Heating and cooling equipment doesn’t require constant attention to remain in good working order. These machines are rugged and built to last. Still, you can extend HVAC system life by taking a few simple actions throughout the year.
Tips to Help Extend HVAC System Life
- Change the air filter: Follow the manufacturer’s directions for when to change the filter. The general rule of thumb is to replace the filter every one to three months. A clean filter ensures air flow isn’t restricted, which could put additional strain on the equipment and cause it to wear out sooner.
- Clean the outdoor unit: If you have an air conditioner or heat pump, the outdoor condensing unit is exposed to the elements. Every so often, take a close look at the fins for any grass clippings, dirt or other debris that have gotten caught. Hose the unit down to clean it quickly and effectively.
- Keep the air flowing: The HVAC system is carefully balanced. If you close too many supply vents or block return registers with rugs and furniture, you could impair the static pressure and cause moisture buildup in the HVAC system. Keep at least 80 percent of your home’s vents open and don’t block any return registers, to help extend HVAC system life.
- Clean duct grills: Once a year, go throughout your home and clean the grilles and registers. Simply remove each grille and wipe it with a rag or vacuum it to remove dust and debris built up there. This is another method to ensure the air flows properly.
- Inspect the condensate drain: Air conditioners, heat pumps and condensing furnaces have a drip pan that collects condensation and drains it to the outside. However, the drain can become clogged with algae growth or ice if the condensate refreezes. A blocked drain leads to an overflowing drip pan, which can damage the nearby HVAC equipment. Inspect the drip pan and condensate drain regularly to ensure the liquid is draining properly.