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HVAC Preventative Maintenance Checklist

Functioning HVAC systems make life easy because they have the power to create a micro-climate within your home in your hands. With just the click of a button, you can determine how cool or warm you want your home to be despite what the weather outside is doing.

But sometimes you do not realize just how vital the HVAC system in your home is to your productivity and comfort until they stop working. The HVAC is one of those systems in your home that tend to run for months, or even years, without any outward signs of trouble.

As a result, homeowners often assume that just because their HVAC is still working, must mean the system is in good condition. But most HVAC issues happen a little at a time, although they leave small signs of the existing problems before the catastrophe happens, warns RentGPM.com.

When the big issues finally do reveal themselves, they can find the most inopportune times to happen. An example is when a furnace chooses the middle of a harsh winter night to stop working. Another instance is when your AC conks out right at the height of the summer heat.

These are some of the reasons why it is important to have a program of preventive maintenance for your HVAC systems. Maintaining your HVAC systems on a schedule will help new HVAC last longer while reducing the maintenance cost for older systems.

HVAC preventive maintenance will let you save money in the long run by cutting your energy spending. You will be able to get the most out of your HVAC. HVAC preventive maintenance also promotes the physical well-being of everyone in your home by improving indoor air.

How do you implement a preventive maintenance program for your HVAC? The following checklist explains the steps you need to keep your HVAC in the best shape. Note that while some of the steps are things you can do yourself, you do need a qualified HVAC technician for others.

General maintenance tips

General maintenance tips

Here are some things you can do yourself:

  • Change your filters every 30-90 days. Dirty filters strain and overwork the HVAC.
  • Clear debris away from around the outside HVAC unit; give it room to breathe.
  • Check refrigerant lines for wear and damage every month, including in winter.
  • Check that the HVAC unit is level, not tilted. Do this every 2-3 months.
  • Eliminate buildup. To do this, pour a mixture of bleach in a cup of water down the AC condenser drain.
  • Shut off the water supply to the furnace humidifier, from summer until early fall.
  • Leave at least 80% of your home’s registers open to protect the HVAC.
  • Inspect fan blades every 2-3 months, while the system is idle and running.
  • Pay attention to odors and noises coming from the HVAC system.
  • Empty any water inside the drain pans to avoid accidental overflows.
  • Ensure that thermostats are working and they are at the desired settings.
  • Change thermostat batteries regularly.

Spring/Summer Maintenance Checklist

Spring and Summer Maintenance Checklist

Do these at the start of spring and summer.

  • Replace all filters and always use filters specified by the equipment manufacturer.
  • Inspect evaporator coils and condensers for signs of wear or damage and clean them.
  • To ensure proper flow, remove clogs and clean the drain lines.
  • Inspect pulleys and belts for wear or damage and replace them if necessary.
  • Check ducts for a buildup of dust and debris, as well as mold.
  • Check refrigerant level; if the level is low, inspect for possible leaks.
  • Inspect all the HVAC connections, including the entire electrical system.
  • Check the fan motor when it is idle and when it is running.
  • Check blowers and blades to be sure they can maintain proper airflow.
  • Lubricate all moving parts in the HVAC to reduce friction and wear.
  • Look for signs of leaks around the HVAC cabinets.
  • Ensure the cabinet door is securely closed.
  • Ensure that thermostats are working and they are at the desired settings.

Fall/Winter Maintenance Checklist

Fall and Winter Maintenance Checklist

Do these at the start of fall and winter:

  • Replace all filters and only use filters specified by the equipment manufacturer.
  • Inspect the ignition burner assembly for signs of trouble.
  • Inspect heating elements or heat exchangers to detect possible damage and avoid issues with carbon monoxide.
  • Check the flue system; make sure it is properly attached to the furnace.
  • For gas furnaces, check the gas pressure and for possible gas leaks.
  • Inspect belts and pulleys for signs of wear and replace frayed components.
  • Check all electrical wiring and other connections.
  • Lubricate all moving parts to reduce friction and the possibility of damage due to wear.
  • Ensure that thermostats are working and they are at the desired settings.
  • Make sure the heat pump is working.

In addition to your maintenance schedule, other factors that can affect the performance of your HVAC are the age of your HVAC, the climate in your location, the size of the HVAC, and how much you use the system. Be sure to take these into account when maintaining the HVAC.

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