August means back to school. It’s an exciting time for students of all ages and signals the start of a new year of learning and growth. Whether or not you’re going back to school this August, it’s still a good time to get in the spirit of the season and learn something new. While you may depend on it on a daily basis, chances are you don’t know the intricacies behind your HVAC system.
With that in mind, today we’ll give you a back-to-school lesson about your HVAC system. We’ll cover some basics of how HVAC units work, regular maintenance you should be doing and ways you can tell if your unit needs to be repaired or replaced.
The Fundamentals of Your HVAC System
Many people think that HVAC systems are incredibly complicated, but in reality, they use a few simple components to help keep your home comfortable throughout the year. Most people have a forced-air system.
In these types of systems, hot or cold air is forced through the ductwork of your home. Before reaching that ductwork, the air is then either cooled or heated using evaporator coils. While all of those systems are going on behind the scenes, the sections that you see include the vents and thermostat.
With a forced-air system, the thermostat works as the brain of the unit, controlling the temperature and responding to changes in your home’s temperature. The vents are connected to your ductwork and provide every room with convenient airflow.
What HVAC Maintenance is Needed
Routine HVAC maintenance is important to ensure that your system is always functioning properly. Every month, you should check your air filters. They should be replaced at least every 90 days, but sooner is they are dirty.
Twice a year, you should have your unit professionally inspected, serviced and cleaned. This will help you identify any issues with your HVAC system and avoid having an HVAC emergency.
Annually, you should also clear the AC condensation drain and replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector. About every three years, you should have your air ducts thoroughly cleaned. Staying on top of this ongoing maintenance will help keep your system in good condition, will avoid emergency repairs, and will help extend the lifespan of your HVAC unit.
Signs You Need AC Repair
Unfortunately, even with the best maintenance, at some point, you will need to repair or even replace your HVAC unit. There are a few signs that you can look out for that indicate that your HVAC system needs to be serviced. Some of these include:
- Higher than usual electric bills.
- Little to no airflow.
- Fluctuating temperatures.
- Poor air quality.
- Noisy appliances.
- Takes longer to cool/heat your home.
- Frozen coils or leaking water.
If your unit is over 10 years old, you’ll want to be especially aware of issues with the system as your unit is likely near the end of its lifespan. By paying attention to these warning signs, you can easily avoid a major emergency situation and keep your home and family protected.
While you should always leave any air conditioner or heating services to a trained expert, as a homeowner you should know what to look for in your system. By keeping up with your maintenance and care, you can enjoy worry-free heating and cooling for years to come.
If you need to have your HVAC system inspected, repaired or replaced, call Cooper’s Plumbing & Air today!