DIY HVAC Maintenance

by Rachel Laurendeau on August 13, 2012

Keeping your HVAC system properly maintained is the key to keeping it running efficiently. Keeping up on the regular maintenance will also help you spot problems before they become major issues, thus reducing your costs.

Plan on doing a bi-yearly maintenance check-up on your entire system. The best time to do it is in the spring and fall so you’re sure that everything is working correctly before going into the seasons of heavy use. Also, HVAC contractors tend to get busier in the winter and summer; by doing your maintenance check in the off-season, a technician should be more readily available.

When it comes to your HVAC system, we do not recommend attempting maintenance for which you are unqualified. Do the proper upkeep of your system, but when it comes to testing or servicing the equipment, you will want to call in the professionals. In fact, if you have a newer system, it may have come with a basic service agreement so check your documentation or talk to your contractor. And don’t forget, beyond regular maintenance, if you have problems with your system, many issues are covered under warranty.

Filters – This is the most important and simplest do-it-yourself maintenance step for your heating and air conditioning system. Dust, dirt, debris, allergens and pollutants can all clog up your system’s filters meaning that your system would have to work harder to push the air through and use more energy. The harder your system has to work, the more wear and tear will be sustained.

Clean or change your air filters regularly, as per the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure that there is good airflow and your system is not working overtime to get past the dirt. In most cases, you can vacuum the filter monthly and change it every three months or when it looks dirty. However, this does depend on the type of filter in your system so be sure to follow the instructions carefully or ask your HVAC contractor to show you how to do it the first time.

Air Vents – As with your filters, dust and debris can accumulate in your air vents causing your heating and air conditioning system to have to work harder and blowing all that dust into your living environment. Your air vents should be cleaned on a monthly basis by dusting and vacuuming them out. This will, of course, improve your indoor air quality and will also reduce the burden on your HVAC system.

Performing basic DIY maintenance on your HVAC system and calling in the professionals when necessary will ensure that your system remains efficient.

Related post: Improving the Efficiency of Your Heating and Cooling System.

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