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A Few Things You Need To Know About Maintaining Your HVAC Unit

by Feride Halma

Whether you have two separate units to heat and cool your home, or a single unit that does both, you need to perform routine maintenance. To ensure the efficiency of the unit, you should also have a professional do an inspection and maintenance yearly. The more experience and knowledge you have about your system the more work you can do yourself. However, it is important you know your limits and call a service technician for things that are beyond your capabilities. Here are a few things you can do yourself regardless of your experience and things you should always have a professional to do.

Your Maintenance Tasks

One of the most basic tasks regarding an HVAC system is to keep the filters clean. There will be at least one return air vent in your home with a filter inside. This filter may be a disposable one, or one that you clean regularly. Without adequate airflow your system will not be able to work properly. Be sure to check the filter monthly and clean or replace it if it is dirty. It is a good idea clean or replace it every 60 to 90 days regardless of how it looks. Mold and/or bacteria may be hiding in the filter causing you or other family members to become ill.

Another simple task is to check the thermostat. Set the thermostat so that the unit kicks on. Have a second thermometer near the control unit to make sure the temperature reading is correct. When the HVAC unit shuts off, check the temperature again. If the thermostat is not correct, you can buy a new one and install it yourself following the included instructions.

Things to Always Leave for a Professional

Anything that requires the opening of the unit itself should be left to a professional. While some people will tell you it is fine to open it up to clean inside, it is possible to damage something and create a problem that was not there. You want a professional to come look things over anyway, so have him or her do a thorough cleaning during the service call. This way, the technician will get a good idea of how well the unit is running and if there are any issues that can be prevented.

The better your HVAC system is maintained, the lower your energy bill will be. In addition, the unit will have a longer life so you won't have to buy a new one sooner than you had expected. Talk with the service company about an HVAC maintenance plan that will save you money over just calling to set something up when you remember to. The money spent on proper maintenance will save you a lot in the long run.