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The Myths and Truths about Cleaning and Maintaining your HVAC System

Last updated on: February 7th, 2020

If you belong to the camp that believes “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” when it comes to your HVAC system, it is time to rethink your decision that routine maintenance is not necessary. You won’t drive your car for many miles out of town without bothering to check that oil, gas, tires, and break, so things should not be any different when it comes to your heating and air conditioning system. Your HVAC system needs regular attention and service, even if it looks and feels as if it is functioning just fine.

Repairs may not always be evident to the naked eye, but routine maintenance helps to ensure that you catch little problems and nip them in the bud. Although some homeowners may find it bothersome to regularly have the repair or maintenance guys over, as they disrupt the flow of the home when they’re there, scheduled inspections are critical in ensuring optimal system performance. As any HVAC specialist will tell you, maintenance and cleaning save money. Making sure your heating and cooling systems are efficient can help it run even beyond its expected lifespan, which saves you money.

Remember that it is critical to run, maintain, and inspect your HVAC system to get the most out of it, so it should remain a top priority. However, a slew of misconceptions like the belief that it is costly to do maintenance or that you can easily replace air filters on your own to save money can railroad this priority. Here are some things that could happen if you don’t follow a consistent and regular maintenance plan for your HVAC system:

Furnace Issues

Failure to maintain your furnace, which is the heart of heating during colder months, has detrimental consequences. One of the critical parts of your furnace is the heat exchanger, which is responsible for eliminating poisonous gases emitted during the combustion process. This exchanger vents out these harmful gases to keep them away from you and your loved ones. The job of the heat exchanger makes it contract and expand repetitively, making it prone to cracks. If you are unable to have a professional come in to check for possible damage due to regular wear and tear, you put yourself and family at the risk of inhaling poisonous fumes that can seep back in through your home due to these cracks.

Take note: carbon monoxide is free from color and odor. If you neglect your furnace, those weak points can go unnoticed and lead to cracks that have deadly repercussions. Moreover, when you don’t maintain your furnace, it doesn’t take long for your air filter to become clogged entirely, which leads to a slew of other problems. Failure to maintain your unit can result in its break down, which you may notice because of temperature variance. This issue means that the ambient temp in your house fluctuates causing discomfort and affecting productivity; and this leads to the next point, a faulty thermostat.

Malfunctioning Thermostat

If you don’t regularly clean your home’s HVAC system, then it is highly likely that your thermostat will begin to malfunction because of the years of neglect. If your thermostat begins to improperly function, there is the danger that your HVAC unit will not turn on when it is supposed to. In the same token, it may also decide to shut off even if you’re still using it. This constant turning on and off is bad for your HVAC system and can wreak havoc in its many parts. Moreover, this means that the comfort level of your family is also affected because there’s nothing worse than the heat shutting off in the peak of winter.

A good maintenance plan ensures that all the parts are examined to check for peak performance. This plan will ascertain that your HVAC unit can correctly power up and power down, which is critical in ensuring that your home is not too warm or too cold. Checking for potential power malfunctions and electrical fluctuations ensure that your HVAC system is in working order, and you can run it effectively when you adjust the thermostat.

Perils of Filthy Coils

All HVAC units have an evaporator coil located on your indoor unit. This coil works like a radiator to ensure that the air that flows through your home’s air ducts is heated or cooled correctly. If your evaporator coil is dirty, this can restrict the flow of air, along with drastically reducing the HVAC system’s efficiency. This dirty environment becomes the best breeding ground for molds, mildew, and other bacteria that will only result in giving you poor indoor air quality. This buildup can even lead to a bunch of health problems like upper respiratory infections, bronchitis, allergic rhinitis, and asthma. The air that you breathe plays an essential role in ensuring that your body remains in tiptop shape.

Aside from this indoor evaporator coil, it is also critical to look at the exterior condenser coil of your HVAC unit. This outdoor component plays a crucial role during summer time as it has the big job of eliminating and removing the hot air that it receives. Remember, the cleaner the condenser coil, the more effective and efficient it is in dealing with the hot air. This efficiency is critical during summer months when the sun is at its peak, and you want to keep a cool, climate-controlled environment away from the sweltering heat. If you ignore the condenser coil, it will become dirty. Dirtiness will affect the cooling capacity of your HVAC system. It may even result in a drop in your system’s efficiency, while hiking up your energy bills and drastically reducing the lifespan of your HVAC system.

Failure to Fix a Faulty Filter

Faulty FilterIf you believe in the myth that it is not necessary to hire a professional to replace your HVAC’s filter, think again. It may be a lot cheaper to attempt to do this on your own, but if you make a mistake, this will become more costly in the long run. Hiring an HVAC service professional will be more efficient as they can give you a reasonable estimate when you should replace filters. The replacement of filters varies from house to house, and it is not dependent on a set time frame. The specifics are reliant on consumption and environmental factors, which vary depending on the usage and location of the home. To illustrate, homes that belong to a more tropical environment will use their cooling systems more frequently.

Never underestimate the importance of your HVAC unit’s air filter because it does the important job of taking out pollen, dander, allergens, and other potentially harmful airborne particles that can negatively impact your health and well-being. Keep in mind that a good and properly functioning air filter will provide you and your loved one’s terrific air quality. A clean air filter will not just prevent illnesses, but it also has the power to shorten your bouts with illness should it ever come to infiltrate your house. Keep in mind, with an improperly functioning filter, all these nasty air particles will enter your home via the vents and ductwork. This means you and your family will be breathing in all this harmful junk. Do yourself a favor and maintain your filter!

The Burden of a Blocked Condenser

If your condenser is blocked, then the air that flows into your home will not be the right temperature. The condenser of your HVAC system has the all-important task of de-superheating, condensing, and sub-cooling the air. The blocked condenser means heat transfer will be unable to take place. This translates to your HVAC system being unable to operate correctly. If you are unable to address this problem, you risk the condenser burning out, which is an even bigger job that is more expensive to replace.

On top of that, this blockage can lead to leaks. Leaks can be due to the following reasons: a broken condenser pump, debris blocking the drain holes, clogged hose, or the seals are no longer tight. All of these can be quickly addressed and fixed with regular maintenance.

Bottom Line

Your home’s HVAC system is the silent workhorse that is tucked away in the mechanical room, along your ceiling or floor in an air duct system, and outside with the cooling compressors. All these parts work together to keep you comfortable, silently, out of your sight, doing their jobs. However, even if they are out of sight, this doesn’t mean that they should be out of mind. It is critical to maintain your HVAC system because they do an essential job of securing your home and providing you comfort. It is crucial to invest a little on professional maintenance because these nip small problems in the bud.

When you can address these issues swiftly, it prevents them from escalating into something bigger, which is more costly. By having these pros come over, you can have them recalibrate your thermostat, clean your furnace, replace your filters, tune-up those coils, and perform other preventive maintenance work that will help ensure your energy bills are down because your HVAC unit will perform optimally. This work results in cleaner air quality that keeps health issues at bay. Most of all, preventive maintenance will save your wallet because these services can prolong the lifespan of your unit.

I’m a seasoned Interior Designer whose innovation, keen eye for detail and creativity have all earned me the reputation as a reliable go-to professional. Over the course of a decade, I’ve garnered extensive industry experience, successfully designing hundreds of bathrooms along the way. Additionally, I hold an Interior Design Certificate from College of Architecture and Design in Newark, New Jersey. Outside of my profession, I have an avid interest in all things related to fitness and cryptocurrency. If you are looking for a competent expert who can help you renovate your living space, then feel free to contact me today.

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