will have gaps between them that allow air to simply wander around the home as opposed to being sent directly to a master bedroom, living room or other frequented parts of the house.
Ultimately, this will result in a furnace or air conditioner running longer than it needs to, which will result in higher energy bills. You may also notice that certain parts of the house are warmer or colder than you want them to be, which can create a quality of life issue.
Allowing ducts or vents to remain covered in dirt, dust or other pollutants may also cause a quality of life issue. This is because those contaminants will be cycled throughout the house as they travel through the ducts and come out of the vents. If you have breathing issues, it is especially important to clean these items regularly to minimize the risk of an asthma attack or other respiratory issues.
A duct that is clogged by dust, a bird nest or other items will also make it difficult or impossible for your heating or cooling systems to work at peak efficiency. This is because less air will be able to get through a given duct to heat or cool a given space. It’s also worth noting that rodents, birds or other creatures who get into your house could breed, produce caustic droppings or otherwise wreak havoc on your house.
Scheduling annual duct cleanings may be the best way to keep them free of anything that could reduce your HVAC’s ability to do its job properly. You can generally clean vents and vent covers on your own with little more than a clean cloth or other basic supplies. It may also be a good idea to regularly sweep, mop and dust floors and other surfaces to further improve your indoor air quality.
Proper HVAC maintenance can prolong the life of a heating or air-conditioning system as well as ensure that your home is comfortable for everyone. It can also help to ensure that you don’t void existing warranties or other guarantees remaining on items that have recently been installed or repaired. If you need help maintaining, installing or repairing a furnace, compressor unit or ductwork, give the folks at Mister Greenway a call today.