HVAC systems are a vital part of your home. They make sure your home is comfortable by controlling humidity and temperature. 

However, an HVAC system can be very costly. It could cost anywhere from $5,000 and above to install. That’s why it’s crucial to carry out regular maintenance.

Regular HVAC maintenance will extend the life of your HVAC system by 25%. Apart from extending its life span, frequent and strategic HVAC tune ups will prevent your system from breaking down when you need it the most. 

Wondering how to go about this? No worries! This post covers everything you need to know about HVAC maintenance. It contains a checklist of actions you can take to create your HVAC maintenance plan. 

Investing In An HVAC Maintenance Plan

The first and most important recommendation is to get a maintenance plan for your HVAC system. 

You’ve probably heard this term if you’ve stayed in the Upper Peninsula long enough. Many HVAC companies locally have service plans ranging from gold to silver, bronze, etc.

But is it really worth the fuss? Oh yes! It is. 

Fixing a broken HVAC system can be expensive. Calling a professional to check your HVAC system periodically can cost a pretty penny too. Subscribing to an HVAC maintenance plan allows you to save on this cost. 

At the very least, it can help you spread the cost out over a year. This way, you don’t have to cough up a wad of cash whenever your HVAC system is due for maintenance. 

As a bonus, a maintenance plan guarantees you quick and efficient service in emergencies. You know how water heaters always seem to break down on Christmas Day? Good luck getting someone to fix it then – unless you have a service plan. 

The HVAC Maintenance Checklist

Maintaining an HVAC system can be confusing. Especially when you don’t know what you’re supposed to be looking out for. 

To make it easier, I’ve put together a checklist of vital activities involved in HVAC maintenance. 

This checklist includes tasks you can carry out yourself to ensure your HVAC system remains in good working condition. It also tells you which tasks are better to outsource.

Routine HVAC maintenance will help you extend the life of your system and catch problems before they grow into costly repairs!

AC Maintenance Checklist

On your own, you can:

  • Inspect your AC refrigerant for leaks once a month. A leaking refrigerant will make your home take longer to cool in the summer. 
  • Inspect your outdoor AC unit. Ensure your AC unit is upright. A bent unit will disturb refrigerant and oil flow through the system, leading to costly repairs.  You can correct this by using rot-resistant shims.
  • Inspect the condensate drain. While running, AC units produce condensation, which runs outside through a drain. Inspect this drain for debris and blockages.

You’ll need a professional to:

  • Clean out the condensate drain. If you notice a lot of debris, you can call in an HVAC professional to clean out the drain before it leads to a blockage. 
  • Inspect the refrigerant. Aside from leaking refrigerant, your AC unit may also be overcharged. An overcharged unit will cost more to cool your home.

Furnace Maintenance Checklist

On your own, you can:

  • Ensure your home is properly insulated. A well insulated home will prevent your heater from working too hard. It will also help you save money on energy bills. 
  • Maintain the carbon monoxide detector. A carbon monoxide detector is necessary for homes that use combustion-based heating systems. Routine maintenance involves changing the batteries and checking that they’re in good working condition. 
  • Regulate the water to the furnace humidifier. You should shut off the water to the furnace humidifier in the summer and then turn it back on in the fall.  Make sure to replace the humidifier filter before turning it back on. 

You’ll need a professional to:

  • Inspect the fuel lines. The HVAC technician should check that the fuel lines are properly connected and tightened. Leaky lines pose a serious fire and health hazard in a home. 
  • Inspect the gas burner, heat exchanger, and burner. A fault in any of these compounds will cause a significant decrease in the efficiency of your heater.

Checklist for carrying out Maintenance on other HVAC components

HVAC components include filters, a thermostat, registers, ducts, and more. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to maintain them. 

  1. Change your air filter at least once a month. Regularly cleaning your air filter will improve the air quality in your home. It also increases your HVACs efficiency.
  2. Observe the registers and returns. Check for signs of mold. Also, check for good airflow. You can achieve this by removing anything that’s blocking the internal registers (think rugs and furniture).
  3. Clear the area around your outdoor HVAC units. Keep these areas free of dirt, debris, and twigs. Plants should be at least two feet away from the HVAC unit.
  4. Declutter your indoor HVAC units. Clutter around your indoor HVAC units can be a fire hazard. Clutter will also collect dust and eventually increase the chance of the unit getting dirty. It can also cause occupants to trip. 
  5. Make sure the flue system is securely attached and fully intact. 

Call in a professional to:

  1. Inspect the system controls. 
  2. Clean the evaporator and condenser coils. Cleaning these parts increases your HVAC system’s efficiency. 
  3. Inspect the thermostat calibration and settings. The thermostat works with the temperature it reads from your home. If this reading is faulty, it can affect how well your home is heated. Unfortunately, this is not something you can do yourself. You’ll need to call in a technician to ensure your thermostat is set correctly and its readings are accurate. 
  4. Tighten the electrical connections. Loose connections are an electric hazard. It can cause severe damage to the entire unit or even start an electrical fire.
  5. Lubricate moving parts. Lack of lubrication can cause units to overheat and increase your energy bills.
  6. Clean and adjust the blower. A faulty blower can significantly affect the efficiency of your HVAC system. It can also affect your home’s airflow.

Bottom Line

Carrying out HVAC maintenance twice a year will ensure that your HVAC system is in optimum working condition. 

Having an HVAC maintenance plan in place will help you save money in the long run. Aside from the regular HVAC tune ups, an HVAC maintenance plan guarantees access to professional assistance if your system ever fails you in the middle of a busy season. 

Found this post helpful? Then you should check out our home maintenance page. You’ll find information-rich articles on water heater maintenance, deck maintenance, and several other valuable posts. 

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