You can increase the value of your home by doing such maintenance tasks as painting the house and cutting the grass. There are also tasks you can do to take care of your HVAC equipment, so the systems run properly in all situations. By having your heating and air conditioning systems maintained properly, you will enable them to last longer, and you will reduce the likelihood of them breaking down when you need them most. Preventative maintenance done early in spring and autumn will be very beneficial in the long run. Here are five tips for you to implement in the maintenance routine of your home.
Change Air Filters
When did you last replace the air filters on your system? A disposable filter will remove large dust particles from the air inside your home and will help keep your system clean. If you have pets, or if there are seasonal allergens in the air, you should replace the air filters more frequently. It is best to use a filter that is rated MERV 7 – 11. A filter that goes beyond this specification will reduce the air flowing through your system and will affect its efficiency in a negative manner. If you also have an air purification system, you should service these filters in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Ductless AC systems will usually require that the filters be cleaned. (Check for DIY information.)
Clean The Condenser
Air conditioners usually have a condenser unit located outside the home. The metal fins of the unit will often become clogged with dirt and grime. Each season, you can clean the outside of the condenser unit with your hose.
Warning – It is very important that you do NOT use a pressure washer to clean the condenser as this will cause permanent damage to the unit.
Inspect And Clear The Area Around the Outdoor Unit
If there has been a build-up of vegetation around the outdoor condenser unit, you should remove it so that air can flow freely into the unit. Trim away any branches and leaves on nearby trees and bushes, so there are at least two feet of clearance around it. Some trees and bushes such as cottonwood poplars give off a lot of pollen, so be particularly careful if you have these growing near your unit. It is well known that pollen can clog up air conditioning condenser units.
Check the Drainpipe and Pan
If you do not know where the drainpipe of your air conditioner is located, ask your HVAC technician to show you its location. Check the drainage and clear out any buildup of mold or algae that have built up. You can use a wet/dry vacuum to clean out clogs in the drainpipe, and bleach can also be helpful in cleaning it out. In Houston, Texas, having a clogged drain is a common cause of air conditioner breakdowns in warm weather. Often, a customer will first discover the clogged drainpipe when water starts to pour through the ceiling unless there is a protective switch installed that can turn the air conditioner off to prevent damage to the ceiling.
Have Your HVAC System Maintained Regularly
We advise scheduling professional HVAC maintenance to be performed twice each year to perform such tasks as checking the drainage, cleaning out the blower compartments, checking coolant levels, checking voltage, and checking for loose wires. It is best to have the air conditioning system serviced in spring, and the heating system serviced in the fall. By having preventative maintenance performed regularly, potential problems will be caught before they turn into a serious inconvenience.