WHAT KEEPS YOUR HVAC SYSTEM IN RUNNING ORDER
When it comes to being comfortable in your own home —toasty warm or cool as a cucumber— you’re at the mercy of your HVAC system. You can do more to keep your HVAC system running smoothly than you think.
One of the most important things just so happens to be the easiest one for customers to do. Change your air filter. Change it more often than you think is really necessary, especially if you have pets or someone in your family suffers from health problems or allergies. New air filters aren’t expensive and keeping them clean goes a long way toward keeping your HVAC system in running order.
Your humidifier, air conditioner coil and 90% or higher efficiency furnaces all use the same drain hose to drain water away from the HVAC unit. Drain hoses must be kept clear or water can’t go down the floor drain. Without anywhere to drain, water runs down the furnace and can ruin the control board or blower motor and do carpet or structural damage.
How to drain hoses become blocked? Dirty air filters. Dirty air filters have lots of extra dust to release and it makes it way through the filter, eventually ending up rinsing down the drain hose. All kinds of things can end up in your drain hose like algae, hard water deposits, little insects, spiders, bird feathers, squirrels’ acorn crumbs and wasp nests to name a few. Warranties don’t cover damage caused by lack of maintenance. Changing your air filters regularly helps keeps drain hoses clear too.
Going to the extreme temperature-wise will do more harm than good. Keeping your home too cool in summer or too warm in winter could damage your HVAC system and void some manufacturers’ warranties. During summer don’t keep your air conditioner set below 65 degrees. Water can turn to ice on the coil rather than drain down the tube. When it does thaw, it can run down the interior and cause damage to other components.
In winter, keep your furnace set to at least 62. When your furnace starts up, exhaust gas is moist. Under normal conditions the gas goes through the vent pipe. Anything 58 or below keeps the gas too cold and it’ll stay in the furnace instead of venting. That trapped moisture causes rust and creates the potential for a host of other HVAC problems.
Any HVAC maintenance other than changing your air filter needs to be handled by a professional technician. HVAC work is a specialized field that takes training, experience and special instruments.