You probably won't realize how much your comfort depends on your furnace or air conditioner until one of them breaks down. But don't wait for an emergency to call a HVAC technician. Having your home's most valuable systems maintained regularly will not only prolong their life and notify you of developing problems but also keep your home safer and more comfortable and reduce your power bills. Here's how.
Check Controls and Thermostat
Image via Flickr by Scott SM
If your thermostat and controls aren't working properly, your system can't work efficiently to maintain the proper temperature in your home. The tech will calibrate the thermostat, checking the starting cycle to ensure that the system starts and stops properly.
Maintain Electrical Connections
Damaged electrical connections are a safety hazard and can reduce the lifespan of your system. During a maintenance check, the tech will check all your connections and measure the voltage and current of the motors to be certain that your system is operating perfectly.
Lubricate the System
Most people are aware that moving parts need to be oiled in order to keep a motor running smoothly. Lack of lubrication can permanently damage your system and cost you thousands of dollars in repairs. But did you realize that a well-lubricated motor also helps your HVAC system use less electricity and run more smoothly? Regular HVAC maintenance is the key to manageable power bills.
Clean the Condensate Drain
One thing many homeowners overlook but that a well-trained HVAC technician will take care of is the condensate drain, where excess moisture from your central air conditioner, furnace, or heat pump is diverted. This drain can become blocked by mold or algae growth, which will cause water damage to your home. The technician will check the drain and clear it if necessary.
Air Conditioner Maintenance
Keeping your cooling system working efficiently requires that a specific set of tasks be performed. The tech will clean the evaporator and condenser coils, which will help your system run longer and use less electricity. He or she will also clean and adjust your blower components and check your refrigerant levels. These adjustments can improve your airflow and system efficiency by as much as 15 percent.
Your tech will check all your furnace connections, gas pressure, burner combustion, and heat exchanger. These are vital maintenance tasks, because they not only keep your system running efficiently and help your furnace last longer but also keep your family safe from gas leaks and fire hazards.
Additional Self-Care Tasks
There are some tasks you can do yourself. Change the air filters once a month in your furnace, heat pump, or central air conditioner, or buy reusable filters and rinse them monthly using a garden hose. When you clean your outdoor central air unit, spray water outward through the grating so that you don't drive debris further into the system. You might also want to pour a cup of bleach water into the condensate drain to help keep it free of mold and algae.
Annual professional maintenance of your HVAC systems will help keep your home comfortable, safe, and fuel-efficient.