Whether we know it or not, the HVAC systems in our homes are the heroes we neglect day after day. They keep us warm in the winter and cool in the summer, all at the touch of a button. And they do it without complaining. We don’t think about how much we need them to work until they break in the heat of a North Texas summer. In order to prevent a summer break down, we have to take care of them.
The best way to do this is to make sure you schedule your yearly HVAC maintenance appointment during early summer.
You might be thinking an HVAC maintenance appointment is a luxury you can’t afford. Let me say this: an HVAC maintenance appointment might run you anywhere from $50 to $100 for the tune up, but a brand new unit will cost you 20 times this or more.
If you’re wondering if you can perform a DIY HVAC tune up, the answer is a
conditional “yes.” There are a few items on the tune up checklist that you can do
Changing the furnace filter – According to the Department of Energy, this one step can reduce your energy usage by between 5% and 15%, saving you lots of money on energy bills
Drying out your dehumidifier – the dehumidifier can play a huge role in the efficiency of your HVAC system depending on the time of year. To dry it out, take the outer casing off and let it air out. Once dry, vacuum the entire unit to remove excess dirt and debris.
Removing obstructions and landscaping around your exterior system-vegetation shouldn’t be allowed to grow within two feet of your exterior air conditioning unit. This is because the unit needs space around it to pull in the air it needs to control the temperature in your home. Make sure to cut back or trim any plants growing around the unit.
Cleaning the bathroom fans – to make sure these fans run as efficiently as possible, turn the power to the fans off and remove the covers. Wash these in warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly. Using an old toothbrush, clean the fan blades before reattaching the covers.
Upgrading to a smart thermostat – A smart thermostat allows you to program the temperature in your home to be warmer while you’re away and more comfortable while you are home. It might feel like technology is taking over your home, but you might not mind it so much when you get the energy bill.
In order to get your HVAC system in the best, most energy efficient shape of its life, you should have licensed, professional HVAC technician come out and perform a tune-up service.
During this service, the technician will:
Test refrigerant levels
Water wash condenser coil for efficiency
Inspect contractor for proper electrical connectivity
Inspect capacitor for leakage and wear
Inspect/lubricate condenser fan motor
Record amperage draw of compressor
Inspect and tighten electrical connections
Inspect service valve for leakage
Inspect indoor evaporator coil
Inspect blower assembly
Flush condensate drain
Evaluate air filters
All of these actions will maintain your AC unit to improve its performance and save you money. And remember, you want to schedule your appointment soon because summer is an HVAC technician’s busiest time of year!