Cleaning your HVAC system professionally may not be within the budget, with average charges ranging from $150 to $425. While preventative maintenance won’t address every problem, here are few do-it-yourself strategies to keep your system in good shape:
Check and replace your air filters often
Inspecting your air filter is the most crucial thing you can do at home. Dirty air filters reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system and put undue strain on its components.
Set a monthly reminder to inspect and replace your air filter if it is unclean or clogged. While it is recommended that you replace your filter every 30 to 90 days, if you have pets or frequently open your windows, you may need to do it more frequently.
A new high-efficiency pleated air filter is another option to explore. These filters have more folds than typical filters, trapping more minute particles and keeping your system clean and your family healthy.
Keep your AC and heating systems free of debris
If you have an outside unit, it’s critical to keep it clean and free of dirt. Check your unit for leaves, pollen, dirt, sticks, and other debris once a week or so. Using gloves and, if required, a hose, clear the debris from the top and sides of the system. This boosts the efficiency and lifespan of your machine by allowing optimum airflow to the fan.
Remove anything that limits air movement to the system, leaving about two feet of space around the unit, to ensure the cleanest system possible.
Clean your registers
Dust and debris should be kept out of your registers and ducts. To keep dust and debris out of your system, wipe off your registers as often as feasible.
Give your humidifier a vacation
Turn off the water supply to your furnace humidifier in the summer to give your system a break. Replace the water panel (also known as humidifier pad) when the cooler months approach, adjust the relative humidity between 35 and 45 percent and turn the water supply to the furnace humidifier back on.
Listen for unusual noises
Keep an ear out for strange noises while your system is running as another passive measure. Debris in the vents or loose bolts on the furnace or registers is all common causes of noise in your system. If you notice any strange noises, seek to figure out what’s causing them. If you can’t figure out where the noise is coming from, have a look at this list of common HVAC system noises, what they mean, and how to correct them.
Use fans to give your system a break
Another passive approach to keep your system healthy is to use fans to give it a break when possible.
Use ceiling fans and portable fans to circulate air throughout the house and assist your HVAC system in lowering the temperature in your home faster on hot summer days. Instead of adjusting your thermostat on cooler days, open your windows and turn on your fans to circulate cool air throughout the house and maintain pleasant temperatures.
When you can, take a vacation from your system to extend the life of your equipment and save money on your energy costs.
Know when to call a professional
To keep the warranty on your HVAC unit, many manufacturers require annual preventative maintenance. Check your warranty to see if/when professional HVAC maintenance is required.
If your system does require preventative maintenance, schedule your check-up for the cooling system in the spring and the heating system in the fall, before HVAC specialists become overworked. Professional HVAC technicians will inspect your system for flaws, tighten loose bolts and cables, and address any other concerns you may have.
WHAT YOU CAN DO YOURSELF
There are numerous activities on your to-do list, ranging from raking leaves to sealing cracks and installing weather stripping to keep the cold out. HVAC maintenance is another thing to add to your must-do list this time of year. The following are important things to take this season to properly care for your heating system. This will not only keep your system in good working order but will also help you save money in the long term!
DIY Outdoor System Care
Clear foliage and debris from around your outdoor heat pump. This will guarantee proper airflow and protect the unit from damage.
For the winter, turn off your air conditioner. Inspect it for damage and, if desired, cover it with a cover. To prevent your air conditioner from being mistakenly turned on, turn off the outdoor switch.
DIY Indoor System Care
Make sure that any flammable items are kept away from your heating system.
Examine your air filter and, if necessary, replace it. Throughout the winter season, a clean air filter will work to decrease indoor toxins while also allowing optimal airflow into your home.
Ensure that your registers are not obstructed. Move any heavy furniture or other items that may be obstructing registers, preventing heat from reaching your living spaces, and putting a burden on your system.
WHAT YOU SHOULD LEAVE TO THE PROFESSIONALS
Some chores are better left to the specialists. Heating systems are made up of delicate equipment that needs to be maintained to optimize performance and efficiency. Make professional fall HVAC maintenance a top priority this season. A reputable HVAC professional will perform necessary cleaning, maintenance, and inspections to ensure that your heating system is up to the task of keeping your home warm during the winter.