Contrary to what you might think, your HVAC system won’t last forever. If you spend your whole life in one home, you’ll buy about 5 HVAC systems. In your lifetime, you’ll spend up to $60,000 on appliances to heat and cool your home.
The average lifespan of an HVAC system ranges from 15 to 20 years. What makes one system last longer than the other? Regular HVAC system maintenance and proper installation.
Many of the system maintenance tasks take less than half an hour. You can give the whole system a check-up in one afternoon. Grab your weekend to-do list and add these quick HVAC maintenance chores.
Clear Away Tree Limbs Over the HVAC System
Shade trees are an excellent way to cut back on your HVAC energy usage. But they also pose a threat to your HVAC unit.
As trees age, some of their limbs dry up and drop off. An older, neglected tree can drop a heavy branch on your HVAC unit at any time. A strong storm with wind speeds over 40 MPH can break off branches, as well.
Once the main moving components in the HVAC unit warp, there’s no fixing it. You’ll need a whole new HVAC system.
Save your HVAC unit by cutting back the overhead tree limbs. Keep the limbs at least 4 feet from the space over the HVAC.
Make Sure the HVAC Unit is Level
New homeowners should check to make sure their HVAC unit is level when they move in. This common HVAC problem is one of the most overlooked.
Here is what happens when the HVAC unit isn’t level:
- Inadequate lubrication for the compressor
- Overheated compressor
- Oil build-up on the coils
- Water pooling
- Rust damage
- Loose refrigerant lines
The unbalanced HVAC system will shake, putting a strain on the motor. In bad cases, the entire support base for the unit will need a replacement. When possible, opt for a cement slab so it’ll last longer.
Clean the HVAC Ductwork
Above your ceiling lies a network of tubes carrying air to every room of the house. Like most things out of sight in your home, you haven’t thought about the ductwork in years.
During the years you ignored the ducts, they’ve gathered dust and other allergens. Old ductwork is prone to rodent infestations, as well. Waste left behind by rodents in ducts can carry hantaviruses.
At least once a year, bring in an HVAC technician to clean the ducts. This HVAC system guide lists a few other vital maintenance tasks. Ask the technician to take care of them as well during their visit.
Regular HVAC System Maintenance Keeps You Comfortable Year-Round
Over half of your energy bill goes toward heating and cooling your home. Keeping up with HVAC system maintenance can reduce your bill by up to 40%. Now you won’t feel guilty about running the AC when it’s hot.
All it takes is setting aside one or two days a year to look over your HVAC system. Sometimes you may need to call in an HVAC technician for help. If you do, ask the company about a maintenance program.
Are you a new homeowner looking for advice? Head over to our Home Improvement section. We’ve got tons of tips on painting, plumbing, and decorating.
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