Coming home on a hot summer day to find your AC is broken changes your life. It's too hot to cook or sleep. You will now go without food and rest.
Everything is downright annoying. If you're lucky, it will cool off when the sun goes down.
But right now, you are standing in your open freezer door holding frozen peas on the back of your neck.
You might be thinking about the signs something was wrong with your AC. You'll wonder why you did not call a pro earlier. You promise your sweaty self you'll never do that again.
And, you are right. Heating and Air Conditioning preventative maintenance will ensure your home is comfortable.
Here's what you can do so there's never a next time.
There's more than one good reason to change your AC or heating filters. Your HVAC system "breathes" the same air in and out all day, every day.
Dust, dander from pets, and small debris, if not filtered out, will reach your HVAC unit. And, this can shut it down, for good.
If your filter is full, the constant "breathing" will be much harder on your system. An overworked and dirty system can freeze AC coils or overheat a furnace.
Change your filters at least every two months. And, don't skimp. Some are well-built to pick up small amounts of dust and animal hair. Get that one.
When your HVAC unit blows cold air to keep you comfortable, there's more to work than most realize. It works to take the heat out of the air with refrigerant.
The change causes condensation due to the temperature difference. The coolant and the water (condensation) feeds in and out from the HVAC unit with metal lines.
And, these can get clogged. Without the Freon, your air cannot cool off. And, if condensation builds up, it's going to pool somewhere.
The pool is an instant party for mold and bacteria and can stop the system from working well. Check the lines going in and out of the units every time you change your filter.
Pouring a cup of bleach and water into the condensation line keeps gunky water from building up.
Many homeowners don't think of their outdoor HVAC unit as cool yard art. Masking the equipment with shrubs or small trees is common.
But, the unit needs at least two feet of space around its perimeter to work right.
If you haven't noticed, it has a large fan inside. If leaves or branches block its suction, it can't produce the air it needs. Trim back or remove anything that's too close.
HVAC pros have loads of stories about duct tape. It makes good sense to homeowners to save a few bucks by fixing a hole with it. And, pros see the sad results of such repairs.
When you spy a hole or tear in your ductwork, you know it's not right. Your system takes in too much dirt, and you are sending air conditioning into your attic.
Though it carries the name "duct", it is not for ducts. Because it doesn't work. High heat will turn it into a mushy mess. Have a pro clean your system, including the ductwork.
Holes or tears are simple fixes with sealant. Though you'll want to check your ductwork every season, don't try to fix it on your own.
The great thing about HVAC units is that they don't keep their secrets well. If there is something wrong with them, they often let you know.
Sounds of metal crunching, turning off and on too often, or odd sounds behind your vents are clues. Your HVAC is telling you something.
Or, if your home is not warm enough or cold enough, then service may be necessary. Do the obvious things like checking the filter and lines.
Also, make sure you're not keeping more than 20% of your vents closed off. And, if the weird sounds get to the point of frightening your family, call for help.
When monthly energy bills go way up, there is a culprit at work. Most of the wattage you use to keep your house going is for the refrigerator.
If yours is new and energy efficient, then it may be the HVAC. Check to see how often it kicks on, and how long it stays on.
It should not have to run all day to maintain a comfortable temperature. In some cases, it's a faulty thermostat. If you have the old type, it may be time for a digital version.
If you already have the upgrade, check the batteries. And replace them every year. Fresh batteries are cheap maintenance. They prevent your system from running when it doesn't have to.
Keeping your system running clean is pretty simple. But, an HVAC system relies on electricity and heavy machinery, not just good habits.
Plan on heating and air conditioning preventative maintenance with a professional. They can spot trouble long before it rears its ugly head.
In Fall and Spring, they can recharge, clean, and make sure everything's working as it should.
And, if it's time for a simple upgrade like a new thermostat or fan, they'll take care of it on the spot.
We know you want to fill your home with quality air year round. We help homeowners just like you with service and help. Have a question about what we can do for your home? Contact us here and let's talk.