Many people don’t consider the maintenance of their furnace or air conditioner until they stop working. As the needs for heating your home against the winter chill, or keeping your family cool on a hot day in the summer, it’s never a bad time to keep an eye on your home’s HVAC and heater. Believe it or not, a home’s dual air systems both work harder than your family car and in the same way, you should remain diligent for regular servicing.
Why is maintenance so important?
One thing that your home HVAC and your heating system have in common is that both require regular check-ups and maintenance. Air conditioning problems don’t get better on their own. There’s simply no way around it, as either system breaking down can be both costly and potentially dangerous. As the aim of good monitoring is to ensure that both the air conditioning unit and the furnace run smoothly throughout the seasons that require them, you can prevent unexpected breakdowns merely by keeping a close on their upkeep year-round.
Replacing Your Air Filters
Another commonality with your AC system and your furnace is that both require clean air filters in order to run efficiently and prevent breakdowns and full AC repair. With the HVAC system, it is universally recommended to replace those filters every 2-3 months and to check them even more often for dirt and clogged debris. This is especially important if you’re a pet owner, as there’s a good chance that dog and cat hair can find their way into the AC system and create a dirty filter. Likewise, clean filters also allow your heating system’s air to circulate regularly and help the machine last for years, rather than only a few seasons of operation.
Cleaning the Vents and Drainage Tubes
Much like the air filters, the vents of your air systems are of great importance for accurate functionality. For your HVAC, it’s important to keep an eye on the normal airflow, noting if the cool air is consistent or “spits” out from the AC unit in small bursts of warm air, which usually means there’s an obstruction or a leak. You’ll know immediately if there’s no cold air coming out. For optimum cleaning, vacuum the vents often, clear the pathways of dirt and dust, and definitely schedule regular service from a professional technician to look for any other AC problems.
In the case of a natural gas or propane furnace, you’ll have to remember that water is created as a byproduct. Some of it may become steam, but the rest will drain out into a drip pan, which you’ll want to check on regularly. With a furnace, you’ll want to keep a strict eye on this drainage tube, as backed-up water can damage the furnace’s internal workings. Purchase a can of compressed air and you should be okay for a long time.
Financing Your Maintenance
Unfortunately, one of the major reasons that homeowners tend to allow their air conditioners and heat systems to lapse in regular care isn’t mere forgetfulness. Maintenance of machines that get constant use can get expensive, there are alternatives for needed home care and repair. Loans aren’t just for new homes. If finances are a factor, negotiate if you qualify as a borrower for a home improvement loan, which is an unsecured type of loan offered by most banks and credit unions as lenders for just these types of residential concerns. With good credit, there’s a fast turnaround and low-interest rates, and negotiating loans for problematic homes is fairly common.
If feasible, definitely budget the proper maintenance of your home’s HVAC and furnace systems. But more importantly, keep up your own regular check-ups on how they’re running. If you remain attentive, there should never be a need for expensive repairs, and consulting a good professional HVAC technician for a home inspection is always a good idea.