Keeping Your Home Cool during the Sweltering, Summer Months

How To Help Your Residential HVAC Have A Long Life With Minimal Breakdowns

by Anthony Graves

Once you get your new HVAC installed, you'll want to care for it properly so it has a long life and needs few repairs. If you have a typical system with a furnace and air conditioner that share the same air handler and ducts, some of the equipment will run during both the heating and cooling season, so it gets a lot of wear. Here are a few tips for the proper maintenance of a residential HVAC system.

Have Preventative Maintenance On The AC Yearly

Bring in a licensed HVAC technician to maintain the AC equipment once a year. The best time to do this is in the spring before you start running the AC daily. The technician will clean and service the parts to make sure the equipment is ready for hot summer weather.

During this visit, the technician works on the condenser and air handler. The condenser has been idle all winter and exposed to the weather, so it needs a thorough checkup. The air handler blower has been in use all winter for the furnace, so it needs to be cleaned and checked for worn parts. The evaporator coil in the air handler has been exposed to dust pulled in the air handler so it may need to be cleaned so the refrigerant works well.

Have Another Service Check In The Fall

Bring the maintenance technician back when the weather turns cold, and it's time to start running the furnace. During this visit, the technician can clean the combustion area of the furnace and check the flue. If you have a gas furnace, a thorough check is important for safety reasons. Even if you have an electric furnace, it needs to be cleaned and checked too.

The technician may need to service the blower again since it was in use all summer for the air conditioner. The ducts might also need to be inspected to make sure there are no leaks to let warm air escape. When your HVAC contractor sells you the new equipment to be installed, ask about a service contract.

When you have a contract in place, a service technician schedules appointments for preventative maintenance so you don't forget. You might even get special discounts for service calls when your AC malfunctions.

Keep The Air Flowing

One of the most important things you can do to keep your HVAC equipment working properly and to prevent problems is to keep air flowing through the system. Anything that restricts airflow can cause your HVAC to overheat or malfunction.

Keep bushes trimmed away from the condenser outdoors and keep your equipment clean. Most importantly, change the filter as often as recommended by your HVAC contractor or the manufacturer.