Tips for Better HVAC Maintenance

How to Care for Your HVAC SystemThe ductwork in a home is more important than most owners realize. An HVAC system will often be inspected by a potential buyer as a part of selling a home. In addition, a home HVAC systems are also the key to lowering utility bills and improving the air quality of the home. The more owners maintain it, the longer it will last and the more functional it will be.

Check the Filters

The HVAC filters pick up the invisible dust, dirt, and hair in the air, and they can only last so long. Experts recommend changing the filter between 1 – 6 months. How often each homeowner replaces them is based on their personal rate of accumulation. Homeowners who keep up with their dusting and don’t have any pets may only have to change their filters twice a year.

Check the Senses

From bright light hitting the air to the smell of the home, homeowners can use their senses to determine the health of their HVAC system. Check the vents or the area around the air-handlers at least twice a year for any evidence of mold (e.g., visible growth, musty smells, etc). If there are any mold spores pulled into the vents, the system will distribute the contaminants throughout the home. Any standing in the home (whether in the basement or near the intake valves) needs to be addressed immediately to prevent or limit the spread of mold.

Check the Components

Those who want to go a step further with their inspections should consider the following:

  • Fans: Dismantling the system and cleaning its fans can help keep the air cleaner for longer. Fans can take an hour or more to clean.
  • Bearings: If the bearing on a fan is beginning to fail, then the cassette needs to be replaced. Systems that are making quite a bit of noise likely need a new ball bearing.
  • Belt: If the belts of the HVAC system aren’t aligned properly, then it will be put more strain on the system. If they’re too tight, they’ll put a heavy of a burden on the motor. Checking the belts can make it easier to determine the problem.

Duluth homeowners are encouraged to do as much HVAC maintenance on their own to better understand their systems and to save themselves some money. However, homeowners may want to hire a professional for more complicated jobs—at least the first time around. One mistake could threaten the entire system, so it’s important that all components are treated properly.

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