Your HVAC is what makes living in your home a joy instead of something to be endured during extreme temperatures. But its mechanical nature means that maintenance becomes a necessity as the units age. It’s a fact of home ownership, but you can extend the life of the system simply by paying attention to the units throughout the seasons and their lifetime. A little focus on the units goes a long way toward making sure they do their job and do it well. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
Check the Ductwork
Ducts are made out of thin metal and traverse through your home in order to bring you the hot or cold air you’re after. Water tends to condense in them and causes the metal to rust. Additionally, vibration from the HVAC units can cause the joints to separate. The damage isn’t always visible to the naked eye.
Go over your ducts by turning on the furnace to blow air during the warmer months and grab a stick or two of incense. Follow along the ducts and put the incense near what you think is a problem area. If there’s a hole, the leaking air will blow the incense smoke around and reveal the source of the problem.
Get Your System Tuned Up
The parts of the HVAC system wear out the same as any other piece of machinery. Bearings wear down, and they fail, the pilot ring in a water heater corrodes over time, pans rust out, and lighters fail to ignite the pilot ring. Sometimes it’s a sudden failure, but there are times when the problem was making itself known and you weren’t paying attention. You can avoid this becoming a problem by getting your system tuned up once or twice a year.
A tuneup consists of an HVAC technician coming out and looking over your system. They inspect each unit and check out the points of failure to get ahead of any problems. Consider getting an HVAC maintenance plan for regular maintenance in the spring and fall. The technician comes out on a regular basis and looks for problems that you might not know exist and keep your systems running for longer.
Change the Filters
You may only have a couple of filters on your HVAC unit, but you can’t ignore them. They do the job of keeping your indoor air clean, so you can breathe easier. And all filters get dirty at some point, as that’s their job is to keep your air clean. Don’t put off changing the filter for too long. Instead, set a day on your calendar to get the job done and out of the way for the next few months.
These are some tips you can use to keep your HVAC system in the best possible condition. A little preventative maintenance goes a long way toward saving you money in the form of not replacing your HVAC unit before its time.
Image via Flickr by VIUDeepBay
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