Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) stands for everything that has to do with your air conditioning system. From the condensing unit to the air handler and duct system, every component must be properly maintained to avoid costly HVAC repair. There are numerous ways to keep your system running smoothly in the heat of summer and during the coldest winters.
There are a few items that can be safely maintained by the homeowner.
– The most important and the easiest thing to check is your air filter. The filter should be replaced at least once per month, sometimes more if you have pets.
– Maintaining the drain line is also important. This can usually be identified as a white, PVC pipe protruding out of your indoor unit that makes its way outside to drain condensation from the evaporator coil. Over time, the drain line can become clogged with the combination of micro-particles that pass through your filter mixed with water. This creates a grayish slime that will, in time, clog the line and cause problems for your entire system. Although there are a few ways to temporarily clear the line, it is recommended to have a professional do the job anytime you think that water flow is being restricted. The best way to know if your drain line is working is to locate where it exits the house. There should be water steadily dripping from the line while the unit is operating, especially in high humidity regions.
Note: It is a common myth that bleach and water will clean the drain line. This only provides a temporary surface inside the pipe that keeps the slime from sticking and will eventually stop working. A high-pressure nitrogen purge is the only effective way to clear a clogged drain line, and should only be performed by a trained, HVAC repair technician. oil heat repair nj
– Feel the air. This is possibly the most obvious, but anytime your A/C is not blowing cold enough, there may be a problem that is not so obvious. Remember, your HVAC system consists of many parts and they must all be working to maintain the desired temperature. If there is ever any doubt as to whether your system is running properly, call a professional.
Some of the less obvious problems need the attention of a certified HVAC repair technician.
– Refrigerant leaks can cause your unit to slowly stop cooling. Leaks most commonly occur on older units, but it is possible to have a leak on a relatively new unit. The most common cause of a refrigerant leak happens when the different metals that your coil is made of react with each other and oxidize, causing a small hole. Your A/C professional has the instruments to find these leaks, and they can determine how to fix them.
– A dirty, clogged duct system can seriously restrict airflow. Many HVAC contractors offer duct cleaning and sealing services that cannot only improve cooling and heating but can also reduce the dust and other allergens that are circulating throughout your home.
It is important to pay attention to your A/C unit. Catching a potential problem early can save you thousands of dollars and can extend the life of your unit for years. Once you find a reputable contractor with a good record of service, you can rest assured that your summer will be a cool one!