Laura Lahti From Badger Realty Team & DIY Guys Talk HVAC
HVAC maintenance may seem like something that should be left to someone else, but when you’re a homeowner, it’s important to understand how your system works and what to do when it needs to be cleaned or repaired. For most people, this system will get a big workout during the summer months, making it crucial to ensure it’s in good shape well before the hottest day of the year. You don’t want to be stuck with no AC because you failed to check and make sure the unit was clean and free of debris! Keeping it well-maintained will also help save you money in the long run since this can be a very pricey repair if something breaks.
Fortunately, there are several simple things you can do to help keep your system running smoothly no matter how often you use it. One of the main things to keep in mind is that you’ll need the right tools for the job, but it will also be important to do some research on all the parts of an HVAC system so you’ll better understand what you’re looking at. Keeping safety in mind is a must, as well. So, here are just a few things to think about when it comes to making sure your HVAC system stays in good working order.
Know How to Clean the System
Cleaning your HVAC unit isn’t too difficult if you know all the steps, but you’ll need the right tools and a bit of time — about half a day. For around $50 and $100, you can do the job yourself; just make sure you turn off the power supply before you get started. Gather the materials you’ll need: a screwdriver or wrench, a garden hose, a fin tool, foil tape, and a coil cleaner. If the unit is really dirty, bleach and hot soapy water might be in order. Wipe down the condenser and blades and make sure there’s no debris — such as grass or dead insects — inside.
Know All the Parts
If you’re going to perform DIY maintenance on your HVAC system, it’s important to know what all the parts are and how they work together. Many systems are “split,” meaning some parts are inside your home and some are in the unit itself. The ducts that connect to your home will need to be kept clean, as well as the filters that keep the air quality in your house nice and breathable. It’s a good idea to keep some spare filters around (now’s a good time to sign up for a filter subscription service) so you’ll always have one when you need to change it out.
Build a Barrier
Many HVAC units benefit from a barrier that will help keep grass, weeds, and other debris from being sucked into them. You can build a fence around it, or you can plant tall hedges that both shield it from view and keep it protected. Just make sure your barrier gives the unit plenty of breathing room and still allows you to access it without any problems.
Keep It Cool
One of the easiest ways to keep your HVAC unit working well — and to keep your utility bills from becoming sky-high — is to keep the system cool on hot days. Some homeowners add greenery around the unit to give it some shade, but if you live in an area that has extremely hot days during the summer, it might be a good idea to create a more permanent solution, such as hanging a canopy above it.
HVAC maintenance can seem overwhelming if you’re a new homeowner or if you don’t consider yourself to be handy, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal. With the right tools and a little research on the system, you can make any project DIY.