The list of seasonal home maintenance tasks can seem endless. It’s not surprising that many homeowners take a reactive position when dealing with home maintenance rather than being proactive. After all, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, right?
Unfortunately, the adage doesn’t apply to home maintenance, especially when the HVAC system is involved. Here are some common HVAC issues you can avoid by investing in preventative maintenance.
Short-Cycling and Continuous Running
Short-cycling and continuous running are issues on the opposite end of the spectrum. However, both can cause undue wear and tear on your HVAC system while driving up your power bill.
When short-cycling occurs, your furnace or air conditioner starts to power up, then turn off before the fan kicks in. You’ll notice the build-up of sound followed by a sudden silence rather than hearing the ambient airflow through your vents.
Alternatively, you might notice the blowers running non-stop. This issue might result in blowing warm air throughout your home in the summer and cold air during the winter. Continuous running will also drive up your power bill.
Scheduling preventative HVAC services will ensure everything is running as it should, so you don’t find a nasty surprise when you open your next utility bill.
Dirty Condensor Coils
Dirty condenser coils are a common issue in air conditioning units. It’s natural for dirt, dust, and debris to accumulate in your air conditioner. However, if it’s left on the coils, it could negatively impact the unit’s efficiency. Your unit will then have to work harder to achieve the same level of output, costing you more in electricity and reducing its overall lifespan.
Turning off the electricity is a must before attempting to clean dirty condenser coils. Damaging the coils will also end up costing you a lot of money in the long run. Consider scheduling an annual tune-up to have a skilled HVAC technician handle this task.
Dirty Air Filters
Air filters catch dirt and dust before blowing air through your home. If the filters are dirty, it will limit the efficiency of the furnace or air conditioner while diminishing your home’s air quality.
While an HVAC professional will clean or replace air filters during a tune-up visit, this is also something you can do throughout the season. Talk to your trusted HVAC service to determine whether your system has washable or disposable filters.
At no time should there be visible ice on your air conditioning unit, even during cold temperatures. Exterior units are designed to withstand cold temperatures. This issue is even more concerning when it occurs during the warm summer months.
Frozen coils aren’t necessarily temperature-related. They also indicate an issue with how the refrigerant is moving through your system. If there’s a problem with the blower, general airflow, or coolant levels, your coils may freeze. These issues are entirely preventable and are often addressed during a tune-up appointment.
Clanging and Banging
Your HVAC system should be mostly unnoticeable, acting as background noise. You might be aware of the system kicking in, but the cycle should be ambient (like white noise).
Loud clanging or metallic banging sounds indicate that something has come loose. If you notice this issue, turn off the system immediately. A loose screw or connection is no big deal. However, pushing the system to operate with this issue could cause lasting damage.
During a preventative maintenance visit, the technician will tighten connections and ensure everything is secured in place.
One of the more subtle signs that something is wrong with your HVAC system is a temperature variance throughout the home. You may notice a difference in temperature between what your thermostat reads and what you feel. Alternatively, you might notice cold spots or warm spots.
There are many factors that could cause this issue, from poor humidity control to an outdated system. Your HVAC service provider will be able to make small repairs or advise an upgrade before your comfort is impacted.
Preventative maintenance is essential for a functional HVAC system. Schedule a spring and fall tune-up appointment to protect your biggest investment: your home.