The Importance of HVAC Maintenance

When it comes to your heating and cooling system, regular maintenance is the best way to avoid costly repairs or premature replacement. The majority of HVAC companies have a maintenance plan that charges each month to have your system checked and cleaned or repaired when needed.

It is also recommended to perform DIY maintenance throughout the year. Cleaning or replacing air filters, and keeping the area surrounding outdoor units clear of clutter will help ensure the proper flow of air.

Clean the Condenser

The coils in your air conditioner condenser are the primary component of the cooling process. If they are dirty, your system will struggle to cool and could even fail. This is why cleaning them is a crucial aspect of HVAC maintenance. It’s fairly easy to do. This simple DIY task can prevent the need for costly repairs, and save you money on your energy bills, and extend the longevity of your AC unit.

It is essential to disconnect power from your unit first. This can be done by shutting off the breaker in the electrical box, or by turning off the outdoor unit disconnect switch. This will stop your motors and other electrical components from becoming oversaturated while cleaning.

Once the power has been turned off, you can start clearing any large objects that could be hindering the condenser’s air. This means taking away any sticks, leaves or other debris that have been accumulating on or around the unit. A shop vacuum equipped with a crevice attachment is a great option to get into the nooks and crevices and remove dust, dirt or other debris that may have accumulated.

The coils need to be cleaned. Make sure you have a few essential tools in your arsenal before you start. Included in this are a coil cleaning concentrate and a pump-up garden sprayer as well as an outdoor hose. Spray the coil cleaner in accordance with the directions on the label of the product and then rinse using the hose. When washing the coils it is essential not to use too much force since the fins can be bent easily.

After the coils have been cleaned, inspect them for any signs of damage. Over time hail and stones thrown by lawnmowers, and other things can harm the coil fins. Fin combs are a great way to straighten bent fins to ensure better airflow and performance of the coil.

After you have a proper coil and fin set up then you can turn on your air conditioner. Check the thermostat every 24 hours to ensure temperatures are normal.

Clean the Ductwork

Your HVAC system works by bringing air from outside, cooling it, and distributing it throughout your home. Air is moved from the evaporator of your condenser to your home’s registers and vents through the system ducts. These ducts can become clogged with dust and other contaminants when they aren’t cleaned and sealed correctly. This can clog the air filters which reduces the effectiveness of your system as well as can strain your AC unit.

Cleaning the ductwork can be a challenging task that requires professional equipment and methods. There are some actions you can take regularly to keep your ducts clean and working well. First, you should change your filter regularly to keep dust and allergens from accumulating in the ducts. This will also help prevent clogging, which can result in a decrease in system efficiency and higher energy costs.

Vacuuming the area surrounding the vent openings is a different method to keep your ducts in good shape. By using the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner, you can get rid of all cobwebs and crumbs that accumulate over time, and will assist in improving airflow through the vent. It is also important to ensure that your ducts are tightly sealed and insulated to keep out moisture which can cause mold and other biological contaminants.

If ducts are not cleaned regularly, they could accumulate a variety of contaminants such as dust, pet dander and pollen. These particles can cause a flare-up of respiratory and allergies particularly for older people and children. Moisture can also cause mold to grow in the ductwork, which releases the spores that can be harmful to people suffering from respiratory issues.

It is recommended to clean your ducts every three to five years to remove these contaminants and ensure that your HVAC system is functioning efficiently. If your ducts have been sealed properly, and you regularly change your filter it might not be necessary to clean them. You can only be sure by having your ducts checked. A contractor accredited by the EPA can employ specific testing methods to determine the amount of particulates found in your ductwork. They will then suggest cleaning schedules that are appropriate for your particular situation.

Check the Compressor

The compressor is a critical element of the system. It has to function correctly to supply cool air to the ducts. If the compressor isn’t functioning as it should it could affect your productivity and lead to equipment downtime. Preventive maintenance can help identify minor issues early, preventing unnecessary downtime. Regular checks can also save you money by keeping your equipment in the best condition possible.

A decrease in cooling capacity is a typical indication of a problem with a compressor. This can be caused by several different reasons. One possibility is that a compressor could be under-performing due to inadequate airflow. This could cause bearings to wear out and reduce the lifespan of the compressor. Another common issue is a clogged filter. Filters that are blocked can reduce airflow and cause the compressor to overheat. It is essential to change or clean the filters according to manufacturer’s guidelines.

A blocked filter can also cause rattling noises in the compressor. This could indicate that the bearings are wearing out and need to be replaced. It is recommended to replace belts and pulleys regularly. A belt or pulley that is loose could cause slipping and result in compressor overheating and other issues. It is also a good idea to drain your compressor frequently. This will eliminate moisture that can cause corrosion to the motor and other parts. A professional service team will check for leaks in the hoses, and an adequate seal around the pressure sensor and compressor.

Lastly, a small puddle of water around the compressor could be an indication of a leak in the refrigerant. This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed right away. If you suspect a leak, shut off the air compressor. Consult a professional.

Check the Thermostat

It’s not surprising that a technician will always check the thermostat first when there is an issue. It’s also one of the most often neglected maintenance items, yet a properly maintained thermostat is vital to ensure your HVAC system’s proper operation. Common indicators that your thermostat needs a check-up include incorrect temperature readings, ineffective controls, or continuous cycling.

Inaccurate Temperature Readings

Over time the sensors on your thermostat can get dirty. This can cause it to display inaccurately. Regularly checking the accuracy of your thermostat by using a separate thermometer can assist you in avoiding these issues and conserve energy.

A defective sensor or a flawed calibration could cause your system to turn off and on in a continuous manner. This is known as short cycling. This can affect your comfort and cause unnecessary wear and tear on the compressor. These issues can be resolved by simply replacing the batteries in the thermostat or resetting the breakers.

Make sure you check the breakers on both your thermostat and HVAC equipment if your system doesn’t respond to your thermostat. If the breaker has tripped, it’ll have to be reset to allow the thermostat to be able to communicate with the system.

Check your thermostat for indications of wear and damage. Look for dust or dirt and ensure that the thermostat isn’t excessively exposed to the sun. Examine the fan blades to find signs of rust and damage. These simple checks will prevent costly repairs in the future and will ensure that your equipment operates as smoothly as it can.

Basic maintenance of hvac is a great way to save energy and keep your comfort in a commercial space. It can also prolong the lifespan of cooling and heating equipment. It is possible to keep your building cool throughout the year by identifying issues with your thermostat, setting your breaker and replacing your batteries. Be sure to call a professional if you are experiencing any other issues or aren’t sure what’s wrong with your system.

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