5 Essential HVAC Maintenance Tips

The HVAC system is like the respiratory system of your home. Air flows through, distributing heating and cooling to keep everyone happy, safe, and comfortable. When debris builds up, or something goes wrong, problems occur.

As with exercise in the body, staying on top of HVAC maintenance can extend this core system’s lifespan and optimize its performance. Here are five essential HVAC maintenance tips to help you minimize repair costs while improving the air quality in your home.

Invest in Annual Tune-Up Visits

One of the best things you can do for your HVAC system is to invest in annual tune-up visits. Have a technician look at your ductwork, air conditioning, and furnace each year during the off-season. I.e., the spring or the fall.

This visit provides an opportunity for a trained professional to look at your systems and anticipate any issues that could arise. They’ll typically clean connections, make minor repairs, replace filters, and run some tests. This visit isn’t just about ensuring your systems work but making them run efficiently to minimize degradation and operational costs.

Invest in Bi-Annual Duct Cleaning

Depending on the HVAC system you have in your home, your ductwork may be overdue for a cleaning. This isn’t an issue if your home is heated and cooled by ductless heat pumps. However, this applies to you if you have a furnace or whole-house air conditioner.

Bi-annual duct cleaning will keep your air healthy and breathable while minimizing allergens in your home. This service will also help your system run more efficiently, extending its lifespan and minimizing repair costs through wear and tear. Duct cleaning is essential for people with allergies or respiratory concerns.

Keep Your Filters Clean

There are several things you can do to maintain your HVAC system between professional visits. The simplest way to keep your HVAC system functioning at optimal levels is to clean your filters. Plan to clean your filters at least bi-monthly during fringe seasons and monthly during high seasons. Most mini-splits, air conditioners, and furnaces make it easy to complete this task.

Depending on your home’s age and type of system, you may have to replace filters rather than clean them. When in doubt, ask your trusted HVAC professional.

Protect the Outdoor Unit

Protecting the outdoor heating or cooling units should be a top priority. Take the time to clear away any debris that collects in the unit, such as leaves or grass clippings. If there are bushes or trees nearby, add seasonal pruning and trimming to your annual home maintenance list.

While you can get covers for air conditioning units during winter, they’re controversial. These covers can help protect the outdoor unit from flying debris during storms and prevent seasonal build-up. However, they also create the perfect home for rodents needing a winter habitat. Outdoor units are designed for sub-zero temperatures. Talk to your HVAC technician about the best option for your outdoor unit.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

A few degrees here and there during peak seasons can make a big difference in the lifespan of your system. The more extreme your temperature preferences, the harder your HVAC will work to meet them.

Consider using a programmable or smart thermostat to regulate the temperature, decreasing the output when you’re sleeping or at work. Smart systems also allow you to adjust the temperature remotely if your schedule changes unexpectedly. This simple maintenance upgrade could save you hundreds in heating and cooling costs while helping your system run smoothly for longer periods.

These five simple maintenance tips are well worth the return on investment. Take your time finding a service provider to help you get the most from your HVAC system.