As Houston weather patterns become more extreme, ensuring that your HVAC unit remains reliable becomes essential. But is there anything the average homeowner can do to keep an HVAC running smoothly? Fortunately, there is.
You may be surprised at some of the simple measures you can take to tackle HVAC maintenance issues and increase the lifespan of your heating system. Here are a few basic but highly effective maintenance tips to resolve common HVAC problems.
HVAC Runs Too Frequently
Your HVAC unit may be cycling on more often than usual. And it’s struggling to bring the house to the correct temperature. The source of the problem may be restricted airflow due to a dirty filter.
One of the most straightforward maintenance procedures is to change the filters. Try to get in the habit of leaving a filter in place only as long as recommended by the filter’s manufacturer. However, remember that your circumstances may require swapping filters more often.
Select The Correct Filter
It would be best if you also used the filter type suitable for your HVAC. It’s tempting to save money by using an economy filter. But discount filters are likely to capture less dirt than a quality filter.
To make matters worse, you generally need to exchange cheap filters more often than better filters. So, if you are routinely late replacing filters, your HVAC will suffer even more with an overworked cheap filter.
But you can also make the mistake of choosing a high-quality filter that’s not right for your HVAC. Superior filters have a tight weave pattern to capture more airborne particles. That’s great for protecting your HVAC, but only if the HVAC is strong enough to push air through the filter.
Suppose it struggles to get the air past the filter. In that case, your HVAC unit will overextend itself trying to supply enough air to the unit. So, don’t use a particular style and brand of filter unless your HVAC manufacturer has tested and verified that it’s compatible.
Help Your Filter With Regular Housecleaning
You can help your filters by cleaning your floors with a vacuum cleaner that also has a quality filter, such as a HEPA filter. HEPA filters can catch much of the debris on your floors that would otherwise eventually make its way to your HVAC filter.
Also, clean the dirt from the air return, vents, and the surrounding area. The dirt clinging to the air return or lying nearby is the same dirt that your air return will pull into the filter.
Generally, an all-purpose cleaner works fine. But if your air return and vents are exposed to fumes like those from the kitchen or fireplace, you may need a stronger agent to cut through the unavoidable grease and grime.
Another common source of air pollution is furry pets. If possible, try to avoid locating their beds near your air return. Once again, regular use of a reliable vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter will help your HVAC run trouble-free much longer.
HVAC Area is Crowded
Whether indoors or outdoors, try to give your HVAC a perimeter free of clutter. When the unit is indoors, people often lean against it, brooms, mops, folding chairs, and other household items you usually find in basements.
But you want to maintain the flow of air around the unit. You also don’t want items that collect dust and create possible fire hazards.
The principle also applies to outdoor units. Here, the problem is often overgrown bushes and flowers. Homeowners will use plants to block the sight of the HVAC.
If the plants are far enough away from the unit, that’s fine. But after a few years, the plants can become so thick that they intrude into the airspace around the unit, dropping leaves and pollen into the system. You want to trim or remove those plants to prolong the life of your HVAC.
Also, be careful that family members don’t use the outdoor unit as a place to park extra patio furniture or gardening equipment.
There’s an Unpleasant Odor
Seconds after your HVAC springs to life, is there a foul odor filling your home? There’s a good chance that you have mold or some other growth in your ductwork.
This is common. Mold and bacteria thrive in moisture which is sometimes found in ductwork.
Cleaning the airways leading into and out of your home requires professional assistance. An experienced HVAC technician will have the necessary equipment to clean and disinfect your ductwork.
Your Home is Not Getting Warm
Is your HVAC unit working properly, but your home is still chilly? The problem may be underneath your house.
In time, your HVAC ductwork can fail. For example, two sections can disconnect. When that happens, your HVAC will lose a good percentage of its warm air beneath your house.
This forces you to turn up the thermostat in an attempt to raise the temperature. That means you’re putting added stress on your HVAC and shortening its life.
Reconnecting separated sections of ductwork is typically simple. It’s something that you may be able to accomplish if you’re comfortable with basic household repairs. And you don’t mind crawling beneath your house. Otherwise, a visit from a Houston heating repair company can remedy those HVAC issues relatively quickly.
HVAC Makes Strange Noises
There are few things as disturbing as strange noises coming from your HVAC. Don’t ignore the noises. Those maintenance issues are warning signs.
Usually, it’s an indication that a component needs lubrication, has become loose, or is simply worn out.
Call your HVAC technician for a full inspection. Don’t make the mistake of putting it off because the unit is still functioning despite the noise. If you procrastinate, your HVAC may stop working at the most inconvenient time, such as in the middle of the night.
Get Professional Help For HVAC Maintenance Issues
Scheduling regular inspections for HVAC maintenance issues is a good idea to keep your HVAC functioning correctly. Why not book at least an annual maintenance inspection?
Our well-trained technicians will be happy to look at your HVAC and offer filter advice, clean and repair ducts, or replace worn-out parts. Regular inspections will give you the confidence your family will stay warm on the coldest Houston winter nights.
So, contact us today to get started.