Homeowners who do not have a lot of experience caring for their heating, cooling, and ventilation systems need to gain some knowledge before they get started. These systems can be complicated and expensive to fix, even if they run well without careful attention most of the time. Homeowners who can keep an eye on their HVAC systems and provide periodic upkeep will get the best from their equipment. Here are a few tips to help people determine what they need to do, and how best to do it.
Confirm Proper Function
Although many people assume that their heating and cooling equipment are working properly as long as they will turn on, the truth requires a deeper investigation. Appliances like a furnace, air conditioner, boiler, or heat pump tend to decrease function long before they stop working entirely. Homeowners can get a sense for the operation of the machine by observing:
- how well it heats or cools the home
- overall indoor air quality
- the frequency at which the system turns on and off
If everything seems to be working well, Spring Hill TN homeowners can aim to give simple upkeep.
How to Watch for Problems
New and even experienced homeowners can be caught off-guard by concerns with their furnace or air conditioner. This is because many people do not know what they should be monitoring. Some issues come up suddenly. Others come to the surface so slowly people might not notice. Homeowners should keep an eye out for these issues as a sign of problems on the way:
- rooms that always seem to be unreasonably cold or hot and stuffy
- grinding, screeching, or clanking sounds from within the appliance
- leaking or pooled water around the machine
- noticeable increases in energy bills that do not coincide with a change in temperature
- ineffective heating or cooling
People might go for years without seeing any of these come up. Still, regular observation helps to ensure that the system is less likely to break down.
Tasks Homeowners Can Maintain
Many homeowners may not feel comfortable digging into their appliances for maintenance. However, even people with minimal knowledge can provide basic upkeep. At least every few months, people should:
- check air filters on a forced-air ventilation systems and fans, and replace them as needed
- confirm that the appliance has adequate airflow
- brush or wipe dirt and debris from outdoor machines like an air conditioner or heat pump
- test the thermostat and change batteries when appropriate
- dust vent registers and confirm that they are set to open
These jobs are not comprehensive, but they are generally easy to do and do not risk compromising the equipment - a great DIY project for the weekend.
When to Call for Professional Service
Experts recommend hiring a professional to give routine service once a year for both heating and cooling systems. Homeowners who have relatively new equipment should be careful about doing any work inside the machine themselves, lest they void the warranty. Professional maintenance usually includes:
- testing the system for proper function
- cleaning and lubricating parts
- inspecting components that may wear out
- looking for problems that may require repairs
This service can often increase output and extend the life of the equipment.
Using HVAC equipment is one thing. Knowing how to maintain it calls upon a different level of experience. This information provides homeowners with the tools they need to observe their equipment, confirm it is working appropriately, complete simple maintenance tasks, and arrange for professional service once a year.
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