For the most part, residential air conditioners and furnaces don’t require constant upkeep to maintain good working order. However, there are certain things you can do to keep your system running optimally throughout the year.
- Change air filters – it’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s recommended timetable for changing filters. If you can’t find their recommendation, a general rule is to change your filter every three months or at the beginning of every heating and cooling season. In addition, ensure the filter is sized correctly. It should fit snuggly, but you shouldn’t have to force it into place.
- Keep the outdoor unit clean – Most residential systems have an outdoor condensing unit, which looks like a cube with metal coils around the outside. The coils need to be free of debris, which can easily accumulate through grass clippings, falling leaves or dust. To clean, simply hose off with light pressure.
- Let the air flow – To maintain a reliable static pressure and reduce moisture buildup which can lead to mold, keep all vents open regardless of whether or not you spend time in a particular room. Similarly, do no close doors to rooms you don’t frequent as the home needs to have open air flow.
- Clean duct grills – Once a year it is important to clean the vents and grills at the opening of each duct in every room. Simply lift the grill out of the floor and wipe with a rag or use a vacuum to remove dust and debris.
- Keep discharge pipes open – the discharge pipe, usually a PVC pipe, running outdoors from your HVAC system needs to be kept clean and free of debris. During the winter months it can easily become frozen over with ice or buried in snow drifts. A stopped up discharge pipe can lead to expensive repairs. Your AC unit also has a drip tube that runs to a drain in the floor. This needs to remain open and clear to prevent backup within the system.
A little preventative maintenance will go a long way in saving you money down the road. If you feel that you’re not capable or qualified to perform the tips listed above, it’s always best to call a certified contractor.
How often do you perform preventative maintenance?
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