HVAC Maintenance For Home Improvement

by Dave The Handyman on January 8, 2011

As we have discussed on similar articles, getting a new HVAC system can be one of the biggest home improvements that you can do to improve the energy efficiency that your house uses. Lots of people will go out and get a brand new heating and cooling system, but many of them do not maintain them. By getting air conditioning maintenance done twice a year on your air conditioning and heating system can make sure that your system stays running efficienctly, not only that, it can potentially save you on costly repairs.

If you are not big on DIY repairs then it would probably be best to get a service contract with a local air conditioning company. Some of the things that should be checked on your heating and air conditioning system in my opinion, are as follows….

Check Refrigerant Levels

Making sure that the system is charged at the proper pressure for air conditioning and heat pumps. If a system is under charged, then the system is not going to run at the designed efficiency. This can lead to longer running times than normal, as the HVAC system will run longer trying to meet the desired air temperature you have set on your thermostat. If your system is running low, potential problems can be caused also like evaporator coils freezing up.

If an HVAC system is overcharged, this can be just as bad if not worse. One of the potential problems with systems that are overcharged is that they put more stress on the compressor, and a compressor failure or lock up could occur, which can be a costly expense that you should not be paying for.

Change Air Filters

Depending on what kind of air filter you are using for your heating and cooling system they should be changed from once a month up to once every six months. If you have an air conditioning service to do maintenance then they should be changing your filters every time they come out and visit.

Checking Heater Amps, Compressor amps, blower and fan motor amps.

In my opinion all of these should be checked when air conditioning maintenance is being done. By checking the compressor amps you can tell whether or not the compressor is operating properly or going bad. On electric furnaces this is the quickest way to tell if your heating element is heating to the proper temperature also. Along with taking amp draws on all components all electrical connections should be tightened also, including contactor screws, breaker box screws, and all wire nuts should be tight and secure.

Cleaning Out The AC Condensate Line

I have covered this before and cannot stress this enough, at least twice a month you need to clean out your ac drain line…Also make sure that the drip pan is cleaned out too. All you really need to clean out the drip pan is some hot water and a type of cleaning solution. Just make sure that you flush the drip pan out good with hot water, you do not want to leave any residual chemical in there as it could be sucked up into the blower motor causing an electrical failure, then you would have to replace the blower motor which is another costly home repair to your HVAC system.

By getting maintenance done on your air conditioning and heating system will save you money in the long run as preventative maintenance lets you know about problems before they start if done properly. Keep your home improvements up to date and in good shape. One other tip that you should consider after going through a major home improvement like replacing your air conditioning and heating system, is to get an extended 10 warranty on it. Many people look at the price of this and do not take it up, but I guarantee you it will save you money over the years, because remember, many other warranties that are out there will cover parts only, not the labor, which is the most expensive part of the service any way.

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