Preventing Problems with HVAC Maintenance Tips
Maintaining an HVAC unit creates a safe, comfortable environment to live in all year round. Learning some tips and techniques to keep your HVAC unit running smoothly can prevent a major problem from occurring, either on that first cold winter night or on a particularly hot summer day.
When the Unit Isn’t Cooling or Heating
Check your thermostat to be sure it is set a few degrees lower or higher than the actual temperature. If the thermostat is set too high or too low, the HVAC unit will not turn on to cool or heat a home or building. Look at the HVAC switch to make sure it is set properly for the desired temperature – either cooling or heating. If this does not work, turn off all power to the unit to check for other problems, such as leaves or branches interfering with the airflow, dirty coils, or another blockage that needs to be removed.
When Water Is Pooling Around the Unit
All HVAC units will create condensation when they heat or cool, and usually the condensation pump will displace the liquid to a condensation pan through a drainage tube. However, a blockage in the tube will create a pool of water around your HVAC unit. Run a test on the pump by pouring water into the condensation pan to see if it turns on; if it doesn’t, the tube will need to be unblocked - it is often advisable to call in a professional to handle this problem. If the pump turns on but the water still does not drain, check the ball valve to see if it is stuck.
Dirty Filters Lower Efficiency
One of the simplest checks that can be performed when maintaining an HVAC unit is to replace or clean the filters. This is a simple fix that will take five to ten minutes to complete. Rinse the filter out with cold water to remove any dirt or lint, which will reduce the quality of the air and the efficiency of the system. Replace the filter with a new one if it is difficult or will not come clean.
Noise Always Signals a Problem
A noisy HVAC unit is one that needs to be checked for a variety of problems. Sometimes it will be a simple fix, such as a dent in the air duct or a loose vent that needs tightening. Other times the problem is more complicated, and may be attributed to a loose belt or screw that needs to be replaced. Any time unfamiliar noises emanate from an HVAC unit, call a professional HVAC technician to have the problem resolved immediately.
Check Your Seals For Leaks
Another check to perform in order to increase the efficiency of an HVAC unit and lower utility bills is to check for leaks around windows and doors, as well as within the ducts themselves. Leaky ducts or drafty windows and doors can lower heating and cooling efficiency by almost 20 percent, so it is a good idea to periodically check and seal any leaks during routine HVAC maintenance.
Following these simple tips can help improve the quality of an HVAC system and reduce the amount of maintenance that needs to be routinely performed. Minor problems can usually be fixed at home, but a major repair should be left to the professionals to prevent further damage from occurring.