We always strive to ensure everything around us remains in good shape. Regular tune-ups are done on our cars at the repair shops to ensure they continue to run smoothly on the road. Updates are installed on our computers to keep them up-to-date. A lot of people hit the gym to stay fit.
So, why should we leave our HVAC systems out of our routine maintenance plans? After all, they are one of the most important devices in our homes, providing heating and cooling during the cold and hot seasons, respectively.
Also, HVACs are a significant investment, and as such, letting them get damaged will be a considerable loss. Hence, it is essential to carry out regular checks on them to ensure that they function optimally for a very long time. Now, you must be wondering, ‘how often should I service my HVAC and heater?’
Generally, you should service your HVAC system’s heating and air conditioning portions once a year, at least. These two parts should be checked separately, with the AC serviced in the spring and the heater in the fall. If you’d like to read more about this topic, together with other helpful guides, you can learn more here.
If you want to learn how often to service HVAC, you’re in the right place. This detailed guide will give you an insight into what HVAC maintenance entails and how frequently you should do it.
When Should You Service Your HVAC System?
Having established that your heating and cooling system is entitled to annual maintenance, it is also important to note that the two components should be serviced at different times in the year.
In preparation for the cold months, it is considered good practice to service your gas furnace in the fall. Meanwhile, the air conditioning unit should be checked in the spring as the weather usually warms up at this time.
Even when your HVAC system enjoys a yearly maintenance schedule, do not think you are absolved of all servicing duties. You are still expected to conduct some routine checks on your own. So, with this in mind, here are some DIY maintenance practices you should carry out.
1. Periodic Change of Air Filters
This is one of the most important and simplest practices in maintaining your heating and cooling system. Changing your air filter doesn’t require hiring a professional, as you can do it on your own.
That said, there are factors to consider when choosing the type of filter to buy. Since HVAC systems have different filtering power, your choice should mainly depend on how filtered you want the air to be.
You should go for one with high filtering power if there are pets in the house. Furthermore, your sensitivity to pollens, dust, and other contaminants are also things to consider when you go filter shopping.
The air filter type you choose will play a big part in determining how often to service your HVAC. Indeed, regular maintenance of the HVAC unit will improve the air quality of your home, which needs to always be at its best if you are sensitive to air pollutants.
Now, let us have a quick overview of the steps to follow when changing your air filter;
- Locate your unit’s filter slot.
- Take note of the direction that the air flows.
- Switch out the used filter and replace it with the newly-purchased one.
Although the whole process of switching your filter is pretty straightforward, you could still look through the manufacturer’s instructions for precise procedures and the correct filter size to use.
2. Routine Check of Vent Covers
With the air filter problem out of the way, you should extend your care to the indoor vents. These are openings through which air flows into a room, usually situated on the room’s walls. At times, they may be located on the floor or ceiling.
In a central air conditioning system, there is a duct system tasked with distributing air. The ducts terminate at the indoor vents inside the room. After the furnace or AC produces the air, it flows through these conduits to rooms in the house.
As a result of the intense air humidity in the ducts, there may be a buildup of certain organisms in the vents. However, regular cleaning of these openings should help to curtail the growth of mold within them. If this practice is done correctly, you will see significant improvement in the quality of the air entering your space.
3. Cleaning of the Condenser
The condenser is the outdoor unit of the air conditioner. Given its location, this apparatus is vulnerable to environmental hazards such as dirt accumulation, falling tree branches, flying rocks, and so on.
In some cases, these out-of-control materials cause mechanical damage to your outdoor unit. Sometimes, it doesn’t stop at this, as electrical faults may also be inflicted on the condenser by rodents gnawing on its wiring.
To avoid this sort of damage, you should engage in regular sanitation to keep the condenser and its surrounding area clean and clear of any debris. Also, do not situate your outdoor unit near bushes to minimize the chances of rodent visitation.
4. Unclogging of Condensate Drain
When not in use, especially for a long time, the drain of an air conditioning unit tends to get clogged. This is because water is constantly being removed from the air when it is functioning on a hot day. Then, as the liquid waste exits through the drain, other materials that could block this passage are flushed out too.
So, during a period of inactivity, it is advised that you keep your condensate drain clear of mold growth by pouring a mixture of bleach and water down the pipe.
This article clearly shows that it is not enough to know how often to service air conditioners and heaters. You may need to get your hands dirty periodically in a bid to ensure that your HVAC system stays clean and well-serviced.
If you have been confronted with the ‘how often should you service your AC and furnace?’ question many times, the information above should assist you in deciding your next line of action.
If you think it’s time to call in a pro, you can contact Anderson Air, a leading HVAC company, for premium maintenance services of your system and learn more on how often to service your HVAC.