How to Maintain Your HVAC System
Your HVAC system keeps your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Its powerful equipment typically includes a furnace, air conditioning unit, air ducts, and multiple vents. Your HVAC system runs around the house, ensuring proper air ventilation and comfortable temperatures throughout the seasons.
Maintaining your HVAC on a regular basis ensures it always runs smoothly and offers clean air. As a restoration and remediation company, we have witnessed fires, floods, and other damages caused by poorly maintained HVAC systems. This article explains how to take care of your HVAC system and what to do if things go wrong.
What Is HVAC?
HVAC stands for Heat, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. The furnace provides heat when needed while the air conditioning unit contains a refrigerant that cools the air flowing through the house.
The furnace usually uses natural gas to heat the air and is placed in the basement or attic. When working, the furnace heats up the air. It then directs the warm air through the ductwork. The vents allow the air to enter each room and warm it up.
As for air conditioning, the refrigerant cools the air with the help of a compressor. The cold air travels through air ducts and is led through vents into each space of the house. The air conditioning unit is typically located outside of the house. This is because the air conditioning produces hot air while it’s circulating the cool air inside the house. This hot air needs to be expelled outside of the house, or it will simply warm the rooms once again, hence the need for an accompanying outside unit.
To control the temperature, homeowners use a thermostat that checks the temperature and sends the appropriate signal to the furnace or air conditioning units to start running as required.
Why Should You Maintain Your HVAC?
Just like any other equipment in your house, your HVAC system requires frequent maintenance to work efficiently.
Longer, Better HVAC Life
Preventative maintenance will help your HVAC remain a reliable and efficient tool in warming and cooling your home. A well-maintained HVAC will require fewer costly repairs, which can save you thousands of dollars down the line.
Taking good care of your HVAC system will also prolong its work life. Bearing in mind that an HVAC system can cost between $7,000 and $15,000, maintaining it at a fraction of this cost is a great investment.
Optimal Air Quality in Your Home
Your HVAC provides clean air to your home. By taking good care of your HVAC system, you are making sure the air in your home is as clean and pure as possible. Dirty or—even worse—moldy filters are a common source of polluted air in a household.
Remember that both furnace and air conditioning units use the air inside the house, which they respectively warm up or cool down. The HVAC will circulate pollutants such as pet hairs, mold, dust, and smoke from the fireplace or stove. These will lower the air quality, especially if you haven’t properly cleaned your filters, and may well cause serious health issues.
Besides regularly cleaning your HVAC system, you should open the windows every day, even if just for a few minutes, to keep the air clean in your home.
Lower Energy Bills, Cleaner Environment
Proper maintenance of your HVAC system lowers your energy bills. A poorly-maintained HVAC system works for longer hours and less efficiently, thus consuming more energy.
This is great not just for your pocket but also for the environment. By properly maintaining your HVAC system, it will consume less fuel like gas and electricity and produce fewer pollutants.
What Does HVAC Maintenance Include?
A proper maintenance schedule will look into all of your HVAC components and make sure they work properly and efficiently. Because of the many parts of an HVAC system, this includes several steps:
- The maintenance crew will check the thermostat and all electrical connections. Loose wires are a common fire hazard.
- The vents must be cleaned from dust and particles and the air filters replaced to ensure both maximum efficiency and air purity.
- The duct system should be inspected to make sure it’s clean and clear of mold and debris.
- A professional HVAC maintenance crew will also look into the fan, making sure it works properly and quietly and that it adequately propels the air.
- They will also check the furnace fuel supply line, confirming that it’s unobstructed and undamaged. The gas connection should be intact and properly secured, as the last thing you want is a gas or oil leak in your house.
- Similarly, the burner combustion and gas pressure need to be checked to confirm they are working at the optimum level.
- When it comes to the air conditioning unit, the HVAC maintenance professionals will make sure the refrigerant liquid is sufficient.
- They will also clean the drain line. When your air conditioning system is on, the HVAC takes away moisture from the home and diverts it outside through a drain pipe. This pipe must be mold-free and clean.
- A maintenance professional will confirm the external air conditioning unit is unobstructed from leaves, branches, and other vegetation. These can interfere with the fan’s functioning and cause damage or poor performance.
- Finally, the HVAC specialist will lubricate any moving parts such as fans to ensure the system’s silent and efficient operation.
This list is by no means exhaustive, as the specifics differ from one system to the other. The HVAC maintenance crew will know the exact steps required depending on your circumstances.
What Problems Could I Face if I Don’t Maintain My HVAC?
A poorly maintained HVAC system can cause water damage and mold problems. These may eventually create larger and more dangerous problems for your home and your family’s health.
Water leaks can also damage your HVAC system, leading you to expensive repairs or even requiring the replacement of your entire HVAC system.
A poor maintenance schedule will fail to notice any gas or oil leaks, which can turn into major problems and even life-threatening situations. For example, if you overlook a clogged exhaust vent, carbon monoxide could start building up in your home. This puts your health and your family’s health at great risk.
Here at Valley Restoration and Construction, we are experts at remediating and restoring damage caused by a damaged HVAC system. That’s why we always recommend that you maintain your HVAC system on a regular basis to avoid catastrophes and damages to your home and health.