The average lifespan of a typical HVAC system ranges between 12 – 15 years. But experts agree that you can easily extend the life expectancy of your unit by properly caring for it.
One of the main ways to extend the life of your heating and cooling system is to perform regular maintenance tasks. A good rule of thumb is to check your system before you switch between heating and cooling — so at least once in the spring and once in the fall.
Keep reading to discover the top HVAC maintenance tips to keep in mind as fall occurs.
1. Replace Your HVAC Filter
Replacing your HVAC filter is one of the easiest maintenance tasks you can do, but it’s also one of the most commonly forgotten tasks.
It’s recommended that you should replace your air filter at least once every three months. If you have pets in the home or someone suffers from respiratory issues, you probably should be changing the filter at least once a month.
If you’ve never changed your air filter, the process is pretty simple.
To start, turn your HVAC unit off and remove the current filter. If you’re unsure about what size filter you need, look at your current filter before purchasing a new one for the correct dimensions. Most filters will have instructions on them to show the correct way to place the filter into your unit.
Once the new filter is in your unit, check to see if there are any gaps around the filter. If it doesn’t appear to be a perfect fit, you either have the wrong size of the filter or the filter you purchased is damaged.
Then, replace any seals or levers that secure the filter in place and then turn your HVAC system back on. Make sure the filter stays in place when it begins to run.
Make sure you mark on your calendar the date of your next filter replacement.
2. Clean Up Around the Outside Unit
The next maintenance task you’ll want to perform is cleaning up around the outside unit.
Start by clearing away any debris that’s built up around the exterior of the unit. This includes any leaves, vines, weeds, or tree branches. Anything surrounding the outside of the unit will impede the airflow, meaning your HVAC unit will have to work harder to regulate your home’s temperature.
You can also take your cleaning a step further by turning the vacuum off and using a hose to spray any debris or dirt that’s built up on the unit. You can purchase a coil cleaner to spray on the unit after your initial rinse. Let the cleaner sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off with the hose again.
Be extremely careful around the condenser fins of your exterior unit. If you do accidentally bend or damage these fins, contact your HVAC professional immediately.
3. Prevent Clogs in the Condensate Drain Line
When preparing your unit for fall, you’ll also want to prevent clogs from forming in the condensate drain line. If this line does become clogged, this can lead to mold growth or water damage in your home.
First, make sure your HVAC unit is completely turned off again. Then, locate the access point to the drain line, which is near your indoor air handler. Use the suction hose of a wet vac in an attempt to collect any build-up that may be in the line.
You can also break up any mold or debris in the line by pouring a cup of white vinegar or a combination of hot water and dish soap. Let this sit in the line for about a half an hour before flushing the line with clean water.
4. Clean Your Ducts and Registers
The next task on our list of fall HVAC tips is to clean both your ducts and registers.
Throughout the year, it’s natural for dust and debris to build up in your ducts and registers. If you want to achieve proper airflow and keep your unit working as efficiently as possible, it’s best to clean out this build-up. Having clean ducts also ensures that your home is circulating clean air, which can help eliminate respiratory issues.
Let the fan run for a few minutes to help loosen up any dirt before turning the system completely off. Use a brush or vacuum attachment to clear out any dust inside your registers. It’s ideal to use a vacuum with a long hose attachment to clear out as much dust as possible.
Then, wipe down your register cover with a gentle cleaning solution.
5. Schedule a Maintenance Appointment
To keep your HVAC system in the best possible shape, you’ll want to have professional preventative maintenance.
With Briggs’ HVAC Maintenance Agreement Plan, you’ll extend the life of your equipment while ensuring it works to its full potential. In addition, you’ll save money in the long run when it comes to repairs and catch small issues before your HVAC system stops operating.
During your annual tune-up, our team will do everything from checking your system’s evaporator coil to evaluating safety controls. We can even clean or change your air filter for you as well as adjust your thermostat calibration. When you schedule a maintenance appointment, you can rest assured that your HVAC system is ready to keep you warm throughout the winter.
Contact Briggs for More HVAC Maintenance Tips
These are just the main HVAC maintenance tips to keep in mind this fall. Make sure you perform these simple tasks before you make the switch from air conditioning to heating. You don’t want to find out that you have a serious HVAC issue on your hands when the temperatures start to drop.
If you hear any abnormal sounds from your system or notice that your system isn’t properly warming your home, the team at Briggs HVAC is here to help. Our experienced HVAC service technicians have spent the last decade serving Woodbridge and the surrounding area. Whether you need emergency service in the middle of the night or an annual maintenance check-up, we have the expertise to get the job done right.
Call Briggs at (703) 730-8444 or click here to schedule your next HVAC appointment.