You should perform maintenance on your HVAC throughout the year to ensure it works properly when you need it to. Similar to servicing your car before big trips, giving your HVAC unit a tune-up for the summer heat will help make sure you have cool air all summer long. We’ll show you how to give your HVAC a tune-up.
Before working on anything that has power running to it you’ll want to make sure you cut the power off. Find your breaker box and the breaker labeled HVAC and turn the power off. If your HVAC unit does the job of cooling and heating your home you’ll need to turn off the flow of natural gas. Near the unit outside, you’ll need to find the gas line and turn the knob to off.
Clean the HVAC Unit
Cleaning your HVAC system can be pretty simple and easy as long as you haven’t neglected your system for too long. Even if you haven’t cleaned your HVAC system ever before, starting now will help you get on a continuous schedule.
To ensure your HVAC unit is running smoothly, it's important to make sure that you're keeping the outside of the machine clean. It might seem like a daunting task at first but once you get started, we promise there'll be no stopping! You can use a screwdriver or wrench to remove any debris from atop your fan cage and then remove the fan cage so you can give everything on the inside a scrub for good measure.
Next, remove the covers from the sides if there are any to be sure that no dirt can get in anymore. If you want to make extra sure they're clean, grab your vacuum with the brush attachment so you don't miss anything. Now rinse from inside out making sure all dust is gone too. By starting on the inside you’ll be pushing all of the gunk and build up out of the system. Everything will need to dry before you put the side panels and fan cage back on your HVAC system.
After you clean everything and check the fins, take some time to straighten them out. You can use a fin comb for this purpose or, in a pinch, a butter knife will work just as well. Gently wedge it in between and push the bent fins back into place. After that is complete, put on your gloves because this may get a little tedious.
To ensure your home is at peak efficiency, make sure the insulation on all of your coolant lines is intact. This includes both inside and outside the house in addition to any smaller or larger line exiting from it. If your insulation needs to be repaired or replaced, you can easily buy new insulation foam from the hardware store. Use electrical tape to secure it in place or to repair your loose insulation.
That’s it for outside!
Check the Inside Unit
Check the breaker for the inside portion of your HVAC system as it may be different from the outside unit. Start with a visual inspection. Look close at the pipes, coils, and floor surrounding the unit. You’re looking for dust, rust, and oil stains. Clean any areas where you find these. Oil stains and rust may indicate a leak. The leak could come from a number of things such as a coolant line. Finding the source of the leak may be difficult but, try to find the source. Unless you’re a trained professional you should probably call a HVAC technician out to find and repair the leak.
With every HVAC maintenance session, it is essential to clear the drain pipe. Start by finding and checking the drain pan near the bottom of your unit. You want it to be clean free of debris so that water won't have any issue draining out. Open the drain pipe connected to the pan and pour water in it. Make sure you have a bucket under it so that you will not leave any puddles on your floor. Flush out dirty water with an air compressor or use a wet/dry vacuum. Detach the pipe at a junction that is about one foot down from where it connects to the pan and insert the vacuum nozzle there. Plug up any other end of this line with something like your thumb or a cork. Turn on the vacuum and with other end plugged, it should suck out any dirt.
To avoid any water damage and flooding, ensure your drainpipe is properly reconnected. Pour a little bit of water in the sink to see if it smoothly flows away - you should notice this during maintenance inspections.
Change Your Air Filters
You should always be on the lookout for ways to improve your air quality. One of these is changing out your filters regularly, as a dirty filter will hurt both you and your home's furnace or AC unit. It may not seem too important now, but over time dirty dust could become an issue later - so don't take this task lightly! Changing your air filters every one to three months can help make sure that they're clean and ready to go when needed most. A FilterTime air filter subscription delivers air filters to your door on the schedule you set. No more going to the store to find out they don’t have your size air filter. No more forgetting to change your air filter. This is a simple solution to check an important task off the home chore list.
Enjoy Your Summer
Now that you’ve performed your summer HVAC tune-up and maintenance you and your HVAC system are now prepared for the summer heat. A little work now is better than possibly coming home to a hot, humid box of misery and sweat. If you lack the tools or knowledge to complete this HVAC tune-up we recommend contacting an HVAC technician to help.
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