When you live in Columbus, Ohio, you have come to expect hot and humid summers. This means a properly functioning Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning system is important to help your home stay cool and comfortable. Your system requires regular maintenance to keep it running effectively. This article gives you tips to maintain your HVAC system to beat the heat in Columbus.
Why is Air Conditioning Maintenance Important?
Regular air conditioning maintenance is one of the most essential parts of keeping your HVAC system in its best shape. When you understand the benefits of routine maintenance, you are better able to prioritize this part of home maintenance. When you have regular maintenance, it extends the lifespan of your HVAC system. It can identify and provide an opportunity to resolve any potential issues before they become more significant problems. When you have regular maintenance, it improves energy efficiency and reduction in utility bills. When you have regular and proper maintenance, you can improve indoor air quality, which helps create a healthier and more comfortable living environment.
There are some common tasks that you should expect during a routine service call. A technician visually inspects the indoor and outdoor components of your AC system. During this inspection, they look for signs of wear and tear, leaks, loose connections, or damage. They will clean or replace the air filters for the unit. When the filters are clogged or dirty, they restrict airflow and reduce efficiency. The condenser coils accumulate dirt, dust, and debris over time. This reduces the AC system’s ability to cool your home. When a technician cleans the coils, it removes buildup and improves efficiency.
The indoor part of your AC unit has evaporator coils which also collect dirt and debris. This reduces the heat transfer process. During an inspection, a technician cleans the coils. When the refrigerant levels in your AC are too low or too high, it impacts the system’s ability to cool. AC contractors can check those levels and make any needed adjustments. The moving parts of your AC system, such as motors and fans, require proper lubrication to operate smoothly. The technician will lubricate the fans and motors in the unit to minimize friction. This can ultimately reduce wear and tear.
Why Should I Hire a Professional?
You can perform some maintenance tasks yourself, but you should rely on a professional for air conditioner maintenance service for many tasks. This will ensure that you have complete care for your system. You want to find a reputable and experienced service provider. When you contact AC professionals, you will find that they offer a wide range of services. You can expect them to provide maintenance and tune-ups. They can run diagnostics on your unit and provide necessary repairs. They can also provide maintenance and duct cleaning. In many cases, they also provide replacements. Professional contractors have important knowledge and experience to provide maintenance to ensure long and efficient use.
You may want to consider a local AC contractor because they know Columbus’s weather and climate. They can help provide solutions specific to the climate you face. This gives you the optimal performance of your HVAC unit. You are also able to create a relationship with your local AC contractor. This can give you prompt assistance, reliable repairs, and ongoing maintenance. When you hire a local contractor, they are within your community, which means they are close by and can respond faster to you. This means that you can get a response faster. This is especially important when you require emergency services. It can reduce the amount of time you have discomfort from a lack of AC during the hot summer months. A local contractor is well-versed with your area’s regulations and building codes. They will ensure all compliance and local requirements are met when they are providing a new AC install. This keeps you and your home safe.
What Maintenance Can I Do Myself?
Several maintenance tasks are simple enough that you can perform yourself to keep your HVAC system running smoothly. Some of the steps you can take include cleaning or replacing your air filters. They get dirty quickly. When they are dirty, they restrict airflow and reduce the efficiency of your system. You should check your filters every one to three months and clean or replace them as needed. You should also keep debris, dirt, and leaves away from the unit that sits outside your house. These items build up over time and can block the airflow around them. When airflow is blocked, the unit won’t work as efficiently. You should remove everything that is within two feet of your unit. This will ensure that your unit has the right amount of ventilation.
Another maintenance step you can take on your own is to adjust your thermostat. You want to verify that your thermostat is working properly and is set to the desired temperature. You can even consider installing a programmable or smart thermostat to make your HVAC unit more energy efficient. You can also fairly easily ensure that there’s proper airflow throughout your house. You want to ensure that the vents and registers throughout your home are open and unobstructed. When the vents are blocked, they can restrict airflow and decrease the effectiveness of your AC system. You want to check them regularly and remove any items like furniture or curtains from the vents. Just like the outdoor unit should remain clean, so must the indoor unit. You want to keep it free from dust and debris. You can vacuum and dust it regularly to stop dirt from getting inside the system and impacting performance.
Why Should I Clean My HVAC Ducts?
Your HVAC system has ductwork, which is important in distributing cool air throughout your home. Just like with other components of your air conditioning unit, dust, allergens, and debris accumulates in the ducts over time. These items can negatively impact indoor air quality and system performance. When you have a professional HVAC duct cleaning, it removes the contaminants. It also improves air quality and reduces symptoms of allergies. Typically, signs indicate when air duct cleaning services may be needed. These signs include musty odor, poor airflow, and visible dirt.
When you contact a technician to clean your ducts, they will also inspect the ductwork to determine its condition. They also identify areas that may require special attention. Some technicians use cameras or other tools to inspect the ducts visually. A great reason to hire a professional to handle duct cleaning is that they will take all precautions to protect your home. They will cover furniture, seal registers, and use drop cloths. Special equipment is used during the cleaning process. Equipment includes a high-powered vacuum system, brushes, and agitation devices. All supply and return ducts throughout your home are accessed. The brushes or agitation devices dislodge accumulated dust, dirt, and debris from the inner surfaces of the ductwork. The vacuum system creates negative pressure within the ductwork to remove all loose debris.
All of the grilles and registers connected to your ductwork are also cleaned during this process. They remove and clean off all dust and debris. Technicians may also clean the main trunk line of the HVAC system. These are the larger sections of the ductwork that distribute air throughout the house. Keeping these sections clean helps to ensure the entire system is free from dirt and debris. Some services offer sanitization and deodorization of the ductwork. When they do this, they use special products that help reduce microbial growth or unpleasant odors within the ducts. After they have cleaned everything, the technician conducts a final inspection. They are looking to make sure the ducts are clean and free from debris while checking for potential leaks or damage.
What Should Be On My Regular Maintenance Checklist?
When you have regular air conditioning services, they can help to improve the efficiency and longevity of your HVAC unit. You may not know all of the items that should be part of your maintenance checklist. When you put together your checklist, be sure to include these items. You want to be sure to check and replace or clean your air filters regularly. This maintains proper airflow, improves indoor air quality, and prevents strain on the system. The type of filter you have and how much the system is used will dictate how often they should be changed. You want to make sure that the outside unit is clear of debris, leaves, or vegetation. When there is plenty of space around the unit, it allows proper airflow and prevents blockages. You should inspect and clean the indoor vents and registers on a regular basis. When inspecting them, you should remove any dust or debris that may be obstructing airflow. You also want to ensure that they are open.
It’s important that your thermostat is functioning properly. You want to check the settings, replace batteries, and ensure that the temperature readings are accurate. You should also inspect and clean the buildup on the coils, reducing cooling efficiency. You can clean the coils gently with a soft brush or hose. This also could be the time to hire a professional for a more thorough cleaning. You want to ensure that the parts are moving properly. You should lubricate motors and fans to reduce friction and minimize wear and tear.
You want to test the performance of your HVAC system occasionally. This means you are monitoring the airflow, temperature, and cooling/heating efficiency. If you notice any problems, contact a professional for further inspection and repairs. Any time you or a professional performs any maintenance, you want to keep a record of it. This includes details like the maintenance tasks performed, dates, and any repairs or replacements made. This helps you track the system’s history and provides valuable information for future maintenance or service needs. You are able to perform several maintenance tasks yourself, but you should still schedule professional HVAC maintenance at least once a year. A qualified technician can conduct a comprehensive inspection, tune up the system, and identify any potential issues.
How Can I Keep My System Running Efficiently?
In addition to regular air conditioning repair services and maintenance, there are other ways that you can ensure your system is running efficiently. If you put some energy-saving strategies in place, you can make your HVAC unit more efficient. You want to make sure that your house is insulated properly. This includes the proper sealing and insulating of doors, windows, and ductwork. When these items are insulated properly, you can reduce heat transfer. When your walls, attics, and ceilings are insulated properly, you can reduce the effort that your HVAC system uses to cool your home, especially on hot summer days.
You should also identify any air leaks in your home so that you can seal them. Some common areas of concern are windows, doors, ductwork, and gaps around pipes. When you seal them, you can prevent cool air from seeping out and causing strain on your HVAC system. It will also require fewer AC repairs. When you have proper ventilation, you can remove stale air and circulate fresh air. To do this, use exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms to remove excess humidity and odors. When you have proper ventilation, you can have a more comfortable and energy-efficient home.
When there are days of moderate weather, consider turning off your AC and opening the windows. It can provide natural ventilation. You can also use cross-ventilation to bring fresh air in to cool your home. This reduces the need for air conditioning and saves energy. You can also consider installing energy-efficient windows or using window treatments. Blinds, curtains, or shades can block sunlight and reduce heat gain. When the weather is really hot, close curtains or shades on windows to prevent heat buildup inside your home. Ceiling fans are a great way to improve air circulation and create a cooling effect. They distribute cool air more efficiently, which allows you to set your thermostat at a higher temperature without being uncomfortable.
Maintaining your home HVAC system is essential to keep your home comfortable during the hot Columbus summer. Regular air conditioning maintenance helps to ensure optimal system performance and energy efficiency.