Heating units are essential parts of our day-to-day lives. They require proper maintenance to ensure they operate efficiently throughout the year. Booking appointments with HVAC experts will help in keeping your unit in optimal condition. However, you must perform preventive maintenance in between these professional appointments. HVAC systems may break down due to negligence. Thus, it is advisable to regularly examine and clean your heating unit to prevent unnecessary malfunctions, enhance its performance, and improve its lifespan. Below are tips to guide you when cleaning and inspecting your heating unit.
01. Inspect and Clean Your Thermostat
It would be best if you start by examining the thermostat to ensure all components are in great shape. Ensure the heating system switches on and off at preset temperatures.
Examine the Batteries
Check your thermostat’s battery life, and if drained, replace them.
Clean Your Thermostat
Carefully open your thermostat and clean any dust or debris using a cotton bud or small brush. Ensure you use touch screen cleaning products to clean up your touchscreen thermostat.
Test the Heat and Cooling Functions
To make sure your thermostat’s heating and cooling mechanisms are functioning correctly, inspect your heating unit more often. Consider a professional HVAC service such as 4pointsac.com if your heating unit seems to take longer before turning on the heating or cooling functions. This can be a sign your system is experiencing a major problem. You must ensure your home’s comfort is not interrupted every season.
02. Take Care of Your Outdoor Unit
In most cases, heating units are split into two systems. There is an outside unit and an inside unit. During installations, some components are mounted indoors and others outdoors. It is advisable to check if the blower and compressor are in perfect shape. Turn off the power to examine if there are dry leaves in your outdoor unit. In case you are unsure where this unit is positioned, you should check for a concrete slap behind or on one side of your house.
Debris will build up in your outdoor unit and must be cleared more often to avoid damaging your unit’s internal components. It will also increase airflow in your system. Thus, remove all the dirt, leaves, or twigs from the fan cage. Trim any tree branches hanging around your outdoor equipment to keep it in tip-top shape.
Clean the Fins
Fins are metal grills positioned on the side of your equipment. Their purpose is to deviate heat and allow airflow into your system. Dust or dirt buildup on your fins can inhibit airflow and affect your unit’s performance. Crooked fins can also bar air from flowing into the system. Thus, inspect your equipment fins to check if they are clogged, dusty, or bent.
If they are dirty, clean them using a fin sprayer and hose. Ensure you straighten any bent fin with a fin comb. You can also get an HVAC technician to assist you in straightening the fins. Professionals have appropriate tools and skills for the job.
Check If Your Unit Is Properly Leveled
Remember, your outdoor unit sits on a concrete slab, which tends to shift with time. Conduct regular inspections to ensure your outdoor compressor is leveled. If not well balanced, you can use rot-resistant shims to keep it flat. That way, your system will experience an uninterrupted flow of oil and refrigerant.
03. Inspect and Clean Your Indoor Unit
This unit is made up of an evaporator and a furnace. These components are usually placed in your utility closet, loft, or basement. For the proper functioning of your indoor unit, you should observe the following:
Examine and Clean Up the Evaporator Coil
The evaporator collects warm air from your house then transfers it to your outdoor system using refrigerants. To locate the evaporator coils, remove the screws fastening the access panel to your unit’s air handler. A socket wrench will help in detaching these components faster and with less trouble.
After your evaporator coil gets uncovered, examine it to find out if there is dirt or mold buildup. Ensure you clean up any debris or dust before summer heat peaks, which will prevent expensive repairs that occur from damages caused when your evaporator coil is clogged or frozen. Use non-rinse form cleaners designed for coils clean up. Such products will not cause any damages to your system.
Clean Up Your Evaporator Drain
Dirt, debris, and mold can build up on your evaporator drain and cause flooding or other damages to your system. Therefore, it is advisable to inspect your evaporator drain to see if it’s clogged. If you notice any backlogs of debris or dirt, ensure you clean them using the right cleaning products.
After ensuring your evaporator coils, drain, and other elements of your indoor unit are in perfect working condition, fix back the access panel.
Examine and Clean Up the Ducts
Usually, there will be a vent in every room of your home. Inspect and clean them with soap and water if they are dirty. Use a screwdriver to unmount your vents and reattach them back after washing.
Dirty vents will obstruct airflow, which will have an unfavorable effect on your system’s efficiency.
You can prevent this by cleaning the air ducts. After removing the vents, use a flashlight to examine air ducts and clear any debris that may be clogging it.
Regular Filter Replacement
You can improve your heating unit’s performance and prevent some of the common flaws if you consider replacing your air filters regularly. That way, repair costs will be minimized. Thus, ensure you change your filters, possibly after every three months. However, this will be determined by your filter model and usage.
Homeowners with pets are encouraged to replace their filters monthly due to pet’s hair buildup. Moreover, individuals with allergy conditions must change filters more often to alleviate their reactions.
After thorough inspections and cleaning of your thermostat, indoor, and outdoor units, you can turn on your system. These preventive maintenance tips will keep your system running optimally. They will also improve your unit’s lifecycle.
If you notice any alarming issues during your inspections, ensure you contact a professional in HVAC repairs. Remember, your system repairs and replacements must be carried out by a licensed expert. Besides, they should provide a warranty for any key components replaced as well as their services.