Is the increasing cost of your electricity bill getting you down? With hot summer months hitting hard, you’ll no doubt be running your A/C more often, which means your HVAC system will be kicked into overtime. Preserving the efficiency of your HVAC system and A/C units is crucial this time of year, to keep it running smoothly.
According to Brandon Bohannan, Co-Founder of Fixd, HVAC systems break down 38% off the time, which is why you need a home warranty plan. Anytime water and electricity are combined, issues, damage and breakdowns are more likely to occur.
By using some simple, self-help hacks, you’ll be able to give your system the preventative maintenance it needs, and keep yourself free from costly breakdowns or repairs. These units should be serviced yearly by a professional, but this checklist will greatly reduce the threat of repairs that could have been avoided. Be sure you turn the power to the unit OFF, before cleaning or checking it!
1. Check Filters – Although your A/C filters might not require replacement every month, be sure you’re at least checking them out every 30 days. Inspecting your filter for tears or clogging will let you know when you need a new one. The average lifespan of a filter is 30-90 days, depending on the quality. The filter will block and capture soot, micro-organisms, dust and other foreign bodies from getting into the air circulating through your home. A high efficiency pleated filter is easy to install, affordable, and comes in a variety of standard sizes. This accordion type filter covers a greater surface area and is energy efficient because of the low air flow resistance. It’s also environmentally friendly!
2. A/C Unit Maintenance – Check up on your A/C unit at least once a month, or after inclement weather hits. Make sure it’s flush with the ground, and air is being pushed out. Keeping a 2-foot radius around the unit will help keep debris, leaves, grass, foreign materials, and dirt from getting into it, and allow it to run efficiently. If you see debris in the coils, be careful not to bend them, and use a bristle brush attached to a shop vacuum to dislodge it. Taking the time to ensure the unit outside of your home is clean and running properly will keep repair services at bay, and maintain the life of your A/C unit.
3. Insulation – The lines that connect your HVAC system and A/C unit from outdoors to inside your home are an insulated copper tubing. Damage to these lines is fairly common, so you want to be sure you’re checking the condition of the insulation frequently. If your insulation is damaged, or pieces of it are missing, you might notice condensation or even ice forming on the line and unit. Not only do these promote unfortunate mold growth (which can spread!), it can lead to failure of the unit and expensive damage. Keeping the insulation in good condition will ensure efficiency of the system, reduce the energy consumption and extend the life of the unit.
4. Unclog the drain – The evaporator coil in your A/C unit takes the warm air from inside your home, cools it, and circulates it back throughout your home. The condensation is then ushered out of the way, usually outside near the unit, or into a basement floor drain. This means that, over time, mold and algae can build up on the coil, plugging the drain. Using a wet/dry vacuum can help clear the drain, allowing the water to drip into its proper place, letting your unit run more efficiently, and avoiding mold build-up.
5. HVAC Filters – Twice a year, make sure you’re changing out your HVAC filters. This should happen before the colder months, and again before the hotter months. This will ensure that the system can filter the air properly, and allow your home to be heated and/or cooled quicker and with less energy.
Avoid having to use your HVAC system or A/C maintenance warranty and costly repair services with this simple, DIY checklist. Maintaining the efficiency and health of your units will prolong their lifespan, allow them to run easier, and cut down on your electricity bill. Giving them regular attention will put your mind at ease, and have you more prepared for your yearly service.