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When tackling spring cleaning, most homeowners take time to clean their windows, kitchen, bathroom, and so on. But checking the HVAC system is important, too. The HVAC unit should be maintained at least once a year to prolong its life and prevent extra heating or cooling expenses. Here are five HVAC maintenance tasks that homeowners can do with ease:
Some air filters need to be changed twice a year, others once a month, depending on their type and how often the HVAC system is used. For the best filtering performance, it’s best to go for high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. However, the instructions manual should be consulted first to determine what type of filter the furnace requires. Replacing the filter should be easy – but if it’s located inside the furnace or air handler, a contractor should be hired to change it.
The condenser is the exterior portion of the air conditioner or heat pump. It requires proper airflow in order to work efficiently. Any dirt or other debris that accumulate on the condenser should be removed once a year, preferably at the beginning of spring. Also, any cover should be removed from the condenser to ensure proper airflow. There should be at least one metre of space between the unit and the bushes or shrubs in the yard.
Most air conditioner units have a drainage hole on the base of the cabinet (beneath the evaporator fins). The AC drainage must be kept clear by using a paper clip or wire to poke a hole through it.
The condensate drain pan can accumulate dirt and moisture, providing a breeding ground for bacteria and mould. On occasion, the pan must be rinsed and then cleaned with a bleach-water mixture to clear out any dirt or mould growth.
To do this task, the power should be turned off first. The fan cover must then be removed and washed with soapy water. The fan blades can also be cleaned with soapy water plus a toothbrush.
There are other more advanced HVAC maintenance tasks that should be done periodically such as checking the unit’s refrigerant levels, electrical connections, and the outdoor fan motor and compressor. A malfunctioning HVAC system could cause leaks and flood damage. So it’s important that a certified technician perform a thorough check of the HVAC system.