Taking care of your heating and air conditioning system can be a huge burden if you try to tackle everything at once. And because many homeowners see this maintenance as a burden, they tend to put it off, which has terrible consequences for the condition of their equipment and for energy efficiency. Thankfully, there is a better way to approach HVAC maintenance. Do just a few maintenance tasks every season, and you'll never have to dedicate more than a few hours at a time to your system. Here are the best tasks to tackle each season.
In the spring, start by uncovering your air conditioner and removing any sticks or debris that have blown into it over the winter. Also, inspect the condensate drain lines and make sure they are clear. If there is some mold growth in them, dump a cup of bleach into the drain to clear this material and ensure your system does not become clogged when the AC is turned on.
Change your air filter so that when you turn the AC on, the air blows through a fresh, clean filter. Also, take a few minutes to make sure each vent in your home is open and not blocked by furniture. This way, when the first hot day arrives, you can turn your AC on without worry.
Once summer arrives and the landscaping has had some time to grow, take a few minutes to trim any shrubs or bushes planted near the air conditioner. Plants and other items that are too close may block airflow and cause your AC unit to super-cool, developing a layer of ice on its exterior.
Change your filter again once the AC has been running for a few weeks. You should really be changing the filter monthly for best results. Summer is also a good time to have your air ducts cleaned since the pollen has stopped flying for the season. You don't have to do this every year; many experts recommend doing it every 3-5 years.
When fall arrives, wait until you are done using your AC, and hose it off. Do this on a sunny day so that it dries quickly. Once it is completely dry, cover it with a specialized AC cover to keep rodents and twigs from accumulating inside of it during winter.
Fall is also a good time to schedule a service appointment with your HVAC company. They can come check out your furnace and make sure it is running safely before heating season begins. They can also clean your furnace's heat exchanger to improve its efficiency. If you do not want to clean and cover your own AC unit, they may even do this for you. Your HVAC company will probably change your air filter for you, but if they do not, make sure a fresh one is in place before you turn on the heat.
Winter is a good time to check the batteries in your thermostat, CO detector, and smoke detector. Although the latter are not exactly part of your HVAC system, they will keep you safe if the system is not working properly.
In the winter, you can also take a few minutes to review your energy efficiency strategies. Is your programmable thermostat set in a way that keeps your home comfortable while also saving energy when you're not home? Are your registers clear so that air can flow freely?
If you do a little HVAC maintenance each season, you'll never have too much to do. To learn more about essential HVAC maintenance, visit a site like http://www.smedleyservice.com and contact a contractor in your area.