The weather has officially flipped a switch, so it is time to be sure your HVAC and AC are working properly. Believe me, you will know quickly if there’s a problem with the days reaching into the 80’s already. Professional technicians recommend an “HVAC maintenance” checkup for your equipment at least twice a year. There are a few things your technician should do during your spring preventative maintenance appointment and several tasks you can do throughout the year to keep your home comfortable. With such an important system it is critical to address issues early, keeping them from becoming too serious which prevent comfortable home temperatures. Jonny On It has put together a quick action list to expect from your home service provider.
Change The Air Filter
Your professional will change your air filter if needed, but this is something you can do too! The easiest way to make a difference in your HVAC and AC unit is by consistently maintaining the air filter. The Department of Energy states that replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can reduce energy consumption by as much as 15%. Remember if your air filter is dirty that means the air you are breathing is dirty. Most air filters need to be changed every 30 to 90 days, and leaving a dirty air filter in for more than 3 months can be harmful to your home. Dirty filters can cause your unit to work harder which in the summer months can be brutal. A clean air filter will instantly bring fresh air into your home and can prevent mold and sluggish system issues from occurring.
Maintenance Check-Up List
A good maintenance appointment includes an extensive list of important check-up items. Your qualified professional will need to check all of the electrical connections for degradation (don’t try this yourself) as well as the proper components, ensuring the fan motor and blades are holding strong and don’t need to be replaced. Other items to check include the compressor, tubing, hoses and refrigerant levels. If your refrigerant levels are off a professional won’t just add more, they will find the leak and repair it before further damage can happen. Having your HVAC regularly checked will save you money and painful summer nights in the long run.
Your HVAC unit has a lot of moving parts and functionality that can lose efficiency when it isn’t properly maintained. Think of it as having your HVAC system detailed. It’s pretty easy and necessary to clean the area outside around your unit. Vegetation and cats should stay about 2 feet back from the unit. Inside your house, the floor registers and air vents can get clogged with dust and debris and should get a thorough spring cleaning, and don’t neglect your bathroom fan, it works hard all year. Remove the covers from your fans and use a toothbrush (preferably an old one) to clean the fan blades with soap and water before reapplying the cover. You can do this one yourself but we recommend a professional that won’t forget to turn the power off first. The filter was easy to change but the ducts may need work too. Dirty ducts can also restrict airflow and lead to the growth of mold. These can use a good professional cleaning about every 5-7 years.
The benefit of having a professional maintain your HVAC is, if possible, service professionals will spot the minor issues before they become major issues. If there are problems (minor or major) they can fix it right then and there. A professional technician can seal the air gaps and cracks in your ductwork, keeping your cool air and money from literally slipping through the cracks. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “Sealing and insulating ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent – and sometimes much more.” 20 percent is a lot in 90°F weather and can easily be avoided by regular HVAC maintenance.
Most HVAC professionals recommend a smart thermostat to keep your unit from going into uneed overdrive. Installing a programmable thermostat can keep your house comfortable while you are home to enjoy it and save energy when you are out. The U.S. Department of Energy states you can save at least 10% a year on heating and cooling costs by turning your thermostat back 7 to 10 degrees F from its normal setting for 8 hours a day. These thermostats easily pay for themselves. There are several brands on the market so make sure you pick the one that’s right for your needs.
It’s going to be a hot summer this year. Stay ahead of the 90°F temperatures INSIDE and get your HVAC a checkup. Hire a professional to change the filter, check all the complicated parts, clean the system and make any repairs that are needed. To keep your home cool, calm and collected all year long, go ahead and install a programmable thermostat, your HVAC system and budget will thank you. Many of our professional service providers have annual maintenance packages that include priority service call status should your unit stop working during the hot summer months. Log into the Jonny On It App to see all the options before you start to melt!