HVAC Maintenance 101
When you first learned about the term, “HVAC,” you likely did so when researching a new AC system. HVAC, or Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, is an essential part of your home and the way in which it functions on a daily basis. Without these three functions, your home would quickly become a nest of bacteria, stale air and discomfort.
In fact, too few homeowners understand exactly how much these three crucial functions actually do to keep a home’s air temperature, humidity and air quality at optimum levels. If you are still unsure whether these are an essential part of your home, try going without them for a week. On the second day, you will agree a home cannot exist without them.
The Inner Workings of a Central Air Conditioner
A central air conditioning system is typically split into two key units. Outside, you have an outdoor air conditioning unit, and inside the house you have an indoor coil. These work together to keep your home cool and comfortable throughout the year. Without these two elements, your home would quickly become a hot box of heat and humidity as summer temperatures rise. If you have children, especially infants or elderly, in your home, these are conditions that cannot be allowed.
There are several important benefits associated with these units. The first and most obvious benefit is that you will have control over the temperature of the air within your home. Something some fail to realize is that a central air conditioner also keeps the air clean of contaminants. Air drawn out of the various rooms of your home is passed through an air filter and then released into the house. This filtered air is now devoid of most airborne contaminants, such as dust and dander.
Your HVAC Maintenance
To keep your home comfortable throughout the year, you need to remember the important preventative maintenance. The HVAC is the backbone of any home, and maintenance should be done every spring and fall to ensure it is always running at optimum levels. A maintenance plan is easy to create and follow. Checking off the list twice per year will both help protect you from costly repairs in the future and extend the life of your HVAC.
One way to ensure your HVAC’s efficiency is to have your old filter replaced by a newer, more modern option. New designs are pleated and high-efficiency with an electrostatic charge used in much the same way you use a magnet. This attracts even the smallest particles, such as those that carry potentially harmful bacteria.
Replace your filter every 90 days to ensure optimum efficiency. An old, clogged filter will fail to properly clean the air passing through it and leave you open to potential harm. Mold spores are often invisible to the naked eye, meaning you never know when you are breathing them in. Check your filter monthly if you have pets or a large number of people in the home. If you notice the filter is dark and clogged, go ahead and change it even if 90 days have not passed.
For your safety and the efficiency of your HVAC, be sure to keep at least two feet of clearance around your outdoor air conditioning units and heat pumps. When covered in debris or blocked by other objects, they cannot properly bring in or release air, and this will diminish their ability to function properly. Be sure to also remove debris, such as leaves and insect nests, frequently during the spring, summer and fall. When you need to mow, avoid getting lawn clippings on your outdoor unit.
HVAC maintenance is a simple thing that will save you hundreds each year on energy bills and other issues. The most involved maintenance requires little more than ten minutes to change your filter. Every day you put off changing your filter and performing other maintenance is another day you risk the comfort and health of those in your home.