Saving energy saves you money — it’s as simple as that. And ensuring that routine HVAC maintenance is performed on your system increases your energy efficiency, which saves you even more money.
Here are several items that you should ensure that your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) contractor performs for you during a routine HVAC maintenance visit (depending on whether it’s just prior to the cooling or heating season). Your contractor should:
- Ensure the inside and outside coils of your cooling system are clean. When your condenser and evaporator coils become dirty and clogged, your HVAC system has to work overtime to maintain your desired, and constant, temperature. You’ll pay for these overtime hours in the form of higher utility bills.
- Adjust your air conditioner’s (A/C) refrigerant. Levels that are too high or too low tax your system and increase your operating costs.
- Check your A/C airflow delivery rate. If airflow is restricted, or your blower components are not working properly, your system’s inefficiency can translate to you spending as much as 15 percent more on your utility bills.
- Check the heating components, including the burners, heat exchanger and connections. Routine HVAC maintenance on your heating unit not only helps to reduce your costs, but it also helps to reduce risks to your health. Old, brittle or improper connections can pose a fire hazard. Dirty burners and cracked heat exchangers contribute to improper, and sometimes unsafe, combustion and potential leaks of carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas that can be lethal.
- Check voltage and current on motors. If your wiring and connections are not safely joined, your system’s operation is unsafe and your motor’s life is reduced.
- Lubricate moving parts. This will manage friction, which can decrease the energy that your system uses and ensures less wear and tear on components.
- Make sure the condensate drain is running smoothly. If the drain is clogged, your indoor humidity level can increase, and you may have water damage as a result.
For a simple, routine HVAC maintenance task that you can do yourself, be sure to clean or replace your air filters regularly. You should check them monthly, and replace them as often, if necessary, or at least every eight weeks. If you have a permanent filter, remove it, and then rinse it with a strong jet of water from your garden hose. Let it dry thoroughly, and then replace it inside your unit.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about maintenance and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.