Professional technicians here in Easton, Maryland, should conduct routine maintenance on your HVAC system twice per year. However, there are some additional things that you can do to keep it running at optimal capacity. HVAC systems are meant to last for many years, but with some extra effort, you can extend the life of your system exponentially. Here are three things you can do to keep your HVAC system up to par.

Give Your System a Break

One of the most significant things you can do to keep your HVAC system working for a long time is to avoid overworking it. Forcing the system to run when it may not be necessary can be a waste of energy and shorten the lifespan of your system. For example, on a relatively cool spring or summer day, consider opening the windows and using fans in certain places of the home and give your air conditioner a break.

We’re not suggesting you give yourself heat stroke, but just be aware of when you can give your system a break.

Check and Replace Air Filters

The air filters in your HVAC system don’t stay clean when your system is in use. Check them often and replace them when necessary. A dirty air filter will not only prevent your air from being clean and healthy, but it will also cause extra strain on your system, thus shortening its life span even more. Check your filter at least once a month, because a filter is generally due for a replacement every 30 to 90 days. This simple maintenance will reduce the extra strain on your system.

You may be able to replace your air filter on your own, but don’t try to replace other components. Call a licensed professional to do that.

Keep Your System Clean

This goes for both the indoor and outdoor components of your HVAC system (if you have both). Over time, dust will build on the indoor units, while dirt, dust, grass, and who-knows-what-else will build up inside the outdoor unit. Use a cloth to clean the dust off of the indoor unit and even the vents. You may not be able to reach every speck of dust, but this minor chore will help keep your system running efficiently.

When cleaning the outside unit, first turn off the power to the unit to avoid electrocution and damaging the unit. If necessary, use a hose and give the unit a good clean. Be careful not to use too much pressure, which could damage the coils or the shell of the unit. Make sure you don’t just stop at the hose, but that you get your hands a little dirty and free any debris (grass, branches, etc.) that could be caught somewhere in the unit. Again, remember to do this after the power to the unit has been turned off.

Don’t attempt to take apart and clean individual components in the system or your duct system. Leave that to professionals.

Don’t Do Too Much

While DIY maintenance is vital to the prolonged life of your system, you shouldn’t try to do too much. You can clean the air filter. Leave certain things like replacing parts, cleaning other parts, and recalibrating the system and thermostats to licensed professionals. If you don’t feel comfortable replacing your own air filter, a professional can do that as well. In the case of HVAC systems, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If there’s any question as to whether or not you can conduct the maintenance on your own, don’t take the chance — give us a call.

Just like taking care of your car will help it run longer, conducting regular DIY maintenance on your HVAC system will prolong its life. If you have more questions about maintenance or need professional routine maintenance conducted, contact us online or call us at 888-474-3391.

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