The average lifespan of an HVAC unit these days is 15-20 years. That number may surprise some, as the number of problems and repair can jump before reaching 10 years. Part of this reason is the lack of preventative maintenance.
HVAC units experience a lot of stress in the summer and winter. If there are any parts failing or debris interfering, high temps make matters worse. It’s in your best interest to perform fall air conditioning and heating maintenance.
Fall is your opportunity to check for potential problems and prevent larger repairs. Here’s a quick HVAC maintainence checklist to help you get started.
Change Your Filter
Your air conditioner was probably doing a lot of work during the summer. For most Texans, it’ll likely do the same going into fall. Your air filter is your HVAC’s lungs, so if they get clogged, everything works harder.
Once this happens, your coils can freeze up; then you’re dealing with your HVAC unit leaking water. This eventually leads to your system switching off, as the safety switch is tripped from a small drainage tray. Stay on top of your filter replacement to avoid your coils getting gunked up.
Check the Refrigerant Levels
Another common reason for coils freezing up is low refrigerant. Lower refrigerant levels mean lower pressure in the coils. The HVAC unit will also run a little louder, as there are more gaps of air pumping in the coils.
If your HVAC unit needs refrigerant, then it’s time to call an HVAC specialist to refill it.
Clean the Compressor
The compressor is the unit outside. You’ll want to keep it clear of debris as much as possible. Learning how to do maintenance by yourself will minimize major repairs needed later.
First, you’ll want to make sure the power is cut off from your breaker. Next, focus on the big stuff surrounding the perimeter.
Got tall grass nearby? Cut it.
Clear out any branches or leaves on and around the unit. This is something you should do every time you cut the grass. We recommend using a wet-dry vac with a brush to do regular cleanings.
Check to see if any of the fins on the outside are bent and fix them in place. You can move onto opening up the compressor; just unscrew the top grill. Once inside, you can move the fan out of the way.
Look at all the wiring and check for any damage or corrosion. Continue vacuuming inside and spray off the fins from inside to complete the cleaning.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
If you want to really pile on the savings, you should consider upgrading to a smart thermostat. These are not only more accurate than standard programmables, but they’re also more reliable. They’ll learn your routines and save you the time of having to constantly reprogram them.
Perform Thorough Fall Air Conditioning and Heating Maintenance
Preventative fall air conditioning and heating maintenance will save you time and money in the long term. A quality $15 air filter sounds like a waste until you start to add up all the coil cleaning and repairs. If you struggle with your HVAC system turning on and off too much, running loud, etc., then you should call the experts.
Get a free consultation to see whether your problem is a maintenance issue or something bigger. Go local with Livingston’s Best Air and Heat LLC. We won’t give you the runaround like the big-name franchises.