Your home heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is what keeps your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It consists of your central air conditioner and your furnace and/or heat pump.
Why Do It?
According to EnergyStar.gov, periodic maintenance of your HVAC system will keep it running at peak performance and help you avoid breakdowns.
Your owner's manual and product literature will indicate how often your HVAC unit needs service or maintenance. EnergyStar.gov suggests twice-yearly maintenance by a professional—once before summer kicks off, for your cooling system, and once before winter draws near, for your heating system.
This maintenance should occur in addition to your monthly check of the air filter.
How to Do It:
While the typical homeowner can replace the HVAC air filters on his or her own, an HVAC tune-up generally requires a professional. According to EnergyStar.gov, the contractor should make sure to do the following:
Task 1. Check the thermostat settings.
This ensures that the thermostat is set for the optimal cooling/heating of your home. Larger homes can have more than one thermostat. Be certain that the HVAC professional checks all the thermostats in your home.
Task 2. Check the electrical connections.
All electric connections should be checked and tightened if loose. Loose electrical connections can result in your HVAC system failing.
Make sure your thermostat is set for the optimal cooling/heating of your home
Task 3. Lubricate the moving parts.
Oiling all moving parts can prolong the life of your HVAC system. Parts that are not lubricated may wear out faster, which can lead to repair bills. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in this regard.
Task 4. Inspect the condensation drain.
The condensation drain routes the water vapor produced by your HVAC unit outside your home. A clogged drain can cause internal water damage to your home, and can interfere with the functioning of your HVAC unit. It's critical that the drain is not clogged or running slowly.
Task 5. Check the system controls.
Run the system through its cycles to ensure that the system controls are functioning properly.
Task 6. Clean evaporator air conditioner coils (AC).
These coils are what cool your home. Dirty coils reduce their efficiency, so you should make sure they are cleaned during every HVAC tune-up.
Task 7. Inspect the refrigerant level. (AC)
Too much or too little refrigerant in your cooling system can adversely affect its performance.
Task 8. Clean and adjust blower parts.
The blower is what pushes the warm or cool air into your home from the HVAC system. According to EnergyStar.gov, airflow issues can reduce your systems efficiency by up to 15 percent. Therefore, it's critical to make certain the blower is clean and functioning properly.
Task 9. Check the heater components.
The contractor should check the gas or oil connections, gas pressure, heat exchanger and burner combustion chamber to make sure they're all working properly, to avoid fire and safety hazards.
Task 10. Check for carbon monoxide.
The professional conducting your tune-up should test for carbon monoxide and make any repairs necessary if it's found, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Remember, it takes a professional to properly tune up your HVAC system. And, while these are good general guidelines, your owner's manual has the best information to help you determine when to schedule service.
Want a reminder to tune up your heating and air conditioning system? Sign up for the Allstate Maintenance Reminder.