For each year you don’t have your HVAC system maintained, its efficiency decreases by as much as five percent. Plus, routine maintenance is typically far less expensive than replacement. To ensure your HVAC system is operating as efficiently as possible, consider the following maintenance tips:
Have your heating and air conditioning systems inspected annually. Schedule an inspection during a mild weather season so the inspector can check both systems on the same visit. Technicians have greater availability during the off-season, which means you won’t have to deal with the discomfort that can come from having your system break down in extreme weather.
Replace air filters regularly. In addition to causing your furnace to overheat or your air conditioner to potentially fail, dirty air filters can also trigger allergic reactions. When your filter becomes plugged up, the air is unable to flow through the system, which degrades its performance and eventually leads to failure.
Choose the right air filter. To stop dirt and dust from entering the air ducts in your home, avoid installing low-quality air filters in your heating or air conditioning system. High-quality filters are more effective at inhibiting dirt from entering air ducts, but that also means they plug up faster and have to be replaced more often.
Have your ducts inspected annually and cleaned every two to five years. Leaky air ducts can decrease the efficiency of your HVAC system by 20 to 50 percent.
Regularly check your outside condensing unit to make sure it isn’t clogged with leaves or debris. In order to work effectively, the unit needs to be able to breathe and draw air into the system.
Determine the maintenance needs for your specific system. Some HVAC systems only need their filters replaced annually, while others need them changed two to four times a year. If you’re not sure what kind of system you have or what its maintenance needs are, call a professional to come look at it (preferably a company that performs free estimates).