HVAC System Maintenance and Repair
It’s an event we’ve all certainly experienced. The heat of summer or freezing cold of winter arrives, and our home’s HVAC system chooses that moment to fail, leaving us uncomfortable at best or exposed to serious health risk at worst. Fortunately, there are a variety of items to check and routine tasks to perform that may not only resolve any HVAC system issues, but might also minimize their likelihood as well. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind that will keep your heater or air conditioner humming along nicely.
Many HVAC systems feature a distinct breaker for heating and cooling. Often either near the unit itself or a separate breaker in your home’s box, this switch maintains the portion of the system that heats or cools on a circuit separated from that which provides ventilation. If your unit is blowing air that is not being heated or cooled, look for such a switch and determine if it is on or off. This may be all that is necessary to resolve any HVAC issues you are experiencing.
If there is not a separate breaker and your unit is circulating air at an ambient temperature, the mechanism that heats or cools air may be lacking some essential chemical or feature to perform its task. If your heater is gas-powered, ensure that the pilot light is lit and that gas is still available. If your air conditioner isn’t cooling, then the issue might be that the refrigerant is no longer effective. A variety of coolants are used in modern air conditioners. Just which one your unit uses should be documented in its manual, and if you are uncomfortable with the process of changing it yourself, then a qualified HVAC repair contractor should be consulted.
Preventive maintenance is the best means of minimizing or avoiding HVAC issues. Here are a few tips that will keep your unit operating at top efficiency.
First, change your filters regularly, typically once per month. Clogged filters can make your unit operate much less efficiently, requiring it to displace more air than is needed and imposing a strain upon its systems over time. Dirty filters also draw waste products into the unit itself which, given time, wear away at the internal machinery and cause parts to break down prematurely.
Also, work to improve your home’s insulation, sealing any leaks you may discover. An inadequately insulated home also requires your unit to work harder than it otherwise must. HVAC systems are not intended for constant, continuous operation, and if they cannot maintain the temperature you set, then they will eventually stop functioning.
There are many other factors necessary to the efficient maintenance of your home’s HVAC unit. The best way to keep your system running is to have it inspected regularly by a qualified HVAC professional. Not only can such contractors identify problems before they happen, but they may also indicate steps that might be taken to eliminate other issues in your home that might be causing increased, unnecessary HVAC use.