There’s nothing more stressful for a homeowner than when a major appliance in the home breaks down. Add to it the discomfort that may come when your air conditioner stops working on the hottest day of the year or when your furnace breaks down during a polar vortex. When an HVAC system needs repair, it is something you can’t put off – and it is something will typically cost you a good amount of money. It is a problem that needs to be taken care of right away because a broken HVAC system can affect other areas in the home. For example, your pipes can be in danger of freezing and bursting, or your beautiful hardwood floors could crack or separate. Not to mention that it puts homeowners at risk for hypothermia or heat exhaustion, especially if they are seniors. To avoid this kind of damage, we recommend you follow these tips. It will help you save a bundle, too.
Eight Tips to Avoid HVAC Repairs
These tips are easy steps you can take to make sure your system is working efficiently and will help you identify small, fixable issues before they become major problems. And the best part is that these tips also require little to no out of pocket expenses.
Get an Annual HVAC Tune-Up
If you’re a fan of this blog, you know how important we believe annual tune-ups are to the health of your system. They are the best way to ensure your HVAC is working properly because a licensed technician will inspect important parts, clean the interior, spot any potential issues, and test all of the safety features.
Change Your Air Filter
Air filters block damaging particles from working through your system and prevent dust and dander from building up inside your HVAC. If you go too long without changing your filter, the debris will clog the screen of your filter and your system will work twice as hard to pull in air. When it has to work harder to produce heat or cool air, your HVAC will put stress on its parts, which will cause them to wear down faster. We recommend changing your air filter every three months and checking it every month.
Listen for Noises and Know What they Mean
While many home appliances make noises as they work, there are some distinct sounds that signal a problem. If you hear rattling, whistling, grinding, or clicking, you may want to call in a professional to take a look. These sounds are telling you something is going on. It could be something as simple as a clogged filter or loose belt, or something more serious like a buildup of gas or a broken part. To learn more about what each sound may mean,, check out our post on common furnace noises.
Clean Your HVAC
While your system will get a good cleaning when you have your annual tune-up, we recommend keeping the area around your unit clear of any debris. This helps prevent blockage and will keep you safe from potential fire hazards.
Remember the Outside
When it comes to home appliances, you don’t have many that are both inside and outside of the home. When it comes to HVAC units, you need to remember that they have indoor and outdoor features. Both of which need to be tended to. This is especially important when it comes to keeping the area around the system clear. It is harder to keep debris away from the area because of such natural elements as wind, rain, and snow. You also have more items that could cover your unit, including leaves, branches, dirt, and nests. Keep the outside features of your system in mind and task yourself to check the outdoor area every month or so.
Check Your Ductwork
Ductwork is an important part of your home’s heating and cooling because it is how heated or cooled air travels through your home. If your ductwork is leaking or damaged, it can cause your system to work harder to push the necessary amount of air needed to regulate the temperature. And as we said before, when your system is working harder than it should, it is putting more wear and tear on important parts.
Do Your Research
The best defense is education. Knowing more about your unit and how to take care of it will be the best way to avoid costly HVAC repairs. Read blogs, ask questions, and take a glance at your owner’s manual. Do your research and learn more about your exact system and the company that made it. Find ways to make your system work more efficiently. Prepare yourself and your HVAC for the changing seasons. There are proactive steps to take for all four seasons. Know what to do to help your system work in extreme weather. If you’re a Michigan resident, you know you will experience extreme – even dangerous – winter weather. Always have the number of your HVAC company available in case there is an emergency. Charest technicians are available 24/7 for emergency purposes.
Work with the Right HVAC Contractor
One of the best ways to avoid HVAC repairs is working with trained and certified HVAC contractors. These technicians will know how to work on many different kinds of units and are less likely to make costly mistakes. You’ll also want contractors who are reliable. If you’re working with a contractor who keeps rescheduling or, worse, not showing up at all, that small problem you had could become a bigger one if enough time passes without it being fixed.
To find the right contractor, get recommendations from friends, research top HVAC contractors in your area, visit company websites, and read reviews online.