HVAC Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning Maintenance
What you can do
- Clean or replace the filters monthly. Dirty air filters cause the home comfort unit to work harder than necessary.
- Keep the grass around your outside unit trimmed, being careful not to blow debris or grass clippings into the unit. Make sure landscaping does not block the outdoor air conditioner components.
- Shade the outdoor air conditioning unit. Air conditioners with proper shading can be up to 10 % more efficient over a cooling season, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Insulate ducts. Sealing ducts will save energy and money year round. First, seal the duct joints and leaks with mastic tape or sealer. Plain duct tape is not recommended because it will dry out and peel off over time. Wrap the ducts with low-cost, foil-faced fiberglass insulation, and seal the insulation seams with regular duct tape. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, insulating ducts in the typical American home costs about $250, but the improvement will pay for itself in energy savings in two and a half years. Even the added cost of hiring a professional to install the insulation will be repaid with the energy savings.
- Clean off dirt buildup on the indoor and outdoor coils of the central home comfort system. These heat exchangers between the refrigerant and the surrounding air can quickly build up impurities will hinder the coil's performance by as much as 8 %. Both indoor and outdoor coils can be cleaned with warm, soapy water, but need to be treated gently.
- Raise temperature settings. Each degree of temperature can represent up to 9% savings or added expense in cooling costs.
- Keep the unit fan on "AUTO." It is not necessary to run the fan constantly when your air conditioner or heater is turned on.
- Measure the refrigerant to see if it needs recharging. An undercharged unit lowers the efficiency of the system.
- Measure the airflow over the air conditioner's cooling coils. Inadequate airflow is a common problem and correcting airflow rates can increase efficiency 5 to 10 percent.
- Clean and inspect the motor, compressor, air handler, ducts, coils and air filter.
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