The HVAC unit for a home is used to provide heat during the winter and cool air during the summer. If you are a new homeowner, then a few tips can be used to ensure the furnace and air conditioner in your home runs reliably and efficiently.
Check Furnace Filter
The filter for your furnace will need to be changed every two to three months when heating your house during cold months of the year. If you do not replace the air filter regularly, then the furnace will not be as efficient and will use more energy. Filters can be found at any home improvement store.
Maintain Outdoor Clearance
Outside air conditioner units need a minimum clearance of two feet from the side of a house and from any trees or shrubs. This is to ensure the unit receives proper air flow. Heat pumps on the outside of a home will also require two feet of clearance to function normally.
Clean Summer Debris
Debris that builds up on the outside air conditioning unit during summer needs to be cleaned weekly to ensure the unit runs efficiently. This can be done by using a small brush, compressed air, or a leaf blower. Grass from a lawn mower discharge chute should also not get into the unit.
Inspect Refrigerant Lines
The refrigerant lines on the outside of your home need to be inspected once a month. You need to make sure the insulation on the lines is sufficient. If any insulation is missing or damaged, then it needs to be replaced. Insulation can also be found at a home improvement store.
Check Outdoor Unit Base
The base for your outdoor air conditioner is typically a concrete slab. If this slab begins to sink, then the unit may not work correctly. A level can be used to check the base to see if it is properly level. You can use cement to put new footing under the slab to return it to level.
Clean Condensate Drain
The drain for the condensate line of the air conditioning unit can build up with algae and even mold. A build up of algae or mold can often cause a clog that a plumber will need to clear. You can pour bleach down the condensate drain to kill any growth of mold or algae. This will need to be done each spring.
Summer Furnace Maintenance
The maintenance of the furnace for the summer includes closing the shut-off valve for the water line to the furnace humidifier. The wick filter for the humidifier will need to be replaced in the fall. Make sure you also set the relative humidity on the humidistat to between 30 and 40 percent in the fall when turning the water back on.
Check Vents and Registers
Examine the vents and registers in your home to make sure no more than 20 percent are open. If too many vents or registers are closed, then excess strain is being put on your HVAC system. If you are not using the upstairs of your home, then keep those vents and registers closed.
Clean Condenser Coils
Clean coils on the outside unit will ensure the unit runs efficiently. You can clean these coils with a soft bristle brush or water from a garden hose.
Check Carbon Monoxide Detector
A gas furnace in your home will require one or more carbon monoxide detectors. You need to check all the detectors in your home each year and replace the batteries.
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