In addition to service appointments, homeowners also need to know how to perform some basic maintenance tasks on their own. Here the residential and commercial heating and cooling contractors at Sierra explain why both sets of tasks are crucial to keeping your HVAC system in good condition.
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Why Is It Important for Homeowners to Know How to Do Certain Tasks?
We often get asked by homeowners why they have to do HVAC maintenance tasks at all. We tell them that while a great deal of maintenance and repair work is performed by an HVAC technician, only a homeowner cant keep an eye on their heating and cooling systems on a daily basis.
As the homeowner, you can keep an eye on the system and perform simple maintenance tasks that require minimal effort and risk. Calling in to report minor issues you may find along the way can help prevent major problems such as unexpected breakdowns and help keep repair costs to a minimum.
Maintenance Tasks That You Can Do On Your Own
Owners of commercial air conditioning systems typically have checklists for routine HVAC inspections. Home inspections are not as complicated, but a checklist can help you make sure you don’t forget anything. In addition to cleaning the area around your HVAC system’s outdoor unit, your checklist should include the following.
Change the Air Filter — Most HVAC systems need the air filter to be cleaned or replaced every three months or so. Many HVAC problems such as blocked airflow, inefficient operation and an overheating blower motor are caused by clogged air filters, so the filters in some homes may bear checking as often as every month. If it there’s a thick layer of fiber and dust on the filter, you definitely need to clean or replace it more frequently. Fortunately, air filters are designed to be user-replaceable. When buying a new air filter, just make sure that you get one that’s the same size.
Clean the Condensate Drain Pan — The condensate drain pan is a container that fills with the moisture that the air conditioner collects from your indoor space. A full drain pan may lead to the build-up of mold and algae.
Maintenance Tasks That You Should Leave to the Pros
There are certain tasks that should be left to your HVAC technician because they’re dangerous, may cause further damage to your HVAC system or might void your warranty.
Electrical Work — It goes without saying that electrical work should be left to licensed electricians or HVAC technicians. If you find loose connections or frayed wires, turn off the HVAC system’s circuit breaker and call your HVAC technician.
Furnace Repairs — Improper furnace repairs pose several risks, including burns and inhalation of carbon monoxide fumes.
Refilling Refrigerant — In case of refrigerant leaks, never try to refill refrigerant yourself. In addition to the dangers of handling a toxic substance, your HVAC system needs to have the correct refrigerant type and level.