Most homes in the U.S. are heated and cooled with a variation of a forced-air system. Forced air HVAC systems are very energy-efficient and adaptable enough to handle the various climates found in North America. Besides keeping your home comfortable with heated or cooled air on demand, your system will clean and circulate the air, filter the air supply and remove humidity as needed.
Like any mechanical system, your HVAC will need regular maintenance to run smoothly; a well-cared-for system will provide quality service over a long period of time. Neglecting maintenance results in:
Reduced energy efficiency—dust deposited on electrical wiring will restrict the flow of electricity.
Dust and debris that accumulate in spaces can restrict airflow, reducing efficiency.
All of that accumulated dust affects indoor air quality, so it needs to be removed.
If you haven’t noticed, the primary task in maintaining your HVAC system is cleaning. You have two choices for preventative maintenance: hire an HVAC professional or do-it-yourself. If you decide to try this yourself, here is a task list:
HVAC Maintenance Preparation:
Gather the tools needed to complete the task: a shop vacuum, a toothbrush, screwdrivers, and a garden hose.
Trip the breaker to the furnace/air conditioner. This is an extremely important safety requirement.
If your furnace is natural gas or propane, make sure to close the valve for your safety.
Cleaning the Indoor Unit
Remove the cover(s) with your screwdriver, but only after you have tripped the breaker.
Items that need to be clean include the blower cylinder, the condenser coil, and surfaces of control switches. Take your time with the blower fins and coil; you may need the toothbrush to clean close spaces. During the cooling season, the air conditioner will remove moisture from the air and deposit it in a pan below. If the pan is dry, vacuum any debris and wipe it out.
Check the fan belt for the blower motor. If worn or cracked, replace the fan belt.
Vacuum around the filter slot and replace the air filter.
Vacuum around the base of the furnace as far as you can reach.
Inspect the electrical controls to make sure nothing has been dislodged.
Replace the covers, making sure the cover seals properly.
HVAC Maintenance: Clean the Outdoor Unit
Remove the top cover of the outdoor compressor unit and vacuum the bottom of the basin. Replace the top cover.
With the garden hose clean the compressor fins, washing dirt and debris that has blown between. It is essential that air flows freely through these fins; hot compressed gas moves through the outdoor coils and the fan pulls air through the fins to cool the gas.
Use a garden hose instead of a pressure washer. A pressure washer will put too much force on the fins and close the openings.
Restarting the system
Once your work is complete, flip the breaker to restore electricity to the system.
If your furnace is natural gas or propane, open the gas valve and light the pilot light.
If this is too much for you, give AirPro HVAC a call and let our technician complete the maintenance. We have electrical equipment to make further inspections and a gauge to check the refrigerant gas.
Have questions about HVAC Maintenance?
Our four decades of experience as an HVAC maintenance contractor, AirPro Houston provides you with the skill and expertise to assist in HVAC Maintenance decisions.
We have several financing options available with great options with up to 72-month terms with approved credit. Call us today at 281-880-8805 and let us partner with you for all of your HVAC repair and installation needs.