HVAC equipment and climate-control systems can be a costly asset, one that homeowners would do well to protect and maintain. Annual or even seasonal upkeep can eliminate many potential issues and mechanical problems in order to help ensure that HVAC equipment and major appliances are able to last as long as possible. Creating a maintenance checklist or scheduling a routine maintenance call in order to have the system inspected, cleaned and serviced could end up making a far bigger difference than many homeowners might expect.
- Frequent Filter Inspection and Replacement
The system’s air filter is the first line of defense for keeping dirt, dust and other pollutants from being able to circulate freely throughout the home. Inspecting and replacing the filter is an essential aspect of seasonal maintenance, one that can go a long way towards maintaining interior air quality and keeping the system free of issues. A filter that has become clogged or overly saturated with dirt or particulate could be impeding air flow or causing problems associated with poor air quality.
- Test Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas. While trace amounts of carbon monoxide are typically harmless, it can pose a serious health-risk should it be present within the home above certain levels. Carbon monoxide detectors can make a life-saving difference by alerting residents to unsafe conditions. Failing to detect rising levels of carbon monoxide often means that households are unable to take action in order to protect themselves from carbon monoxide poisoning. The start of the season is a great time to check and replace batteries and to test carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are operating properly.
- Keep Exterior Equipment Clean and Free of Debris
Removing leaves, fallen branches, grass clippings and other debris that may have begun to pile up near an exterior AC unit or other HVAC equipment can also be beneficial. Accumulated debris may interfere with basic equipment operation by restricting air intake or keeping the system from being able to drain properly. Clearing away debris and inspecting the state of the unit for any obvious signs of wear or damage can be an important part of spring maintenance.
- Check Refrigerant Lines and Levels
When inspecting the system, it is always a good idea to assess refrigerant lines for signs of damage. Low levels of refrigerant within an AC unit is one of the most common problems that could interfere with operation and owners can expect to see a noticeable drop in performance along with a potential spike in their cooling costs should they fail to address the situation. While a quick visual inspection of refrigerant lines may not require special tools or additional resources, the assistance and service solutions that only a qualified technician may be able to offer can often be essential when testing the system or topping-off refrigerant levels.
- Schedule Professional Vent and Duct Cleaning
While air filters are an effective barrier, they may not always be enough. Given enough time, small quantities of dirt, dust and other debris can work their way past even the most stringent air filters and can cause no end of trouble once they have entered the system. The impaired ventilation and restricted air flow through the HVAC system may negatively impact indoor air quality and can be especially irritating to those who suffer from asthma or seasonal allergies. Arranging for a professional duct cleaning is often the best way to approach the situation as few homeowners possess the tools and experience that may be needed in order to tackle the job themselves.
From a quick inspection of HVAC equipment to the comprehensive testing and assessment that only a professional may be equipped to handle, there are any number of seasonal maintenance issues that may need to be addressed in order to keep the climate-control system up and running. Failing to properly maintain the system can lead to problems with poor performance or repair bills that owners would just as soon avoid.