Energy Efficient HVAC Preventative Maintenance Tips

Friendswood HVAC Preventative Maintenance

4 Friendswood HVAC Preventative Maintenance Tips to Lower Your Utility Bill

It is common knowledge that mechanical devices, like your air conditioner, need regular Friendswood HVAC Preventative Maintenance to keep going. Dirt and contaminants get into the moving parts and totally gum up the works. The US Department of Energy, every air conditioner manufacturer, and HVAC professionals everywhere agree that an annual maintenance visit is required to keep an air conditioner functioning properly.

What might not be so clear is that there are several HVAC Preventative Maintenance tasks that homeowners can complete with a few simple tools to improve air conditioner performance. Try these HVAC Preventative Maintenance tasks.

Friendswood HVAC Preventative Maintenance Tip 1: Be Responsible for the Air Filter

An air filter collects airborne particles with every heating and cooling cycle, but if the filter is not changed regularly, the collection of dust clogs the filter and reduces airflow.

  • In most homes, the air filter needs to be changed every three months. By changing the filter yourself, you can tell whether the filter needs to be changed more frequently.
  • By purchasing filters, you can determine the quality of the filter. Find the rating on the packaging—usually ranging between MERV 8 and 11. Check your owner’s manual before purchasing a higher-rated filter.
  • The air filter is usually found at the base of the central air cabinet at the air return duct.

Friendswood HVAC Preventative Maintenance Tip 2: Clear the Drain Line

As the air conditioner functions, moisture condenses on the evaporator coil and drips down into a drain pan. A drain line empties the water into a floor drain. However, algae and mold thrive in dark, moist places and will grow to clog the drain line. Fix this by:

  • Flipping the breaker to shut off power. You don’t want the air conditioner to cycle on while the cabinet is open.
  • With a screwdriver or socket, open up the evaporator chamber. Prepare a cup of vinegar (any type will do) and pour it into the drain pan. The vinegar will eliminate the algae and keep it from clogging the line.
  • Replace the cover and restore power to the air conditioner.

Friendswood HVAC Preventative Maintenance Tip 3: Clean the Condenser Unit

The outdoor component of the air conditioner is called the condenser unit. For the air conditioner to function properly, this unit needs a tremendous amount of air movement. Without air movement, the compressor motor will overheat, leading to catastrophic failure of the system.

  • Make sure that shrubs and ornamental grass are trimmed from the condenser, giving at least 2 feet of space in every direction.
  • Clear leaves and other blown debris away from the base of the unit.
  • Use a hose and wash every side of the unit thoroughly. These sides are composed of a network of tubes and fins designed to release heat into the air. Dirt and grass clippings will collect on the sides and need to be cleaned away. Use a hose but do not use a power washer, since this can damage the fins of the condenser.

Friendswood HVAC Preventative Maintenance Tip 4: Care for the Thermostat

The thermostat is the switch for the air conditioner, located on an inside wall; there are a few things to be done to maintain the switch. The thermostat is battery-powered, so the batteries will need to be changed annually.

  • Switch the thermostat to the off position.
  • Open the front of the thermostat, locate the batteries, and remove them.
  • Replace the batteries, close the cover, and restore power to the thermostat.

You can complete a less-than-professional testing of the thermostat with a simple thermometer.

  • Set the thermostat to a lower temperature, triggering a cooling cycle.
  • Bring the thermometer even with the thermostat on the wall.
  • Wait until the cooling cycle ends and check the thermometer to verify the temperature.

While not an exact test, the thermostat reading and thermometer reading should be very close to the same.

Schedule Your Friendswood HVAC Preventative Maintenance Appointment to Reduce Your Energy Consumption

Friendswood HVAC Preventative Maintenance is a key step to reducing your utility bills and increasing the lifespan of your HVAC system. Call Doctor Cool & Professor Heat today at 281-338-8751 or email Doctor Cool and schedule your HVAC maintenance appointment today.

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