HVAC Maintenance Checklist: How to Maintain Your HVAC System Effectively?

Have you lately noticed your HVAC system is emitting peculiar buzzing noises and only blowing out warm air in this extremely hot weather?

Or

Does your HVAC system intermittently turn on and off itself?

Or

Did you receive a very unexpected high electricity bill?

If you are experiencing and dealing with any of these problems, or all of them, it is time to schedule a professional HVAC maintenance service.

But what exactly is HVAC maintenance, and why is it necessary?

Let’s get into the details!

What is HVAC Maintenance?

HVAC maintenance is the process of keeping the heater or air conditioner in top condition. It is done by checking, cleaning, testing, and, if necessary, repairing and replacing HVAC system components. By investing in HVAC maintenance, you can identify and resolve concerns before they become serious threats.

HVAC maintenance should be performed on a regular basis by an HVAC specialist to improve the efficiency of its performance. This not only keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter but also lowers your utility costs.

A benefit of regular maintenance of HVAC that is generally ignored is that a skilled HVAC technician will detect whether your HVAC unit needs repair or is on the verge of breaking down and will repair it before your system stops working.

7 HVAC Maintenance Tips to Prevent Costly Repairs

1. Clean the heat pump

Outdoor air conditioning units and heat pumps can become significantly filthy, making the HVAC system to function harder to generate sufficient cold and warm air in your household. Cleaning and maintaining condensers and heat pumps, on the other hand, reduce the possibility of internal component damage.

You must keep the tops and sides of your outdoor AC pumps and systems clear of dirt and debris. To clean all of the dirt out, you can use your garden hose on the fins, ensuring to get in between the nooks and gaps.

Also, make sure your unit is level. The refrigerants, which are crucial to the proper functioning of your air conditioning system, will be disjointed if your system is imbalanced. As a result, your AC’s compressor and condenser could be more prone to failure.

2. Check and change the HVAC filter

A dirty air filter is one of the most obvious culprits of air conditioner repair. However, changing and cleaning the air filter is one of the simplest ways to perform HVAC maintenance. It will increase the efficiency of the air conditioning unit, lower electricity bills, and lessen the risk of needing unforeseen repairs.

Check your HVAC filter once a month to ensure it’s not clogged or dirty. However, if that’s the case, give it a thorough cleaning and air dry it. When it comes to changing the filter, it should be done once every three months. If it appears to be dirtier than usual, replace it right away, especially if you have pets.

If the AC filter becomes too dirty, it might freeze and later defrost, causing water leakage. If you have a reusable filter, gently wipe it down with a soft cloth. If it doesn’t work, give it a thorough cleaning with mild soap and water.

However, if your system’s filter is not reusable, purchase a new one and change it as soon as possible. Also, if you or any of your family members suffer from allergies, it is a good idea to invest in a hypoallergenic filter. These filters will be the most effective in purifying your household’s air.

3. Perform a general inspection of your HVAC system

To detect potential problems, inspect your HVAC system when changing or cleaning the filter every month. You can inspect the thermostat, the inside and outside unit, the registers, and the returns. Furthermore, you should also look into the following:

  • Assess the thermostat’s battery status.
  • Check the condensate system to verify that it is properly draining.
  • Look for mold in all registers.
  • Check that the outdoor unit is level, and, if necessary, install rot-proof or metal shims to balance it.
  • Confirm that the cabinet door and the filter access are both tightly shut.
  • Ascertain that the flue system is securely fastened and completely intact.
  • Check that all inputs and outputs are unblocked and accessible.

These are the little inspections you can do on your own to avoid untimely repair calls.

4. Remove clutter from around your indoor HVAC system

The space around your indoor HVAC unit should be kept clean and free of clutter to improve air quality. The more unnecessary elements you have lying around, the more surface area there is for the dust to accumulate and finally work its way into the ventilation system.

Clutter also hinders airflow in the surrounding area, which is detrimental to system efficiency. Clutter can also be a fire and accidental hazard, making repairs and maintenance more problematic.

5. Regulate the Indoor temperature

Maintaining your HVAC system entails operating it at appropriate temperatures and minimizing its usage while you are sleeping or away from home or sleeping.

Install a smart thermostat to change or adjust the temperature throughout the day with complete automation. Letting your home to be cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer while you are away will cause the HVAC system to operate less often, consume less electricity, and last longer.

6. Consider replacing your entire HVAC system

An HVAC system has an average lifespan of up to 25 years. 

Several factors such as the type of technology, brand, and regularity of maintenance can affect the longevity of the system. By routinely maintaining your heating and cooling system, you will extend its lifespan and ensure higher effectiveness for a prolonged period of time. 

Energy efficiency gradually declines, and repair services become increasingly frequent. When you realize that the old system isn’t as reliable and efficient as it once was, don’t wait for it to fail on the hottest summer afternoon. It would be wise for you to plan ahead of time and replace your old HVAC unit at your own convenience.

7. Schedule professional HVAC maintenance service

HVAC professionals will completely service, inspect, and diagnose the unit during maintenance check-ups to keep it running smoothly and eliminate malfunctions.

An HVAC maintenance check-up typically consists of an on-site inspection from an HVAC professional who will assess the HVAC system and ensure it is operating at optimum efficiency.

The inspection could include any of the following:

  • Ensuring the fan is functioning properly 
  • Tightening electrical connections as required 
  • Lubricating all moving parts of the unit 
  • Inspecting and cleaning the evaporator and condenser coils and drain lines 
  • Cleaning and adjusting the blower components  
  • Checking the air filter and changing it if necessary
  • Checking the refrigerant level  
  • Checking for leakages in the heat exchanger 
  • Checking the setting of the system and its thermostat calibration
  • Checking the controls of the system  
  • Checking fuel line connections 
  • Inspecting the gas pressure and burner combustion

A professional check-up can be conducted once or twice a year as part of routine maintenance. It assists households in ensuring that their HVAC system does not malfunction when they need it the most, especially during the sweltering summer and chilly winter months.

Watch: Yearly HVAC Maintenance Checks

When you have your HVAC system serviced, all of the components are cleaned and examined to ensure that they are operating at optimum efficiency. You can also save money on utilities, as well as on costly emergency maintenance bills.

This brings us to the importance of regular maintenance of the HVAC system. So, let’s know more about why you should have that checked every once in a while.

Why is Having an HVAC Maintenance Plan of Utmost Importance?

To function efficiently, as well as to extend its longevity, an HVAC unit must be properly cared for and maintained periodically.

A properly functioning HVAC system will keep your house warm or cool for many years to come. However, HVAC maintenance is necessary as a basic requirement for its durability.

Watch: How to do HVAC system maintenance and save money !!

Maintaining your HVAC system in excellent shape has numerous advantages:

1. Improve the air quality of your household

A properly maintained HVAC system will not only keep a home comfortable and fresh but also prevent air quality issues.

Filters and cleaner coils lead to improved breathing for the entire family. However, unmaintained HVAC systems attract dust, mold, dirt, bacteria, and various other pathogens, all of which cause or exacerbate respiratory problems in those who live in the home.

2. Reduce utility bills

One of the key reasons why households should keep their HVAC units in good working condition is to save money on utility bills.

An efficient HVAC unit and a well-insulated home will significantly reduce money spent on electricity, cooling, and heating bills. HVAC maintenance is also essential to avoid the need for expensive repairs or replacements at uncertain times.

3. Increase the longevity of your HVAC system

The better you keep your heating system and cooling system in good condition, the longer it will last. Given the exorbitant prices people pay to buy and install HVAC units, it is only logical to keep them in excellent shape for as long as possible with proper and regular maintenance.

4. Improve the efficiency of your HVAC system

It should go without saying that a more efficient HVAC system will save you money in the long term. However, unmaintained systems require a lot more energy to generate the same amount of heating or cooling than a well-maintained unit.

5. Fewer emergency repairs

You should be aware that HVAC units might need repair work occasionally. Well-maintained HVAC units are less prone to malfunction during months of continuous use, such as the hot and humid summer months of May through September and the breezy, cooler winter months of December to March.

Regular HVAC maintenance and inspections will eliminate the stress that your HVAC system will fail during the months you need it the most. It will also reduce bills on future maintenance expenditures.

We hope you are now aware of how essential and beneficial it is to maintain your heating, ventilating, and cooling systems periodically. Still, if you have any doubts, go through the most commonly asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the four stages of HVAC preventive maintenance?

Periodic tune-up, pre-start assessment, operational inspections, and troubleshooting are the four stages of preventive HVAC maintenance tasks.

What parts of the HVAC system should be replaced regularly?

The air filters in your HVAC unit should be replaced regularly. If air filters are filthy, they should be changed right away, even if it’s sooner than expected.
A clogged air filter forces your HVAC system to function harder to circulate air throughout your household. This is extremely hard on the fan, but the entire system suffers when it can’t function properly.

What happens if you don’t keep your HVAC system in good condition?

Your HVAC system not only warms or cools your home, it also circulates air through filters that effectively eliminate pollutants and fine particulates. If you don’t change your filter regularly, you’ll notice more dirt and filth in your residence.

Why are HVAC preventative maintenance tasks so important?

In order to work efficiently, the HVAC system must be properly maintained. A well-functioning air conditioning system keeps the temperature of the household comfortable for a long time.
On the other hand, HVAC preventative maintenance is required to keep the system running in the long run. Maintaining the HVAC system allows you to maintain the indoor air quality effectively.

Is HVAC a good career option?

HVAC is a good career option, without a doubt, as it provides a wide range of employment opportunities with a big payout.

How often should your HVAC system be serviced?

A skilled HVAC technician should inspect your HVAC equipment once a year. If you have a standard central air conditioner or a thermostat, each of these units should be serviced once a year. If you have a heat pump system that you use throughout the year, you must schedule a maintenance service every six months.

Maintain Your HVAC System Periodically and Avoid Unforeseen Expensive Repair Costs

At this point, we have certainly established that HVAC preventative maintenance is essential. 

Periodic inspections and following through on minor issues will ensure you enjoy the convenience and comfort of a system without the stress of it malfunctioning.

A well-maintained HVAC unit will barely have any major issues, resulting in less hassle and reduced extra costs.

Consider hiring expert certified HVAC technicians to perform your HVAC inspection and maintenance to alleviate the stress and ensure everything is properly maintained.

Also, supplement this with routine cleanings and smart gadgets to lessen the burden on your HVAC system and save big bucks in the long run.

HVAC businesses can improve their dispatching and maintenance efficiency by using proper HVAC tools and HVAC software.

Gaurang Bhatt

Written by

Gaurang Bhatt

Guarang Bhatt has 15+ years of experience in serving different businesses through advanced technology-based solutions. He has special expertise in Saas-based software solutions and solving complex business problems and challenges. Passionate about HVAC software solutions, he shares his knowledge and learnings on HVACsoftware.com.