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Keeping Your HVAC in Tip-Top Shape

If you have an HVAC unit (short for heating, ventilation and air conditioning), you most certainly want to make sure to do everything possible to keep it running smoothly! Because let's be honest, nothing can ruin a day faster than roasting inside your home smack dab in the middle of summer. Regular upkeep is key to a happy and healthy HVAC unit.

HVAC Maintenance Tips

Tip: Not sure what type of heating and cooling system you have? Check out this article — Types of Heating & Cooling Systems

6 Tips for HVAC Upkeep

Change the Filters

One of the best, yet cheapest and easiest things you can do for your unit (and the air you're breathing in your home) is to change the filters regularly. Not only is it important to change your filters once a month for air quality, but it also helps improve costs by lowering energy consumption.

HVAC Maintenance Tips - Change your filters

Why then does something so easy seem almost impossible to remember — don't worry you're not the only one who has a hard time keeping up with replacing your HVAC filter. But, it is a very important element in keeping your system running smoothly. Try setting a reminder on your phone or, if you want to make things easy on yourself, check out a filter subscription sent to your door right on schedule!

Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean

Don't forget about the actual HVAC unit — you know, the part that lives outside your house. It's easy to forget about but make sure you take time to show it some love. Try to keep it generally clean by removing leaves, grass clippings, branches, or debris that have landed on the top or stuck to the sides. Also clear any overgrowth, trees/shrubs, or leaves from directly around the unit (approximately 2 ft of clearance) so that airflow isn't obstructed. Something to keep in mind is that excessive pollen has been known to clog units so keep an eye out if you heavy pollen producing-foliage.

Clean the Air Returns

Be sure to vacuum or dust your air returns at least once a year (preferably more often) as this helps your HVAC regulate temperature properly and maximizes airflow.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

If you don't already have one, a programmable thermostat is a great investment that can save you money and help prolong the life of your HVAC unit. The settings on your thermostat will allow you to choose a schedule that automatically shifts the temperature based on the time of day (such as when you're away from home or sleeping). This automatic temperature adjustment gives your system a break that over time adds up, plus it's a great way to control your energy costs.

HVAC Maintenance Tips - Install a Thermostat

Keep the Evaporator Drainpipe Clean

Although this step can be a bit more involved it can also be one of the biggest culprits of a unit breakdown. If you aren't sure where to find the drainpipe there are many diagrams online that can be helpful or you can ask your HVAC tech to show you where the drainpipe is located the next time they are performing maintenance. You should check the drainpipe regularly for anything clogging it and do your best to remove the blockage (we suggest a wet/dry vac if necessary).

Have a Professional Maintenance Check Twice a Year

Make sure to have a professional perform a wellness check of your HVAC system twice a year, ideally in the spring and fall — before the system will be working it's hardest to cool in the summer and heat in the winter. They will make sure the unit is functioning as it should be, perform routine maintenance, and alert you to any issues they may find.

Yes, it's true, keeping up with maintenance on your HVAC does add one more item on to your to-do list. But, just a little work goes a long way! Keeping your HVAC unit in tip-top shape can majorly prolong the life of your system, help avoid costly repairs, improve its overall energy (and cost) efficiency and allow for uninterrupted comfort all year long.

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