With proper maintenance, you should only need to replace your heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems every 15 years, though in some cases they can last much longer if you treat them well. This may seem like a strange idea, and you may be wondering how it could be possible to treat an electrical air control system well. Surely you just use them and repair them when things go wrong? Though most people do exactly this, there are additional things you could do to help your HVAC systems last as long as possible and save you money in the long run.
Take a load off your Air Con
Making sure that you have the most suitable central air conditioning for your home or building will cause you to feel comfortable and happy for several years to come. A big component of choosing a suitable candidate is to consider the other cooling options that your house allows. Air conditioning units that are on and working constantly are more likely to degrade with time, so it’s important to sometimes take off the load. Try using ceiling fans and turning the air conditioning down while you do so. Alternatively, you can open doors and windows at key points to concentrate wind access and allow consistent and good airflow through your home. There are several ways to improve air circulation, so try as many as you can.
Watch out for Masking and Dust
It may sound reductionist, but all HVAC systems require air flowing in and air flowing out. They can be put under unnecessary strain by masking, which is when the airflow is prohibited either around its entrance or exit. This is most obvious with the interference of small bits of trash like tissues or outside debris partially blocking the flow, but dust can be a silent efficiency-killer in this regard.
Dust can get inside the system and collect in pipe and duct bends, slowing down the airflow and decreasing the time your HVAC system can last without replacement. It’s important to stay on top of this as if there is a build-up of dust it can increase the levels of respiratory irritants or allergens in the air, which can have negative effects on your health. A dusty HVAC system can also increase the amount of cleaning you need to do, as it coats everything with small particles of dust from the air.
Another crucial consideration is that of your furniture and home accessories. Drapes, plants, furniture, rugs, and artwork can gather dust and also prevent the free-flow of air. Consider moving them away from vents. Carpets are also a contributor to dusty vents. These are obviously more problematic to deal with permanently but consider your rug placement and if possible make sure there are no rugs next to your vents.
You should have your ducts professionally cleaned every 3 to 4 years, and if you were to find that your AC is not working as it should because it hasn’t been properly maintained, it is best to get in touch with a local professional sooner rather than later. A great way to find help with your system is by looking for ‘HVAC repair near me’ online.
Change your filters and clean your coils
You should regularly dust your home, vacuum your carpet, and change the filters of your active HVAC system every 4 to 6 weeks or whenever your unit is performing poorly or producing any foul odors. Different filters require different maintenance procedures, but you should remove the cover of your unit and remove the filter so that you can see the cooling coils. Some more modern units have an easy-access filter, but for many, you need to unscrew the cover to access the filters and coils.
When you have access to your coils, you need to spray them with a cleaning agent that is specific for HVAC systems. The nature of the cleaning agent depends on the brand, but in general, they should tackle any dirt deposits that have gathered, and help to remove odors caused by mold, smoke or other such issues. It’s important to spray carefully, as there may be some electrical wires, controls, or other components that could get damaged by the solvents in the cleaner.
After this, you should clean the filter. You can do this by soaking it in plain water, moving it about to get rid of all the dust and dirt, and then air-drying it. You may also want to sanitize the filter with vinegar. If the filter is damaged, degraded or too dirty to clean, you should replace it.
The nature of HVAC systems means that their replacement is both highly expensive and often preventable. With these simple steps, you can extend the life of your units and save loads in the long-run.