HVAC systems are one of the largest investments you can make in your home. There are a few simple things you can do to help you maximize the life of your home’s HVAC system and keep it working optimally. First and foremost, it’s extremely important to perform routine preventative maintenance at least once a year. When a qualified professional from Boulden Brothers looks at your system, we’ll address these important areas:
- Make sure the coils on the air conditioner are cleaned
- Make sure the proper refrigerant charge is in place
- Check that all electrical components are operating in the proper range
- Inspect components of the furnace
The last thing that a homeowner would want is for a relatively inexpensive component like a capacitor to fail, causing a much more expensive component to need replacement. A thorough inspection where we make sure that all electrical components are working properly will prevent potentially disastrous issues from occurring.
If your home’s HVAC system uses a traditional gas furnace, we’ll make sure that the heat exchanger doesn’t have any signs of cracking or failure. Any compromise of this part would allow carbon monoxide to enter the home. Even in small quantities, carbon monoxide is extremely hazardous to your health.
If your home uses a heat pump, it’s very important that we make a home visit twice a year. Since it’s basically just an air conditioner that operates in reverse during the wintertime, it’s running twice as long as someone that has a traditional gas furnace. Systems with a heat pump obviously don’t pose a carbon monoxide risk. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have any other appliances in your home that use gas (like a gas stove or gas fireplace log).
Of course, the inspections performed during preventative maintenance should only be done by a qualified professional. Newer refrigerants are contained at an extremely high pressure, so we have to take extensive safety precautions. In the meantime, there are some steps you can take as a homeowner.
The main one is to make sure that weeds aren’t growing on, around, or into the unit itself. Also, make sure there’s no debris in the unit to ensure adequate airflow. It’s very common for leaves to accumulate if you’re in an area with one or more trees. Filters are another often neglected area that can really impact airflow in the system. It’s very important that filters are changed on a regular basis.
The best way to have a negative impact on your system is to leave the same dirty filter installed. Once the filter gets restricted to the point that it’s significantly decreased the airflow, the whole system has to work harder. The furnace tends to overheat because it’s not moving as much air as it should. The air conditioner’s compressor also has to work much harder to overcome the dirty filter. It can potentially damage many of the components and dramatically reduce the lifespan of the system.
Finally, you should make sure that you regularly check the air ducts to make sure air is flowing properly throughout the system. If any of the returns or supplies are obstructed, you’re reducing the intended airflow.
If you’d like to protect your home’s investments with maximum value, we recommend enrolling in our BAM Club TotalCare Plan. We’ll come to your home twice a year to do regular maintenance on your HVAC system. Every other year we’ll do a plumbing safety inspection and flush the water heater. On the third year, we’ll do an Electrical Panel Rejuvenation with Electrical Safety Inspection on your home’s electrical components.
To learn more about the BAM Club and how you can maximize your HVAC system’s lifespan, contact us online or give us a call today.