As a homeowner, it’s easy to take your HVAC system for granted. When it’s doing its job and keeping your household comfortable, it doesn’t give you much reason to think about it. However, if you want your heating and cooling units to continue running smoothly for the long haul, it’s imperative that you take good care of them. By staying on top of HVAC maintenance, you can improve your comfort, save yourself money in several areas, and increase the system’s life expectancy. Fortunately, if you create the right habits and make proactive choices, there’s no reason that HVAC maintenance needs to be overly difficult or time-consuming. Here, we’ll take a look at a few tips for keeping your HVAC unit in excellent shape for many years to come.
1. Schedule Yearly Maintenance Visits
One of the best choices you can make for your HVAC system is to schedule professional maintenance at least once each year. Over time, it’s totally normal for your heating and cooling units to accumulate wear and tear. However, if you don’t schedule a tune-up now and then, that wear and tear will gradually start to worsen the performance and efficiency of your appliances. When you enlist our HVAC maintenance services at Meade’s Heating and Air, our highly skilled technicians will take several measures to get your HVAC system running like new again.
During the HVAC tune-up, our team will head out to your household in Sterling or elsewhere in Northern Virginia and give your HVAC system a thorough inspection. We’ll clean the contaminants from your heating and cooling equipment and search for any mechanical issues or red flags. This will include checking the condition of various components to see if any of them need to be repaired or replaced. If our team finds anything concerning, they’ll be able to take preventative measures to ensure that it never turns into a costly problem. By scheduling this service every year, you can enjoy all of the following benefits.
- Lower monthly energy bills
- Better indoor air quality
- More consistent comfort
- Enhanced peace of mind
- Greatly reduced risk of HVAC problems
- Extended HVAC system lifespan
2. Replace Your HVAC Air Filters Frequently
Did you know that if you don’t regularly replace your HVAC system’s air filters, it can cause several negative effects? When you wait too long to switch these filters out, they become so clogged with contaminant particles that they can no longer effectively filter the air. That means that more pollutants will get cycled into the HVAC unit, which will worsen its efficiency and worsen the quality of your home’s indoor air. Additionally, when the HVAC filters are clogged, it makes it much harder for your heating and cooling systems to consistently pull air through. As a result, those appliances have to work significantly harder to do their jobs. That leads to more energy being used, and it can also increase the odds of mechanical problems arising.
You can avoid all of these issues by simply replacing your HVAC air filters consistently. The specific lifespan of your air filters will depend on the type of filters you use and several other factors. On average, though, HVAC filters need to be replaced at least every two or three months. During the harsh Virginia summers and winters, you’ll likely be depending on your HVAC unit more often, so you should change out the filters even more frequently.
3. Keep Your Air Vents Clean
If you want to keep your HVAC system running efficiently and performing well, you’ll want to ensure that it doesn’t regularly get overworked. Unfortunately, if you allow your household air vents to remain dirty for a prolonged period, it could put a lot of unnecessary strain on your HVAC unit. Whenever you have the heat or AC running, those systems must push air through the vents to reach different sections of your home. However, contaminants like dust, dirt, pollen, and small debris will inevitably accumulate inside those vents over time. So, it’s important that you take the time to clean all the air vents in your household periodically throughout the year.
During the harsher seasons, it would be prudent to clean your air vents every month or so. During the milder times of the year, every couple of months should be fine. To clean these vents, all you’ll need is a screwdriver for removing the covers and a vacuum cleaner with an extension hose for the actual cleaning. In addition to cleaning your air vents, you should occasionally check to ensure that no furniture or clutter is ever blocking their airflow.
4. Keep an Eye on Your Energy Bills
One important aspect of caring for your HVAC system is recognizing when it’s having problems. Usually, when your HVAC unit needs to be tuned up, repaired, or replaced, one of the clearest indicators will be its worsening energy efficiency. For that reason, it’s always wise to keep a close eye on your monthly energy bills. Naturally, you will most likely notice an increase in your energy costs during the hottest and coldest times of the year. That’s completely normal. However, if you see any significant spikes in your household energy usage at unusual times, that’s a red flag that shouldn’t be ignored.
Even if you notice your energy bills inexplicably increasing, there may not be anything obviously wrong with your heating or cooling systems. However, it’s still worth investigating. If you’re in the Greater Sterling area, you can always schedule a thorough HVAC system inspection with our knowledgeable team. We’ll take a close look at your household unit and determine whether or not it needs to be serviced, repaired, or even replaced.
5. Have Your Ductwork Cleaned and Inspected
The overall health of your home’s ductwork plays a major role in the performance and health of your HVAC system. Over time, contaminants like mold, dust, dander, pollen, and dirt will build up inside your air ducts. The dirtier the ducts become, the more air pressure will be required for your heating and cooling appliances to effectively circulate air. The harder those systems have to work, the more energy they use, and the more wear and tear they accumulate. At Meade’s Heating and Air, we offer expert duct cleaning services for an affordable price. If you make a point to have your air ducts professionally cleaned every couple of years, it will help keep your HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently.
When you hire us to clean your ducts, we’ll also be able to carefully inspect them. If your ductwork is harboring leaks, those leaks will allow hot and cool air to escape when your HVAC system is running. As a result, the system will need to work harder to compensate for the loss. Plus, your comfort will suffer. Our team will search for any leaks or damage, and if we come across any issues, we can repair them before they cost you more money and cause you more discomfort.
At Meade’s Heating and Air, we’re proud to provide residents of Northern Virginia with quality home comfort services. We can assist you with your heating, cooling, ductwork, water heater, gas line, indoor air quality, and various other needs. We know that you don’t get to choose when a problem arises, which is why we offer 24/7 emergency repair services. Count on us for maintenance, of course, and installation as well. Contact our experts at Meade’s Heating and Air today to learn more or to schedule an appointment!