Ever had the experience of winter indoors after your HVAC unit has gone out? Then you likely learned enough not to let it happen again. It only takes one cold day or night to remind you of the importance of preventive maintenance for your HVAC system so that you don't reach for your thermostat on that first chilly day only to realize it won't be there for you.
After summer, your heating system has been dormant for months. Like most of the equipment in your home or commercial building, it needs routine inspections and upkeep to make sure it's functioning properly and will be reliable when you need it. To ensure your HVAC unit will be in good condition when the cold rolls in, the time to perform preventive maintenance is now. A proper check-in during the fall season means you won't have to shiver when the temperature turns.
So, what should you do? Here are six key maintenance tips to consider.
Your HVAC unit isn't built to last forever, and you shouldn't expect it to given how hard it works. After around 10 years, your unit has likely lost a good deal of its efficiency. If you're heating an entire building, that has a huge impact on energy costs. When it's time to purchase a new system, make sure to do your research and get one that's highly energy efficient. Your new system will be designed to last longer, work smarter and save you money over time.
One thing that's sure to run your system down quickly is being overworked, so look for ways to help it stay regulated properly. Check your home or building for draft entries that will force the unit to work harder to keep the space heated, and consider adding extra insulation where needed. Removing these stressors can go a long way in improving the longevity and performance of your system.
Another thing that can force your unit to work harder than it needs to is restricted airflow. This can happen for a number of reasons. Do you have furniture blocking vents, keeping heat from making its way around the room? Have you cleaned out your vents or replaced your air filters recently? Not only will these help heat circulate easier, but cleaner airflow also creates a healthier atmosphere.
If you paid attention in science class, you know that heat rises. When colder temperatures set in, open some supply registers on your first floor and close some on floors above. Doing so will assist heat flowing throughout your home or building in a more efficient manner.
This one is especially beneficial for systems in large buildings. Your HVAC system doesn't need to work the same for every floor or every area of the building, or around the clock either. Having a programmable thermostat is smart for buildings because you can set your heating to be circulated at a certain temperature specific to location and time of day. This can drastically increase the efficiency of your equipment and lower your energy bills.
While there are plenty of items you can check off your preventive maintenance checklist yourself to keep your HVAC unit performing as it should, it's not a bad idea to have an HVAC specialist take a look to ensure your system is ready to go for the cold weather around the corner. A specialist will often think to check elements most wouldn't, hopefully catching anything that could cause your system to shut down or have a weak performance right when you need it.