HVAC systems can be difficult to understand for the average homeowner; even if you’re relatively handy, it can be overwhelming to deal with repairs and maintenance on a system that has so many complicated parts. Yet, it’s important to know what to do when your unit requires service, as in the dead of summer it can be very hard to get a professional out to take a look without a long wait. In some cases, there are simple things you can do to troubleshoot and possibly find an easy fix, such as changing the filter. It’s good to know how your specific system works, however, and how to stay safe when taking a look at any of the parts.
Fortunately, there are several simple things you can do to keep your unit running smoothly, and many of them just require a bit of preventative maintenance, such as keeping the grass and weeds cut short around the unit and keeping the filter clean. In some cases, you may want to consider buying a cover for the outdoor unit to keep leaves and other tree debris from falling inside after summer ends. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to your HVAC unit.
Learn How to Troubleshoot
Most homeowners have to be researchers in addition to everything else they do, and owning an HVAC unit is no exception. When it comes to all the things that can go wrong with your system, it’s good to have some knowledge about how to diagnose it before you call in a pro; this way, they can come prepared with any parts or tools they need to give you the fastest possible service — which is important on those scorching summer days! In some cases, there may be things you can do to help things along; for instance, a frozen coil usually means the filter is dirty or that an exchange is clogged, and this is usually an easy fix.
Keep It Clean
Not only is it important to keep the filter clean, but it’s also imperative to make sure that leaves, grass, and other outside debris don’t fly into the unit and clog it up. Take special care when mowing the lawn or landscaping; use a mower that has a bag attachment, and use a weed trimmer for the areas directly around the unit. You can also place a cover over it in fall and winter, and create a barrier by using fencing or shrubs all around it. This will also help to keep animals and children from getting too close.
Make Safety a Priority
Your safety is of the highest priority when working on something like an HVAC unit, which can lead to electrical shock or worse if you don’t know what you’re doing. For DIY jobs or to clean the system, turn off the power first via the main breaker. If you’re unsure of how to proceed, it’s always best to call a professional for help rather than going through with a job yourself. You may need to spend a little money to do it, but in the long run, it’s worth it.
Learn More About Your System
There are many different kinds of HVAC systems, so it’s a good idea to learn more about the specific unit you have and how the parts work together. Being knowledgeable will help you make repairs on your own, and it will also come in handy when keeping things clean. Some units have ductwork that leads from the outside to the inside of your home, and these can become clogged; in some cases, they can even become home to birds or other small animals. When you understand how everything works, you’ll be better equipped to clean and make small repairs.
Your HVAC system may seem like a complicated assortment of parts, but it doesn’t need to be a big mystery. With a little research, you can figure out how best to keep the unit clean and working smoothly, which you’ll thank yourself for when summer rolls around.