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3 Tips Every Homeowner Can Take to Properly Maintain Their HVAC System

Helms Heating & Air Conditioning - Thursday, September 08, 2016
Helms van parked outside customer home

Maintenance agreements for heating and cooling equipment include all kinds of tasks. Some of them you could handle yourself without any problem. Others require a professional touch—along with professional tools and the expertise to put them to work. However, there are several things you can do on your own between visits to help keep your system in tip-top shape.

Check out these three easy ways to keep your HVAC units up and running:

1. Upgrade your filter.

Did you know cheap air filters do more harm than good? Check the brand you use for a number called a MERV rating. This stands for “minimum efficiency reporting values” and numbers below 7 aren’t protecting your system from common dirt and grime. Worse, as the filters clog in your unit, they restrict airflow. This leads to unnecessary resistance and wasted energy.

Aim for a high-quality filter with a MERV rating between 7 and 14. Change is once a month, or more often if it appears clogged upon removal. This simple step greatly increases your energy efficiency and extends the life of your unit.

2. Clear out your drain line.

If you’ve noticed water pooling around your furnace, it’s time to clear sludge out of your drain line. Look around your indoor unit for a small PVC spigot leading out of your system. This is often attached to a hose for easy draining. There should also be an inlet where you can pour cleaner in case of sludge buildup.

Simply take a half-cup of bleach or vinegar, mix it with water, and pour the solution in your drain line. It will flush out mildew and prevent more back-ups from happening.

3. Keep your vents open.

Your HVAC system was designed to work off air pressure. Closing off vents to unused rooms can surprisingly cause problems. Your best bet is shutting doors to those rooms and allowing the air to flow as normal. If you’re tempted to shut off access to certain rooms to improve heat or cooling services in other areas, check for leaks and weatherize for drafts instead.

Enroll in one of our affordable, effective maintenance agreements. Discover the benefits. Talk with one of our HVAC experts today to help your system work as well as possible for as long as possible and at the least expense.