As we move into the first days of autumn, it is important for homeowners to conduct a seasonal inspection of their HVAC system. By the end of the summer season, your HVAC will have served you well during the hottest months of the year. In order to ensure proper function as we enter the colder months of the year, it's time to conduct an end of summer inspection. The following tips offer some simple ways that homeowners can keep their HVAC unit operational throughout the year.
Check the Surrounding Area
Take a close look at the area immediately surrounding your external HVAC unit. The area should be free and clear, with no plants, tree branches or bushes obstructing the flow of air in and around the unit. If nearby landscaping has begun to encroach on the area surrounding your HVAC unit, this is the time to trim back growth and create a clear path on all sides of the unit.
Clean the Condensing Coils
By summer's end, the condensing coils of your HVAC unit have probably accumulated a layer of grime, dirt and dust. When these coils become dirty, achieving proper airflow is difficult. That makes your unit work harder, decreasing airflow into your home and increasing your monthly power bill.
In order to clean your condensing coils, it may be necessary to remove the protective cover. Spraying coils with a garden hose is usually sufficient to remove seasonal dust and debris. If the coils appear exceptionally dirty, it may be time to call in an HVAC pro.
Interior Maintenance Steps
The interior components of your HVAC unit also require seasonal maintenance. Different systems have different needs, and it's important to become familiar with your particular unit to ensure proper maintenance.
A great place to begin is by inspecting the air filter and replacing it with a properly sized filter. This is also a good time to vacuum or otherwise clean the protective cover over the air filter, as well as the registers placed throughout your home.
It's also a good idea to thoroughly clean the area surrounding indoor HVAC components. Keeping this area clean and clear of debris reduces the risk of fire within your home, and also allows your system to work more efficiently.