Owning a home comes with many responsibilities attached to it. As a result, there are lots of systems and components to consider. It’s important that these systems are consistently maintained in order for things to run smoothly at home. In previous posts, we’ve recommended how you can improve air circulation in your home as well as provided a breakdown of residential Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. In this post, we’ll go over some additional benefits of preventative maintenance for HVAC systems, and provide safety tips which will save money and repairs.
The Basics of Preventative Maintenance for HVAC Systems
The mechanical systems in any home can become worn and get damaged over a period of time. This in turn leads to the need for repairs that will put a strain on your wallet. Severe damage to mechanical systems is preventable in many ways. This is the case for heating and cooling systems. Preventative maintenance for HVAC systems is the most effective way to keep your systems in top shape.
Preventative maintenance for HVAC systems is twofold. You can either perform it yourself or get the help of an HVAC contractor. There are plenty of resources available to help DIYers get started. Contractors are also an option if you decide against doing things yourself. Contractors are able to spot trouble areas much more easily. In addition, contractors will also be able to properly assess when it’s the right time to upgrade your systems.
This summer, if you’re looking for an HVAC company that has experience with providing high quality maintenance in Kitchener-Waterloo area, contact us to schedule an appointment.
The Importance of a Maintenance Checklist
To keep things organized, here are the core component in homes that will require regular maintenance this summer. Air conditioners, water heaters, vents (including dryer vents) and ducts are some of those things that need some care this summer. We realize it’s easy to forget because of busy schedules. In spite of this, it’s important to create a checklist. Keeping a maintenance checklist is a great way to keep these systems and parts of the home running consistently.
With checklists, pending maintenance tasks become much more visible to the person or people performing those tasks. It ensures that fixes and tune ups that need to happen weekly or monthly are completed without leading to neglect or equipment breakdown. While checklists do provide consistency, keeping a manageable list is an important part of being efficient. Let’s look at each of the components that need regular care in a little more detail.
Maintaining Air Conditioners
There are simple things you can do to prepare air conditioners for the summer. Do practical maintenance work on air conditioners to maintain its performance over the period of time. Summer gets really hot! The last thing you want to happen when you switch on the air conditioner is for it to fail. A quick thing to inspect is the air conditioner’s condenser unit. The large metal box located outside with a fan protected by a grille is the condenser unit. Go outside after locating the condenser unit and check to make sure the coils aren’t blocked by dirt and leaves.
Clogging reduces the efficiency of the condenser unit because of the obstruction of airflow. If you’re performing this task without help, you’ll need to turn off the unit. Next step is to use a screwdriver to unscrew the panels from the condenser unit to be able to reach and clean the coils. After the coils, make sure the AC filters are clean. Dirty filters also prevent rooms from cooling properly and leads to breakdown when left unchecked.
Maintaining Water Heaters
Water heaters do a lot of hard work to provide hot water for the warm baths we all love. Water heaters also provide hot water for dishwashers and washing machines. Don’t let the ‘heater’ in the title fool you, water heaters are very much a part of our daily lives. For first timers, performing some maintenance work water heaters can be tricky.
If a contractor isn’t in your budget this summer, try insulating the pipes, adjusting the temperature and flushing the tank to remove sediment. These are the simplest ways to keep your water heater running efficiently without breaking the bank. The general rule with water heater maintenance is flushing at least once annually. Also, read this helpful how-to guide to learn how to properly flush a water heater. Additionally, consider rust when performing inspections. Make sure no rust has formed towards the bottom of the unit as it could mean the unit has become damaged.
Maintaining Vents and Ducts
In our previous post, we briefly highlighted the importance of getting ducts and vents cleaned out. Every time air circulates, filters prevent dirty air from spreading through your home. If this maintenance task isn’t on your checklist, it should be. Keeping these components clean helps improve air circulation around the home. Furthermore, consistent preventative maintenance for HVAC systems will ensure that dust and dirt doesn’t accumulate as quickly as before.
Maintaining dryer vents is very important. Completely neglecting dryer vents will lead to longer drying times and heat damaged clothes. Every few months, disconnect the dryer from its power source and check the dryer vents. This will ensure that small pieces of fabric and lint haven’t escaped the lint screen and built up around the dryer vent. Finally, maintaining the dryer vents makes the dryer exhaust properly and prevents fires from threatening your home.
In conclusion, the main goal of any preventative maintenance for HVAC systems is to help develop consistent practices over time. The more consistent you are, the better the results will be for your home. It’s an established fact that the planned maintenance of equipment like air conditioners and heaters, as well as, components like ducts and vents will improve how long they last.
Alternatively, an HVAC professional is able to identify problems with your system and provide you with the best solutions on how to fix or repair them. Finally, if you’re not a do-it-yourself person and would rather your systems get looked at by professionals, give us a call at 519-884-6366 or fill out our contact form!