While a home comfort system may seem complex, there are a few, basic preventative maintenance procedures you can perform to help keep your system running at its best. However, if your air conditioner or heat pump is more than 10 years old, or your furnace is more than 12 years old, consider contacting your YORK® contractor to learn if a newer, more efficient system is the best choice.
Indoor Air Quality Equipment Maintenance
- Regularly change or clean air filters in air handlers/furnaces per the manufacturer’s instructions. Some air cleaners will require an annual filter change, while others need more frequent replacement.
- Maintaining proper humidity levels can reduce airborne allergens. Check the pans and coils of your humidification/dehumidification units for debris and cleanliness.
- Regularly clean return grills to prevent dust and debris from accumulating in ducts and clogging filters.
- Examine ducts around your air handler for holes, loose tape or separated sections which may allow air infiltration. This infiltration can impact system effectiveness.
- Consider scheduling residential indoor air quality testing for your home to identify problems with your indoor air quality.
- Make sure the air system is balanced to avoid negative air pressure from pulling pollens and allergens into your home. A dedicated ventilation system can help by introducing filtered outside air, creating positive pressure with clean air.
Air Handler Maintenance
- Examine ducts around the air handler for holes, loose tape or separated sections. These can cause leaks in your home’s HVAC airflow.
- Replace your air handler filter once a month to reduce airflow restrictions, which can cause your system to work harder and waste energy.
Air Conditioner Maintenance/Heat Pump Maintenance
- Clean dust or move furniture away from the grates that supply air to each room and make sure the return grate (normally larger and in a hallway) is clear, too. This helps ensure even, proper airflow throughout your home.
- Clear leaves and debris from the system’s outdoor condenser unit grille. If you notice the interior of the unit is dirty, contact your contractor. They’ll have the tools and knowledge to power wash the unit without damaging it.
- Examine ducts in the attic or crawl space for holes, loose tape or separated sections that might leak air.
- Trim shrubbery to allow at least two feet of clearance around the unit.
- Set the thermostat mode to cooling (and heating for heat pumps) to make sure it’s working. Contact your contractor for service if you hear any unusual noises.
- Replace your air handler filter once a month to reduce airflow restrictions and wasted energy.
- Make sure the condensate line is clear to allow for liquid runoff.
- Set up an annual checkup of your system. Your YORK® contractor can help schedule routine maintenance.
Gas Furnace Maintenance
- Confirm the furnace completes a normal cycle from start-up to shutdown. Look at the thermostat reading to confirm the system shuts off when reaching the high temperature set point. If the furnace shuts off before reaching the high set point, it’s likely having a short cycling problem and requires a service call.
- Clean dust or move objects away from the grates that supply air into each room – and remember to keep the large return grate clear and clean, too.
- Clear obstacles from the furnace and safety switch on the furnace door.
- Check vent connections in the exhaust pipe and chimney for rust or gaps.
- Make sure your carbon dioxide monitor is operating properly/has fresh batteries.
- Replace furnace filters annually.
Importance of Simple Home HVAC Maintenance
Simple, routine home maintenance of your HVAC system can increase system life and reduce energy costs.
Simple Ways to Start Your Home HVAC Maintenance Routine
- Keep vents clean and clear.
- Regularly change air filters per manufacturer specifications.
- Keep outdoor units clear of debris and plant growth.
- Don’t ignore unexpected system noises.
- Contact your YORK® Contractor to help set up a routine maintenance schedule.