Establishment ownership can be a challenging task. Aside from paying your bills monthly, you should also maintain the functions of your home. Making sure that every function is working efficiently is essential to keep the comfort of your home. One of the most essential functions is your HVAC system. Your HVAC system is mainly responsible for that cozy temperature and optimal air quality you enjoy at home. It is also responsible in keeping your indoor air safe for your health.
Just like any device, your HVAC system needs regular maintenance. Think of it like a car, which requires regular maintenance to perform better and last longer. Maintenance is a key element in keeping your HVAC system in its excellent condition.
According to Ramzy, “HVAC maintenance is an indispensable part of owning an HVAC system. These systems are composed of multiple mechanical and electrical components. As well as the means to connect these components to each other to create the system. Therefore, maintenance would be crucial for them to keep their performance at desired levels. As well as lowering heating and cooling repair or retrofit costs.”
Preventive HVAC maintenance helps you ensure that your system is running efficiently. We all know that HVAC systems can be costly. Hence, preventive measures are essential to protect its value and prevent further expenses. HVAC maintenance plan is a helpful tool that could save you from the stress of common HVAC problems. But before you set a plan, let us take a look first at the common issues of HVAC systems.
Common HVAC Maintenance Problems
It is common to have HVAC problems since not all of us are well-versed with the technical aspect of this device. Corrosion, leaks, dirty filters, and issues with distributing cold or hot air are some of the common HVAC problems. Knowing the common issues will help you plan your HVAC maintenance. Mueller explained these common problems below.
HVAC connectors and drain lines can develop leaks. These leaks cause a disruption to the HVAC system, making it run harder than it should. It could lead to even more damage that could require replacement of one or more components. According to Mueller, “Keep an eye out for leaks from refrigerant lines (more on those under monthly HVAC maintenance tasks), as well as leaks from the AC condensate line and heat exchanger.”
Corrosion happens when metal surface is oxidized, which damages the entire surface. When a wire is exposed to moisture, it could lead to corrosion. This can happen on any wire or terminal connected to your HVAC system. In turn, it can cause malfunctioning of your HVAC. Corrosion can cause the heating or cooling system to turn on and off on its own. As stated by Mueller, “Like leaks, it will also force your system to work harder, and may lead to a complete break over time.”
- Dirt and Debris
The components of your HVAC system should be rid of debris. Muller explained, “In addition to causing your system to work inefficiently, things like dirty air filters will pump dust and allergens into your home, reducing the air quality and flow and potentially clogging the system.”
Aside from the common HVAC issues stated by Mueller, Jennings Heating also listed a few more issues which are the following.
- Dirty Filters
Dirty filters can restrict airflow, which causes pressure to your unit to work harder. It can also cause the furnace to overheat and shut off on high limit.
- Pilot Or Ignition Problems
According to Jennings Heating, “Ignition problems can result from a number of causes. A dirty pilot, flame sensor, or burners can cause a pilot outage, short cycling, furnace lockout, or delayed ignition of the burners. It could also be a result of a gas supply problem or just wear and tear of an ignition component that needs to be replaced like the hot surface ignitor or thermocouple.”
- Mechanical Wear and Tear
Your HVAC system is made up of several mechanical components. It can be affected by the wear and tear of these components. Belts and bearings could lead to poor heating, overheating, or airflow issues.
- Blown Fuses or Tripped Breakers
As stated by Jennings Heating, “The most common reason the furnace trips a circuit breaker is that the blower is overworking. If something is blocking airflow to your system, your blower has to work harder to compensate. The most common cause is a dirty air filter. When the air filter is dirty your blower has to work harder to force air through the filter. This increases the blower’s energy consumption and can sometimes trip the circuit breaker. Other issues that can make the blower overwork include duct leaks, closed or blocked-off air registers or dirty coils.”
Hearing these problems can be nerve racking. But there is no need to worry. We will help you keep your HVAC systems at its optimal condition. Read along to know more.
HVAC Maintenance Guide
HVAC maintenance can be tricky. There are several conditions you need to consider and reminders to remember on how to take care of your HVAC system. You should be familiar with the details of your HVAC system to forecast the needs of it. Take note of the following things.
- Age of HVAC system
- Condition of HVAC system
- Size of HVAC system
- Particular brand of HVAC system
- Frequency of using HVAC system
- Type of residence (or building)
- Season (summer/spring, winter/fall)
Trattner wrote a simple HVAC maintenance plan that you can do. These easy steps can help prolong life and increase the efficiency of your HVAC system.
- Buy a high-quality filter that can strain even the tiniest particles.
- Check your HVAC filter monthly and replace the filter at least every 90 days.
- Maintain at least two feet clearance between outdoor air conditioning units and heat pumps.
- Clean and remove the debris of you outdoor air conditioning units and heat pumps.
- Check the insulation on refrigerant lines monthly and see if it needs replacement.
- Make sure that your HVAC system is in firm and level ground or pads.
- If possible, remove clogs on your HVAC system.
- Replace the battery in your home’s carbon monoxide detector annually.
According to Ramzy, HVAC systems must be checked annually for visual signs of defect. According to them, “Electrical components shall also be checked for their voltage so that they would not compromise the system. The electrical connections should be maintained to ensure safety of the system and avoid its failure. The system should also be calibrated. Take the thermostat settings as an example where the actual temperature shall match the reported temperature.
Air filters are also a concern in HVAC systems. You should always clean your air filter because dust and debris can damage the entire system. Furthermore, particle build-up in airways can result in clogs. In turn, this will also damage the system and may lower air quality.
Ramzy added, “For the case of cooling systems, the refrigerant levels should be kept at desired points. The same notion is valid for heating systems for which the fuel lines and connections as well as exhausts need to be kept in good shape. HVAC maintenance also includes the lubrication of moving parts. Moving parts need to be properly lubricated in order to prevent excessive heating and friction that leads to their failure.”
Cleaning Your HVAC for Maintenance
As we have mentioned, cleaning is an important aspect of HVAC maintenance. Getting rid of dust and debris is crucial to maintain the excellent condition of your HVAC system. Aside from cleaning the air filter, you should also clean the other parts of the system. Vents and the unit’s exterior are equally important. Brown provided a guide on how to clean your HVAC system from the air filter to its exterior.
- Replace The Air Filter
According to Brown, “Your HVAC system has an air filter that helps to purify the air you get in your house. While your HVAC is functioning, the air filter traps dirt and other components present in the air. This situation makes them dirty and clogged. Most HVAC systems come with an easy-to-change air filter, which you can do on your own. Experts recommend changing the filters from 30 to 90 days, depending on your location and make of the device. However, other factors might make you change the air filter often. Such factors include:
- Living with pets in your house.
- Living in areas with flowering vegetation.
- Living in a dusty place.
Ensure changing your HVAC system air filter regularly to make the equipment work efficiently and improve the air quality in your home.”
- Clean the vents
An HVAC system is surrounded by vents that allows it to get air in and out of the house. Like air filters, vents also get dirty and clogged. This situation can be worse if your house is located in a polluted area. You should regularly clean HVAC vents to ensure that dust and dirt do not affect airflow. Check the device airflow to make sure it does not become weak because of vent clogging. If airflow is inadequate, clean the ducts and blow off the dust. As stated by Brown, “A clogged HVAC system tends to lose its efficiency and compromises the home’s air quality.”
- Clean the HVAC unit exterior
Cleaning the exterior of your HVAC system ensures its cleanliness. It becomes free from particles that can damage and reduce the lifespan of your unit. Cleaning should be done both to the outdoor and indoor units. Be sure that your unit is free from twigs, leaves, bird dropping, debris, and other dirt particles. Also, make sure that the outdoor component of your HVAC system is free from grass or tree branches since these can limit your system’s performance. You can also wipe your system with a wet cloth to remove any stuck particles.
You may also ask for professional help from HVAC experts.
- Schedule an annual maintenance plan
According to Brown, “Having an annual maintenance plan for your equipment can save at least 95% repair costs. Experts can find and solve situations before they become worse on your HVAC system. This maintenance schedule combined with your regular check will make your equipment work efficiently and last for longer.”
- Schedule a ductwork inspection
As stated by Brown, “The ductwork comprises pipes that connect the outside and the inside unit, including the pipe that discharges the condensation and with time, the ductwork can accumulate debris or other particles which might block it. When the ductwork is blocked, your equipment won’t work efficiently and might weaken out. Clogged ducts also provide a conducive environment for mold, insects, and dust in your HVAC system. Ensure that the vents are cleaned at least once per year to ensure your equipment works well and improves your home’s air quality.”
Frequency of HVAC Maintenance
Checking your HVAC system should be done regularly. Other parts of the HVAC system require a monthly checkup, while others can be done at least once a year. Seasons also affect the performance and lifespan of your HVAC system. Experts recommend different maintenance techniques during hot seasons and cold seasons.
Plumbing services can also provide a complete maintenance guide for all seasons. During spring and summer seasons, you should do the following: replace all filters. Clean evaporator coils and condensers. Clear clogs and clean drain lines to ensure proper flow. Remove any standing water from drain pans to avoid overflows. Replace worn pulleys and belts. Inspect ducts for dust, mold or debris. Check the refrigerant charge and for any possible leaks.
Furthermore, “Check thermostats and their controls to ensure they are correctly set. If necessary, change batteries. Check all connections and the electrical system. Make sure the fan motor is operating correctly. Inspect the blowers and blades to maintain proper airflow. Lubricate any moving parts. Check the HVAC cabinet for leaks. Make sure the HVAC cabinet door is securely closed. Remove any debris from around the unit if it is outdoors.”
Meanwhile, during winter and fall season you should, “Replace filters every 30 to 90 days. Check the ignition burner assembly. Carefully inspect heating elements or heat exchanger. If these get damaged, they could lead to problems with carbon monoxide. Inspect the flue system and make sure it is securely attached to the furnace. If you own a gas furnace, the technician will check for gas leaks. It is also essential to check for gas pressure. Replace frayed belts and pulleys. Clear drain lines and pans of standing water to prevent overflows. Check wiring and electrical connections. Lubricate all moving parts such as bearings and motors. Check thermostats and controls to ensure they are set at the right temperatures. Check the heat pump.”
HVAC Monitoring with AKCP
Equipment damage, outage and failures HVAC system can be easily prevented through proper maintenance and monitoring. Fortunately, AKCP HVAC monitoring can help you simplify your HVAC management.
- Temperature Sensors
HVAC units produce temperature change, so that’s an obvious thing to monitor. Install one sensor in the output stream of each unit. A change in running temperature indicates a compressor failure or similar problem. One global temperature sensor for the site gives you the “big picture”.
- Air Pressure Differential Sensors
While temperature sensors are necessary, they don’t tell you the whole story. One less-obvious thing to monitor is your HVAC pressure .As your air filters begin to clog, you’ll be able to detect a change in pressure. Your temperatures will be maintained, but your HVAC will have to work itself harder and harder – increasing run time and reducing the unit’s overall lifespan. This will indicate the need for filter replacement or maintenance.
AKCP offers the best HVAC monitoring. With over 30 years of experience, AKCP is the world’s oldest and largest manufacturer of networked wired and wireless sensor solutions. Our company provides an expert solutions for all your HVAC needs.
AKCP HVAC Monitoring Solutions can also be accessed remotely with its corresponding cloud platform via mobile gadgets.
HVAC maintenance and monitoring are, no doubt, essential for your HVAC system. It prolongs the life of your HVAC system and ensures that it runs smoothly and efficiently. Issues such as leaks, corrosion, and clogs are common issues with HVAC system.