As the weather begins to turn warmer and the trees, flowers and grass have regained full color, one of the critical household duties facing homeowners falls into the “necessary evil” category: Giving your Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) a little tender loving care.
Regardless of whether you enjoy this type of work or not, there a number of practical and downright vital reasons for you to stay on top of your HVAC maintenance. Perhaps the biggest reason is an old one – you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.
If your HVAC system breaks down due to negligent maintenance, you will most likely find yourself sweating buckets this summer in your new sauna, the one that used to be your cool and comfy home. Mechanical failures and breakdowns aside, you will want to keep your HVAC in tip-top shape for financial reasons because clean, efficient equipment costs less to operate.
So, here are 5 sure-fire, no-nonsense, easy tips to get your HVAC system geared up and ready for the summertime:
1. Freshen up your filter – If you didn’t know this already, you need to understand that maintaining, cleaning and periodically checking on your HVAC’s filter is arguably the most important thing you can do to ensure it is running properly. It is also one of the easiest things to do. Filters tend to range in price from about $12 to about $40. Replacing them is normally as simple as pulling the old one out and placing the new one in its place. So, if you don’t want pollens, dust and all kinds of air pollutants, and you want to keep costs as low as possible, make sure you keep your filter fresh and clean.
2. Clean the area around the condensing unit – First, make absolutely, 100 percent sure that you turn off the power to the HVAC system! Then get rid of any and all debris, like blades of grass and dry leaves, in and around the unit. Take a look at the fan blades and clean them too.
3. Lubricate the fan motor – Once again, turn the power to the unit off. If the owner’s manual is handy, thumb through it and look for specific information about the motor. It should show you how to access the fan motor. There are usually a couple of oil ports located above the blades for you to drop in some household oil.
4. Check all air vents – Your HVAC unit could be running like a Kenyan marathoner, but if the vents are clogged or coated in dust, it defeats the purpose. Think of them as your last line of defense between you and dirty, dusty air.
5. Go pro – No matter how awesome you are at keeping your HVAC clean and well-oiled, unless you are a professionally trained and experienced HVAC serviceperson, you really should find a company you can trust and have their professionally trained and experienced professionals take a look at your HVAC on a regularly scheduled basis.