Crucial Care for Your HVAC System
Many homeowners take meticulous care of their homes; the landscaping is manicured, wall and floor covering are cleaned and refreshed regularly, and kitchen/bathrooms are updated frequently. Paying attention to these details increases the value and enjoyment of the key investment you made when you purchased a home. HVAC Maintenance should not be left out.
No other building system is as vital to the health, safety, and comfort of your home as your HVAC system. It provides heat when needed, cleans, and refreshes the air, removes excess humidity, and is a cool respite from the summer heat.
However, homeowners are apt to take this integral component of home comfort for granted. With no care or maintenance, issues related to its neglect develop and components wear out before their time. Finally, the system stops working and this results in expensive repairs or replacement.
There is a better way!
Problems Compounded by Neglecting HVAC Maintenance Service
Ventilation is so vital to your family’s health. Your HVAC system removes a tremendous amount of dust, pollen, pet hair, and dander from the air that circulates throughout your house. Looking at your air filter will confirm this. Even the best air filter does not remove all the dust from the air, and this remaining debris will play havoc with the entire system.
Efficient air filters can trap up to 99% of airborne particles. A dirty air filter restricts airflow and makes your blower motor work much harder than it should. This leads to early wear and early replacement. In addition, the air pushing through a dirty filter can push the filter aside, allowing unfiltered air to recirculate.
Changing your air filter at least every three months will increase the efficiency of your system and lengthen its lifespan. If you live on a dusty road or near a dust-producing site, the filter might need to be changed more frequently.
During the summer months, the AC cools the air and at the same time removes excess humidity. The component responsible for this task is the condenser coil—a large loop of (most likely copper) pipes, cooled by the refrigerant inside. Water collects on the coil–just like your glass of iced tea—and runs into a tray for removal.
The wet condenser coil will attract dust and as it accumulates on the coil, the coil loses efficiency. After one year of dust buildup, the condenser coil can lose 5% efficiency. Every year that passes can compound the problem.
When the blower motor cycles off, the airflow slows, and gravity takes over. Air-borne particles land wherever they can; the evidence is there every time you dust your house. The same is true inside your HVAC system as well.
The dust lands on electrical controls, motors, and inside the ducts that run throughout the house. This layer of dust can also contribute to reduced efficiency or health problems from dirty ductwork.
Your HVAC system has at least two closed systems: a sealed refrigerant loop and a drain for the condensation that forms because of cooling the air.
While not a major issue, wiring and electrical components in the proximity of excess moisture can lead to corrosion. Corroded wires resist the flow of electricity and reduce the efficiency of your system.
Air filters are commonly available, and this is a DIY project—simple and easy. Look for the point at which the air is drawn from the house into the HVAC system; you should find the air filter at this point. Set a calendar reminder at the beginning of each season to help you remember to change the filter.
Also, set a calendar reminder to schedule an annual preventative maintenance inspection with your HVAC professional. Your technician will have the tools to clean, inspect and monitor your entire system. This annual visit will ensure: