HVAC Maintenance Tasks to Do Yourself or Leave to a Pro
HVAC maintenance is vital to maintain a comfortable home, lower energy bills and prevent early HVAC failure. Some maintenance tasks, such as wiping air vents clean, may be done yourself. However, many steps require the expertise of your HVAC professional.
Air Filter Maintenance
One of the most important HVAC maintenance tasks to stay on top of is cleaning or changing your air filter. A dirty filter increases your energy bills by making the blower motor work harder and by reducing cooling efficiency at the evaporator coil as debris accumulates. Make sure you check the air filter monthly during peak HVAC usage.
Evaporator Coil and Condensate Pan
The evaporator coil cools your home by absorbing heat from indoor air. When the coil becomes dirty, heat extraction takes longer, which increases your energy bills. Your HVAC professional should clean the evaporator with a disinfecting cleaner that will also deter mold growth. The condensate pan located beneath the evaporator should be cleaned and drainage checked. If the condensate drain clogs up, you could have a water leak inside your home.
The heat that is absorbed by the indoor evaporator coil is released by the outdoor condenser coil located in the HVAC cabinet. The condenser coil needs to be cleaned to remove dirt and debris. You may do this yourself using a foaming coil cleaner. However, you may ask your HVAC pro to include this maintenance task during a service call. Like the evaporator coil, a dirty condenser reduces cooling efficiency.
Checking Refrigerant Levels
HVAC maintenance wouldn’t be complete without measuring refrigerant levels. If your HVAC professional detects low refrigerant charge, you probably have a leak in the coils or tubing. Replacing refrigerant each year can get expensive and detrimental to the environment. Work with your HVAC pro for the best solution if your system is leaking refrigerant.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
Photo Credit: hotblack/morgueFile