Ensuring comfort at home during all seasons is a priority for all homeowners, and a properly functioning heating and air conditioning system is integral to achieving this. Fortunately, it isn’t necessary to be a professional AC Contractor to understand the workings of your home’s HVAC system. Here are some DIY maintenance tips that can help keep your heating and air conditioning units in the best shape.
1. **Regular Filter Changes:** A significant majority of air conditioning issues arise due to the collection of dust and debris. Change your HVAC system’s air filters every one to three months, depending on the manufacturing guidelines. Regular filter changes can drastically improve air quality and prolong the life of the system.
2. **Routine Cleaning:** In addition to filter changes, contribute to the efficiency of your HVAC system by regularly cleaning the outdoor units. Clearing off dirt, leaves, and other debris from the exterior condenser unit can prevent mechanical components from working harder than necessary, thus enhancing the system’s productivity and lifespan.
3. **Proper Unit Placement:** Make sure that your HVAC system is placed in a cool and shaded area, away from direct sunlight and heat. This contributes to increasing the efficiency of your air conditioning unit, while also reducing its burden.
4. **Appropriate Thermostat Settings:** Keeping your thermostat at the recommended levels not only saves on energy costs but also reduces the strain on your HVAC system. Earth’s natural temperatures can play a huge role in maintaining your home’s climate. In summer, it is advisable to maintain a temperature of around 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re home and raising it when you’re not.
5. **Annual Inspection:** Regardless of the brand of your air conditioner, having a professional conduct an annual inspection can pinpoint problems before they become major issues. They may spot something you missed, and handle it promptly to prevent costly repairs down the line.
6. **Covering Outdoor Units in Winter:** When not in use, particularly during winter, it is crucial to cover your outdoor units to prevent damage from harsh weather conditions. This helps in maintaining the longevity of your system.
7. **Sealing & Insulating Ducts:** Ducts that carry cooled or heated air to different parts of the house often run through unheated areas like attics or crawlspaces. Insulating them can prevent heat loss and increase energy efficiency.
Remember, even though these DIY tips can help stave off minor issues and improve your heating and air conditioning system’s performance, they can’t replace the need for a professional inspection when more complex problems arise. After all, an expert’s knowledge and skills can ensure your HVAC system is running at its most optimal.