Avoid costly home HVAC system repairs with basic home maintenance routines
You count on your HVAC system to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. And you count on it most when the weather is the worst. Help keep your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system working dependably by following these simple tips!
- Replace the air filters. Dirty air filters make your HVAC work harder, which can increase your energy bills and decrease your system’s life. Check and replace air filters regularly. This is a cheap and easy way to keep your HVAC in good shape.
- Clean vents, registers, and ducts. Another way to keep air filters clean is to stop dirt from reaching them in the first place. Cleaning vents, registers and ducts can help and can be as easy as using your vacuum. You can also hire a professional if you want to have deep duct cleaning done.
- Keep outdoor units clear. HVAC units work better when air circulates freely around them. Clear away tall plants, shrubs, and bushes growing within two feet of your outdoor units. Keep leaves, grass clippings, and other material out of the units too.
- Give your HVAC a break. During mild days in the spring and fall, open windows and run fans. This can keep your house comfortable, saves money, and reduces system wear-and-tear.
- Use a programmable thermostat. Programing your HVAC to run less when you are out of the house can save money and extend the life of your system. Your HVAC is like a car. The fewer “miles” you put on it, the longer it will run and, hopefully, the less maintenance it will require.
- Listen for odd noises. Strange noises can indicate you have a mechanical problem and you may want to have an HVAC professional come take a look.
- Get regular maintenance. HVAC professionals recommend you have your system inspected in the spring and fall each year. Inspections typically include checks of the coils, moving parts, electrical system, thermostat controls, ductwork, and fluid and pressure levels. Your technician can replace your air filter too.
HVAC inspections and tune-ups can cost between $75 and $200 per visit according to HomeAdvisor. Repairs are typically more expensive and include costs for parts and labor. You can often get 15 to 20 years out of an HVAC system. The cost of replacing a system averages between $5,000 and $10,000 for many homeowners.
How often should you change your HVAC air filter?
Fiberglass filters should be replaced about every 30 days. Pleated air filters last three to six months on average. If you have a large home or run your HVAC a lot, if the air quality in your community is not great, or if you have pets or allergies, you might benefit from replacing your filter more frequently.