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Things You Can Do to Keep Your HVAC System Performing Well

August 11, 2021


Written by Katie Conroy

Things You Can Do to Keep Your HVAC System Performing Well

Many people look forward to the warmer days of summer, but the last thing anyone wants is to walk into their home to discover their HVAC system gave out.  To ensure your house stays cool, it’s vital to keep your system in good shape. 

At Mighty House Home Improvement Radio, we know full well the benefits of handling a job yourself. Here’s what you can do to keep your home comfortable, even when it’s sweltering outside. 

Tackle the tidy up

A few basic tools and a half day of work can go a long way toward keeping your air conditioner in good working order so you can avoid expensive repairs.  Cleaning the unit is something you can DIY for as little as $50 to $100.  Chances are you have some of what you need on hand, such as a garden hose and screwdriver.  If your unit has bent fins, you will need to purchase a fin comb to straighten them out.  You also might need to invest in foil tape and coil cleaner.  Make sure you purchase the right kind of coil cleaner, since some types of coil cleaner are meant only for certain kinds of use (you can easily find a coil cleaner for less than $10).  This chore should be tended each spring before you need to turn on the air conditioner. 

Examine landscaping

While you’re outside and working on your unit, it’s a great time to give thought to your home’s landscaping and how it can affect your air conditioner.  Aim to keep plants two to three feet away from the unit to allow plenty of air flow, and to keep debris from interfering.  If possible, install plants to provide shade to amp up the unit’s efficiency.  A windbreak helps all the more, making a row of evergreens or tall potted plants a terrific choice.  Another idea is to install a trellis or screen to shade your unit.   

Check your windows

Okay, so we all know NOT to keep our windows running when the AC is running. However, it’s also important to make sure windows are sealed properly (doors too, for that matter) to ensure maximum HVAC efficiency. Check out all of the windows in your home, even in the basement, to see where you might have any issues. There are several repairs you can DIY, and this includes adding weather stripping, changing hardware, and adding epoxy or a dry locking compound. However, there might be some instances where a pro is necessary. When you absolutely need an expert, you want to get the best deal on the best work, so it’s crucial to carefully survey local professionals. Use Angi window repair to help you find a top-rated expert who can efficiently and affordably make repairs.

Refresh your filters

Back inside your home, there is a simple but crucial task to complete, and you need to perform it on a regular basis.  Every 30 days to six months, it’s necessary to change the filters on your system.  Some experts recommend checking the filter every 30 days, and note that certain circumstances will require you to change filters more frequently than others.  For instance, if you use the continuous fan mode on your thermostat, are a pet owner, or someone in your household has allergies, it’s wise to change the filters frequently.  To decide on timing, remove the filter to examine how dirty it is.  If it’s clogged and you can’t see light through it, it’s time to install a new filter. 

Changing air filters on your HVAC system is one of the easiest DIY tasks homeowners can do, and it can make a big difference in maintaining your unit.  A dirty filter makes the unit work harder, cutting the air flow to the system.  Over time, the effort of trying to push air through a clogged filter can cause the motor to fail and ruin the system.  In the interim, it uses more energy as the unit tries to function, so your bills will be higher.  Even if the system doesn’t fail completely, it can cause coils to freeze or burn out, leaving you without cool air in the heat of summer. 

To replace the filter, start by turning off the unit, then locate the filter on your system.  Next identify the type of filter you need, and ensure you have the right size filter for replacement.  This should be located on the side of the old filter, or you can measure it if it is not marked.  You should insert a new filter, checking the arrows to determine the correct direction.  If you are unsure of the process, Today’s Homeowner offers an instructional video to walk you through air filter replacement.

It’s important to keep your home’s HVAC system performing optimally.  Thankfully, there are a couple simple things you can DIY.  Clean the unit, make careful landscaping choices, and replace filters regularly.  Your home will stay cool and comfortable, thanks to your attention.

For answers to all your home improvement questions, be sure to check out Mighty House Home Improvement Radio. You’ll hear from funny, friendly experts on how to tackle the gamut of home improvement projects. Check us out today!

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