HVAC Preventative Maintenance Goals
You know, it is easier to stop something from happening in the first place than to repair the damage after it has happened. And, that principle applies to the high volume air conditioning system in your home or business. You have spent a great deal of money on conditioning the air, so you might as well put some things into practice that will keep your system up and running while costing you less over the lifespan of the unit.
There are basically two goals to performing maintenance procedures on your HVAC unit. The first is to keep the system operating at peak performance and manufacturer’s specifications. The second goal is to reduce the amount of money you will pay to the energy supplier over the life of the unit. Here are 5 maintenance procedures for an HVAC system that will keep your unit operating well and give you some peace of mind.
SAFETY FIRST! (Locate the power shut-off box located near the unit or in the breaker box. Turn it off!)
- Remove dirt, grime, and debris. At the outside unit, you will discover the covering to the fan cage. Remove screws or fasteners to this cage. Inside you may find leaves, small branches, grass clippings, and other things that have just blown in there over time. Use your gloved hands or try using a wet vacuum for the cleaning.
- Clean the fins. You will need a water hose, a broom, and a foaming cleaner. Spray the cleaner into the fins from the outside to the inside. Allow it to work for 15 minutes. Rinse the cleaner and allow the run-off to leave the area.
- Clean the Evaporator Coil. Locate the evaporator coil door and remove any tapes, screws or fasteners that may be holding it in place. Purchase a coil cleaner at any home improvement store and spray the chemical on to the coil. The chemical should foam and then begin to drop into the drain pan below. Clean the drain pan by combining some water, soap and bleach. This will kill molds and bacterias growing there. Take note of how efficiently the drain pan becomes empty. Note whether or not the drains will need cleaning also.
- Clean the drain line. Plugged drains can cause damage by flooding or inhibit the HVAC system from functioning effectively. You can use a wet-vacuum to clean the drain after pouring a cleaning solution into the drain line. Place the vacuum hose into the end of the drain line and the machine will clear the line of any buildup of biological substance.
- Inspect the filters. Look at your filters and see if they are clogged or compromised in any way. If they are compromised, change them with filters that have the same airflow rating. Open the latch to the filter enclosure and remove the old filter. Install the new filter being careful to place the arrows in the same direction as the air flow. Latch the door securely.
HVAC service providers offer yearly service contracts for home and business owners. These types of contracts usually come in one of three different ways.
One type of contract covers the labor cost of an annual or semiannual maintenance visit to inspect, clean and adjust equipment.
One type of contract will cover the labor costs of maintenance visits and unplanned repairs.
Another type of service contract will cover labor costs for maintenance and repair service calls plus the cost of parts.
A service contract will call for a highly trained HVAC technician to come and ensure your system is fine-tuned and functioning at optimum levels. This type of consistent maintenance can lessen the impact of any possible failure during peak performance seasons.
You will want to make sure the company you employ to clean and maintain your HVAC system is competent, reliable, and well recommended.
Remember! “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.”