Save Money By Keeping Your HVAC Unit In Tip Top Shape

If you have an HVAC unit for your home, it likely goes through a workout every winter, especially if you live in an area that stays cold much of the season. For this reason, it is important that you provide maintenance for your unit. There are also things you can do on your own to help keep it in tip top shape, two of which are listed below.

Maintain Outdoor Unit

Part of the maintenance you can do on your own is to make sure the outdoor unit stays maintained. One of the first things you should do is to keep debris, such as built up grass, sticks, or leaves, away from the HVAC unit. Have a clearance of approximately two feet around the unit at all times. All this debris can easily get into the pan and decrease how much air is released from the unit.

To ensure debris stays away, you can put something like landscaping stones around the unit, which will not only keep it clear but look aesthetically pleasing.

Debris should be cleaned out of the unit on a regular basis. Before you do this, turn off the circuit breaker that powers the HVAC unit. Remove the fan grill to gain access to the unit. This generally screws in and is easy to remove. Wear a pair of work gloves and remove all debris you see inside the unit by hand. If you see a lot of small debris that you are not able to remove, you can use a small hand vacuum with a hose attachment to get this debris out. Do not point the hose directly at any wiring, however, or you could cause damage.

You can also clean the coils on your own. You can use plain water to clean them, or there are commercial cleaners made specifically for this job.

Change the Filter

The filter inside your home should be changed on a regular basis. How often this is depends on many factors. For example, if you have pets in your home, someone in your home smokes, or your home is unusually dusty, you will need to change it more often.

When you purchase the new filter, it should match the airflow rating listed on the old one.

If you do not change the filter when it becomes dirty, each time your unit turns on and the air blows through the filter the dust/debris in it will get into your home. This can make it very hard if you have anyone in your home that has asthma or allergies.

Two types of filters you will find on the market today, include:

  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass filters are the most common type of filter used. That are made with layered fiberglass fibers and reinforced with a type of metal grating.
  • Polyester: Polyester filters are much like fiberglass filters but they are generally more efficient in that they stop more dust and other allergens from getting into your home.

You can generally tell if your filter needs to be changed. Your home will not feel as cool or warm as it usually does and you will notice more dust on your furniture than you normally have.

Have your unit maintained by a professional HVAC contractor, like Extreme's One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning, regularly. A good time to do this is at the beginning of the spring season and the beginning of the fall season.