DIY preventative maintenance

An energy-efficient HVAC system can save you between 20 and 40 percent on your monthly energy bills. That’s an impressive amount of savings considering how high energy bills can get, especially in the summer and winter months.

But how can you ensure your HVAC system is performing optimally?

Well, you need to be proactive and perform regular maintenance tasks to ensure your system is running smoothly. Not only can proactive maintenance save you money on your energy bill, but it can prevent costly issues from occurring within your system.

Keep reading for the ultimate HVAC maintenance checklist.


Why You Need an HVAC Maintenance Checklist

Before jumping into the specific tasks you need to do to maintain your HVAC system, it’s important to understand why maintenance is so important. Here are a few ways having an HVAC checklist can benefit you and your home.


Better Air Quality

Taking care of your HVAC system means ensuring that the air quality in your home is always top-notch. Without performing regular maintenance, your system can develop mold and circulate dust and harmful bacteria around your home.

It’s especially important to maintain good air quality for people with asthma or allergies, as things like dust and pet hair circulating through the home can aggravate those issues.


Your System Will Last Longer

HVAC systems cost a fortune to replace, so you should be doing everything you can to make sure your system lasts as long as possible.

Without routinely cleaning and checking your system, problems can arise or go unnoticed and can cause more wear and tear on your system. This can easily shorten the lifespan of your HVAC system by several years.


Avoid Major HVAC Issues and Repairs

You might feel hesitant to spend time or money performing routine maintenance, but it’s well worth it when you consider the massive repair costs you’ll face if you don’t take care of your system.

While preventative maintenance can’t completely negate the risk of major HVAC issues, it will significantly reduce the risk and save you a ton of money in the long run.


Lower Energy Bills

Everyone loves the idea of paying significantly less money each month on their energy bill, and the best way to achieve that is by having an efficient HVAC system.

In order for your system to work optimally, you need to regularly clean it and check for small issues that can affect its productivity. By doing this, your energy bill will be significantly reduced each month.


Continuous Maintenance Tasks

While most maintenance tasks will be done at specific intervals, there are certain things you should be observant of every day. This doesn’t mean you necessarily have to do anything, but you simply need to be aware.


Check for Dust and Pet Hair in Vents

If you notice excessive dust or pet hair in any of your vents, be sure to clear it right away. Pet hair and dust getting into your system can lead to worse air quality and cause issues for people with asthma or allergies.


Clear the Foliage Around Your Condenser

The condenser unit, which is what sits outside of your home, needs to be clear of foliage in order to work properly. If there are bushes or plants within 12 inches of the compressor, the fans will have to work a lot harder, which will lead to higher energy bills.

You should always be aware of any foliage or debris that is too near the compressor, and remove it so your system can work smoothly.


Keep the Supply and Return Registers Clear of Furniture

The supply and return vents are what’s responsible for the airflow in your home. If you have furniture on top of or in front of these vents, it can disrupt airflow and make your system work even harder to cool or heat your home.

You should also make sure curtains and other debris aren’t interfering with the airflow from these vents.


Monthly or Seasonal Maintenance Tasks

The following HVAC tasks need to be done at specific intervals. It’s best to keep a calendar or write down on your checklist when these tasks will be completed. as it’s easy to forget about doing them.


Replace the Air Filter

On average, air filters should be replaced every three months. However, if you have pets that shed or someone in the home has allergies, it’s best to replace them every month.

Replacing the air filter ensures the air quality remains good and your system isn’t being impeded by dust and hair. A clean air filter means that the air circulating throughout your house will be free of dust, pollen, and any other harmful particles.

Replacing your air filter can also prevent damage to your HVAC system. Clogged air filters can lead to lasting damage and increased energy bills.


Inspect the Refrigerant Lines

Every month, you should inspect the insulation on the refrigerant lines of your HVAC unit. These lines are responsible for carrying cooling gas.

If the refrigerant lines aren’t insulated, the refrigerant will heat up and your HVAC unit won’t be able to produce cold air as easily as it should.

If the insulation is missing or looks to be deteriorating, it should be replaced right away.


Clean the Condensate Drain Line

The condensate drain line is used to drain any moisture that is collected by the evaporator coil as air passes over it. Because this is where moisture passes through, algae can grow and become problematic.

That’s why you should clean the condensate drain line every three months. You can poor bleach down the line to clear away any algae that has developed.


Shut Down the Humidifier After Warm Months

Once it starts to cool off outside after the summer months, it’s important to shut down your humidifier. If you forget to shut it off, your system won’t dehumidify or cool properly while it’s running in the cooler months.


Check Your Home’s Carbon Monoxide Detector

Your carbon monoxide detector is essential to making sure the air in your home is safe. To check if your detector is working properly, you can press the test button on the detector and listen for a long beep noise. If it does not make this noise, the batteries should be replaced.

You should check your detector every couple of months to make sure it isn’t low on battery. It’s also a good idea to change the battery, regardless of if it’s low on power, every six months to a year.


Annual Maintenance Tasks

Every year, you need to perform more thorough maintenance duties in order to ensure your system is clean and functioning smoothly. Here’s what should be on your annual checklist.


Have a Professional Do a Complete HVAC Inspection

No matter how much of a DIYer you are, there are certain things only a qualified HVAC professional can do.

By getting a complete HVAC inspection every year, you can feel confident that your system is working properly. Here are some other benefits of hiring a professional for an annual inspection:

  • Identify any functionality issues
  • Catch problems before they get worse
  • Learn about what areas to be extra mindful of moving forward
  • Replace or repair any parts of the system that aren’t working properly

The benefits of getting an annual inspection done greatly outweigh the small cost of hiring a professional to take a look at your system.


Clean the Vents

Simply removing pet hair from the vents regularly isn’t enough to ensure the air quality in your home is at its best. That’s why thoroughly cleaning your vents is a necessity, both for air quality and to help your system run smoothly.

To clean the vents in your home, remove the grate and wipe them down to remove any dust and grime. Then, use a heavy-duty vacuum to remove all dust and particles from the vent itself. Wipe the vent down to remove any additional grime and then replace the grate.


Clean Evaporator Coils

All of the air that heats or cools your home runs through the evaporator coils, which is why it’s imperative these coils are cleaned at least every year.

If the evaporator coils aren’t clean, it can restrict airflow and lead to lower system efficiency.


Know When to Call the Pros

This HVAC maintenance checklist will ensure that you’re doing everything you can to maintain a quality HVAC system. But even the most diligent homeowners can run into problems with their system.

If you notice your system acting abnormally (higher energy bills, strange noises, etc), you need to call an HVAC professional to take a look. By getting a professional to your house right away, you can prevent additional damage and save a ton of money.

Is your system in need of repairs or replacement? Are you ready for your annual HVAC inspection? Contact us today to learn more about our services!