The hot summer days are coming on quickly! Did you know that the average air conditioner in use in the U.S. is about 15 years old? Although they are a reliable source of cool air, they can also break down at any time. Without regular maintenance, your air conditioner will not operate at peak efficiency and pose a more significant threat of breakdown. This article provides an HVAC maintenance checklist and lists some of the most important steps you can take to prevent breakdowns in your AC unit. This helps ensure it continues to provide cool air for the long term.
List of Contents
HVAC Maintenance Checklist: 8 Important Steps You Need to Take to Prevent Breakdowns
Here is what to include in your HVAC maintenance checklist.
Change Air Filter on a Regular Basis
An air filter is necessary to keep your system running efficiently. It helps prevent dirt, dust, and other particles from entering the system and causing damage. If your HVAC system has a dirty or clogged filter, it will need to work harder to circulate the air in your home. The added stress on the AC unit can cause it to overheat and break down.
One of the simplest ways to keep your air conditioner in good shape is by changing the filter regularly. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the filters every 6-12 months; however, this can vary depending on where you live, how dusty or humid it is, and other factors. It would help if you changed yours at least once every year for maximum protection of your AC unit. In addition to reducing wear and tear on your HVAC system, you’ll also be able to enjoy clean air circulating throughout your home without any worries about the buildup of allergens or bacteria.
Change AC Oil
The air conditioning unit is filled with oil and different refrigerants. This mixture needs to be replaced every so often to keep the system working at its best. Have your AC maintenance company come out and replace the oil in your system every 2-3 years, usually around your seasonal changeover.
Perform a visual inspection
The first step to prevent breakdowns is a visual inspection. This should be done at least every six months, but ideally, it should be done once a month. It requires a quick look at the outside of the unit and looking inside for any leaks or mold. Check for a dirty filter as well–this could reduce your energy efficiency and cause the unit to work harder to cool your home.
Check for loose or damaged parts
One of the essential steps to maintaining your AC unit is checking for loose or damaged parts. A loose or damaged part in your AC unit will cause it to operate less efficiently, make loud noises, and run more often than necessary.
It may be difficult to see what parts need repair when looking from outside the unit. However, if you have access to the inside of your AC unit, you’ll be able to look more closely at its components. To identify loose or damaged parts, check for any broken wires, bolts that are not securely tightened, and any other signs of wear and tear on the inside of your air conditioner.
Clean your air ducts
One of the best ways to keep your system in good condition is to clean your air ducts. The HVAC system has two major components: the outside unit, which pumps out cool air, and the inside coils and furnaces (or heaters), which bring in and distribute warm air. When these elements get dirty, they can’t work at total capacity. Your furnace will do an inadequate job of distributing hot air, or your coil might break because too much cold air is being pumped through it.
To avoid these problems, conduct a regular inspection of your ducts, including vents, grills, and expanders. If you notice any dust buildup or debris around the vents or in the grills, then it is time to clean the ducts. Use a brush attachment for your vacuum cleaner and suck out all the dust from those hard-to-reach spots. You may need a professional to run a hose through some of your more difficult-to-access areas (especially if you have a big home). The professionals will be able to thoroughly clean all of these areas with ease.
Adjust your thermostat
Most people don’t realize this, but your thermostat is a critical HVAC system component. The system will work harder to cool your home and use more energy when it’s set too high. Likewise, it won’t have enough power to effectively heat your home when it’s set too low. The ideal setting for your thermostat is 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in the summer and 68 degrees Fahrenheit or lower in the winter.
Check your hoses
The first step to take when maintaining your system is checking the hoses. This can easily be done by simply inspecting the hoses using a hose inspection camera. If you see any of these problems, it’s time for a replacement.
- Cracks in the rubber
- Any bulges in the hose
- Missing or loose clamps or screws
Maintain your system
HVAC systems need to have regular maintenance. Without it, your system will not run well, and you risk breakdowns. A good practice is to have a filter inspection every 12 months, a tune-up every 24 months, and a complete check-up once every three years.
HVAC systems are critical for the comfort of your home. A well-maintained HVAC system can save you a lot of time and money. Remember, investing in an HVAC maintenance plan is not an expense; it is an investment that will save you money and frustration down the road.
Need Help? Palo Alto Plumbing is Here
We hope this blog post helped you better understand maintaining your HVAC system.
If your AC is not working correctly, call Palo Alto Plumbing at (650) 374-0868 for a free service estimate. Our friendly staff is here to help answer any additional questions you might have.