The Importance of HVAC Maintenance

Maintenance is key when it comes to heating and cooling systems. It can help you avoid costly repairs or premature replacement. Most HVAC companies offer a service plan where you pay a low monthly rate to have your system checked, repaired or cleaned if required.

It’s also a good idea to perform some DIY maintenance tasks throughout the year. Cleaning or replacing air filters, and keeping the area around outdoor units free of clutter will help ensure the proper flow of air.

Clean the Condenser

The coils in the condenser in your air conditioner are the core of the cooling process. If they’re dirty, your system is likely to struggle to cool and could even fail. Cleaning them is a crucial aspect of HVAC maintenance. It’s also relatively simple to complete. This easy DIY task will help you save money, avoid costly repairs, and increase the life of your air cooling.

In the beginning, it is essential to cut off the power source to your unit. This can be done by shutting off the breaker at your electrical box, or the outdoor unit disconnect switch. This will safeguard your motors and electrical components from being over-saturated during cleaning.

After the power is off, you can start clearing any large debris that could be hindering the condenser air. This includes sweeping up any leaves, sticks, or other debris that has accumulated around or on the unit. A shop vacuum equipped with crevice attachments is a great option to get into the nooks and crevices and get rid of dust, dirt or other debris that has accumulated.

Next, it is time to clean the coils. Before you do this, though, make sure that you have in your possession some essential tools. Included in this are a coil cleaning concentrate as well as a pump-up garden sprayer, and a garden hose. Spray the coil cleaner according to the instructions on the label of the product and rinse with the hose. When washing the coils, it is important not to apply excessive force since the fins can bend easily.

It is recommended to inspect the coils for signs of damage following cleaning. Over time hail, rocks thrown by lawnmowers and other items can damage the coil’s fins. If the fins are bent, a cost-effective tool called a fin comb can straighten them to improve air flow and also to help the coils function more efficiently.

Once the coils and fins are in good condition, you can go back to your home and turn on your air conditioner. Check the thermostat every 24 hours to make sure the temperatures are in good shape.

Cleaning the Ductwork

Your HVAC system is able to bring air from outside, cooling it and then distributing it throughout your home. The air travels from the evaporator coil inside the condenser unit to the vents and registers of your home through a network of ducts. If these ducts aren’t properly cleaned and sealed, they could be laden with dust and other contaminants. This can clog the air filters which can reduce the effectiveness of your system and burdens your AC unit.

Cleaning ductwork can be an extremely difficult job that requires expert equipment and methods. But, there are things you can do on a regular basis to ensure your ducts stay clean and functioning well. First, change your filter regularly to prevent dust and allergens out of building in the ducts. This will also help keep clogs from occurring, which could lead to a reduced system efficiency and higher energy costs.

Another way to help keep your ducts clean is by regularly vacuuming the area around the vent openings. The hose attachment of your vacuum cleaner will get rid of all traces of dust, crumbs and other messes that have built up over time. This will increase the flow of air through the vent. It is also important to make sure your ducts are sealed and insulated to keep out moisture, which can cause mold and other biological contaminants.

Ducts that aren’t cleaned on a regular basis can become loaded with a wide variety of contaminants, including dust, pet dander, and pollen. These particles can worsen allergies and respiratory problems especially in the elderly and children. Moisture can cause mold to grow in ductwork, which releases microbes that can harm those with respiratory problems.

It is generally recommended that you have your ducts cleaned every three to five years to remove these contaminants and ensure your HVAC system functions efficiently. However it is possible that if your ducts are sealed and you clean your filters frequently the cleaning of your ducts may not be required at all. You can only be sure by having your ducts examined. A contractor who is accredited by the EPA can employ specific testing methods to measure the amount particulates that are present in your ductwork. They can then recommend cleaning schedules that are suitable for your specific situation.

Check the Compressor

The compressor is a crucial element of the system. It must function correctly to supply cool air to the ducts. If the compressor isn’t working as it should, it can affect your productivity and cause the equipment to shut down. Fortunately, preventive maintenance can aid in identifying minor issues early and prevent unnecessary downtime. Conducting these regular checks can also help you save money by keeping your unit in good shape for as long as it is possible.

A decrease in cooling capacity is a common sign of a problem in a compressor. This can be caused by several different reasons. One possibility is that the compressor may be under-performing due to inadequate airflow. This can wear out the bearings and reduce the life of the compressor. Another issue that is common is a blocked filter. Filters that are blocked can restrict airflow and cause the compressor to overheat. To avoid this, it is essential to clean or replace the filters frequently, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

A clogged filter may also cause rattling sounds in the compressor. This could indicate that the bearings need to be changed. Regularly replacing belts and pulleys is an excellent idea. A pulley or belt that is loose can slip, causing the compressor to overheat and cause other problems. It is also a good idea to drain your compressor on a regular basis. This can remove accumulated moisture that could cause corrosion to the motor and other components. A professional service team will also check for leaks in the hoses, and an adequate seal around the compressor and pressure sensor.

Finally, a puddle of water near the compressor can be an indication of a leak in the refrigerant. This could be a dangerous problem that should be addressed immediately. If you suspect that there is a leak, shut off the air compressor. Consult a professional.

Check the Thermostat

It’s not surprising that a technician will always look at the thermostat first when there is a problem. A properly maintained thermostat is essential for the proper operation of your HVAC system. It’s among the most neglected maintenance items. Common indicators that your thermostat needs an inspection include inaccurate temperature readings, unresponsive controls, or continuous cycling.

Inaccurate Temperature Readings

Thermostat sensors may become dirty over time, which can cause the device to display inaccurately. You can avoid these problems by regularly checking the accuracy of your thermostat by using a an additional thermometer.

A faulty sensor, or a wrong 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. Fortunately this can be fixed with the simple act of replacing the batteries in your thermostat or resetting its breakers.

Check the breakers for both your HVAC and thermostat in the event that your HVAC equipment doesn’t respond to your thermostat. If the breaker has tripped then you’ll have to reset it in order for your thermostat to communicate again with the system.

It is also essential to examine your thermostat for any signs of wear or damage. Examine for dust or dirt and make sure that the thermostat isn’t overly exposed to the sun. Examine the fan blades to find signs of rust and damage. This simple check will help avoid costly repairs in the future and will ensure that your equipment operates as smoothly as possible.

Conducting basic HVAC maintenance on your commercial building is a great way to reduce energy costs, maintain comfort and prolong the life of your heating and cooling equipment. By identifying problems with your thermostat, resetting the breaker and replacing the batteries, you’ll be able to keep your building cool all year. Be sure to call a professional in case you experience any other issues, or are unsure about what’s wrong with your system you should always consult an expert.

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