As we’re heading into the fall season, now is the perfect time to start thinking about the functioning of your HVAC system. Ideally, you should inspect your system twice a year, spring and fall. This is the kind of healthy homeowner habit that can save you money on completely avoidable and costly repairs down the line.
Although your HVAC system is relatively complex and some elements should be left to the professionals (like the flue pipe that expels carbon monoxide), there are a few things you as an owner can do to be proactive.
Filters: Your air filters are responsible for cleaning the air that returns into your home through the HVAC system. Be sure to replace your filters at least every 3 months.
Duct Work: Be on the lookout for peeling duct tape and loose fittings around the seams, dirt streaks that indicate escaping air, dents in the metal, and collapsed or torn sections of flex ducts.
Furnace Pilot Light: Turn on the furnace to check the flame. You should see a steady blue flame, but if it’s flickering yellow or orange, there may be a combustion issue that requires professional help. Also, make sure all panels are closed and fastened securely.
Air Conditioning Compressors: Clear obstructions, such as vines, shrubs, or leaves from around your outdoor air conditioning compressors. You can also check if the unit is tilted by setting a level on top. It should always be set on level ground. Remove the top panel and inspect fan blades for damage, but if any repair is necessary, call an expert, don’t do it yourself.
Performing twice yearly checks and regular maintenance will go a long way to keeping your HVAC system operational for those times when you need it most.