The HVAC Maintenance Checklist

An image of an HVAC Maintenance Checklist

Want to expand the lifespan of your HVAC system? We have the essential HVAC maintenance checklist to keep your system running smoothly all year long!

Let us take a look at the maintenance routine you should follow to keep your HVAC running for years. We will touch on what to expect from a professional tune-up and know when it is best to replace or repair your unit.

The life of a unit depends on several factors including proper HVAC maintenance, the age of the system, and if you opt for regular professional care.

1. Replacing Your Air Filters

 Although you do not see the air filters in your home daily, they are quite easy to forget about.  Unfortunately, forgetting about them can mean your HVAC system works harder to keep your home cool, putting stress on the entire unit.  An easy way to remember to change your air filters is by setting a particular date.  The day you pay your energy bill is ideal because this task will save you money each month on that bill.

an image of an air filter change log representing tips for hvac maintenance.

Air filters range in prices and changing them every month can add up.  Just remember that buying the most expensive brand does not mean it is the best. Ask our technicians for recommendations of the best air filter brands for your home.

 You need to clean your furnace on a regularly basis for safety.  For example, the open-flame burner of a gas furnace can create deadly temperatures. Dirty filters can make the machine overheat. They can also become overstuffed with dust and other material, fall into the furnace, and catch fire.  Change your furnace filters regularly. Dirty filters can make the machine overheat. They can also become overstuffed with dust and other material, fall into the furnace, and catch fire. An HVAC technician can tell you how often you should be changing your filter. Avoiding fire is an extremely serious matter which absolutely necessitates regular contact with professionals. A technician can also show you how to shut off the main gas valve if needed in an emergency. Keeping your furnace in good order is also essential in avoiding the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal. For these reasons, it is also incredibly important to make sure that your carbon monoxide and fire detectors are in good working order. Finally, a responsible company will always educate you on how to keep your furnace room clean and safe.

2. Check for and Seal Air Leaks

During a Tune-up, one of our technicians will check for leaks in the ducts. This is great to ensure your HVAC will function properly. Unfortunately, if your home has other air leaks, you may not feel any improvement.

seal hvac air leaks

During a Tune-up, one of our technicians will check for leaks in the ducts. This is great to ensure your HVAC will function properly. Unfortunately, if your home has other air leaks, you may not feel any improvement.

To ensure that your HVAC system does not have unneeded wear & tear, ensure that all doors, windows, and electric outlets do not have small leaks. This can be done by a professional, or you can opt to do it yourself.

To check for air leaks, you will need incense and a windy day. Close the doors, windows, and chimney flue; then shut off any appliance that blows air in or outside. This includes the dryer, ceiling fans, and vents.

Light the incense and pass it in front of the areas already mentioned as well as light switches, baseboards, and fans. If you notice that the smoke blows differently around these areas, there is likely a leak.

Leaks around doors and windows may be sealed by weatherstripping or door sweeps. For air leaks in other areas, you will likely need caulking or foam sealant. If you are not sure about how to seal a problem area, call a professional for insight.

3. Update Your Thermostat

Part of HVAC maintenance is updating parts of your system as needed. This includes your thermostat as an older model may cause your HVAC system to run constantly or not at all. Not all thermostats require batteries, but if yours does, replacing them is an easy way to ensure this unit operates properly.

an image of a thermostat representing an HVAC maintenance checklist.

It is best to consider a digital or smart thermostat, as these are easy to use and program.

A digital thermostat is also known as a programmable thermostat–most homes have these. This type of thermostat allows you to set a comfortable temperature and senses when the air is too warm or cool. This tells the HVAC system to turn on and off when the ideal temperature is met.

Smart thermostats offer this ability but also ‘learn’ your household’s behavior. Their adaptiveness will be able to sense when you are not home, keeping the system off or running minimally.

You will find that the use of either of these thermostats will help decrease your electric bill but also keep your system from overworking itself.

4. Professional Tune-Ups

an image of two hvac technicians completing a tune-up.

Even with the best DIY HVAC maintenance, you will still need an annual professional tune-up. A technician will be able to dive deep into your system to check for wiring and electric issues as well as inspect & clean every component of the unit.

An HVAC tune-up may include evaporator coil cleaning, air handler cleaning, and checking the refrigerant levels. Each step of a professional tune-up is designed to help identify and correct potential problems before they become one.

5. HVAC Maintenance Clubs/Programs

Many HVAC companies are beginning to offer maintenance plans and clubs. These plans don’t always save the consumer money and can often be misleading. This is not the case with ALL maintenance clubs but is something to be aware of.

If you choose to join an HVAC (or any) maintenance program/club, be sure to look at the benefits versus the cost of individual repairs and DIY maintenance. When a maintenance program is beneficial, it will offer discounts on repairs, priority scheduling, and replacement credits.

When choosing a maintenance club or plan, be sure that the company offers to keep records for warranty purposes. This helps ensure your warranty stays intact which will save you money over time!

The other huge benefit of opting for a maintenance program/club is the fact that you won’t have to worry too much about keeping up with your unit. Yes, you will still have to change your air filter, but you can rely on professional technicians to do the rest!

Heating & Cooling Maintenance: The Takeaway

When your HVAC system runs efficiently, your home stays comfortable, your electric bills are more affordable, you avoid costly repairs, and can ensure your system lasts for years to come. That is why having an HVAC checklist is important.

With this said, even simple HVAC maintenance will go a long way toward keeping your system working perfectly. While having and HVAC maintenance checklist is definitely beneficial and do-it-yourself cleaning and repairs are great for minor issues, knowing when to call a professional is also helpful.

There is nothing wrong with needing help to perform standard maintenance or not being sure where to start. If this is ever the case, don’t be ashamed to call a professional–we are trained in this field of expertise!

If you would like to schedule an annual tune-up, need help with regular maintenance, or simply have questions regarding your unit, request an appointment.  We are more than happy to help!

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