The heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in your home may be your largest energy consumer. Problems usually occur without warning, and you are left without heating or cooling when you most need it. A professional maintenance program will keep your systems running smoothly throughout the year, and help reduce your energy costs.
There are several ways your home’s air conditioning unit can overwork and use more energy than necessary. The thermostat may not be working, so the unit doesn’t cycle off when the desired temperature is reached. The same thing can happen when the refrigerant is low or if the ductwork leaks.
With a maintenance program, your systems are checked by a professional on a regular basis. The technicians will be able to tell you if you need parts replaced or your ducts taped. Some of the components that HVAC professionals will repair or replace are the evaporative coils, the condensers and the compressors.
Experts recommend checking your air conditioner during the spring before the hot weather starts, as there will undoubtedly be dirt and debris caught in the unit from the winter weather. Normally, a maintenance check-up will include:
- Checking the thermostat settings – it is recommended to install a programmable thermostat, so you can control the temperature when you are away.
- Checking the electrical components – these may need to be tightened and the voltage measured. Any electrical repairs need to be done by a professional.
- Checking the condensate drain – if the drain isn’t working properly, moisture may collect and enter your wall, floor or ceiling causing damp areas where mold can grow.
- Checking the evaporator and condenser coils – when the coils are dirty, they reduce the system’s ability to cool your home and also cause it to overwork using more energy, and causing the parts to wear out sooner.
- Checking the controls to make sure they are working properly.
You can check your air filter every month when the system is being heavily used and either clean it or change it. In any case, it should be changed every three months. A clogged filter will make the unit work harder. When you take care of your high-energy appliances such as your HVAC systems with help from heating and air conditioning service providers in Philadelphia like DN HVAC Services, you can save a lot on repairs and energy costs.
Heat & Cool Efficiently, Energystar.gov
Maintenance Checklist, Energystar.gov