HVAC Maintenance Tips to Ensure Equipment Longevity and Efficiency

Updated: August 2023
HVAC Maintenance Tips

Your family members depend on your HVAC system to keep them cool during summer months and warm when it’s chilly outside. Most people regularly maintain their vehicles but may overlook the importance of preserving their HVAC system, including an all-electric, all-climate heat pump.

The difference in the energy consumption of a well-maintained and a neglected HVAC is between 10% and 25%. Putting these percentages into dollars, say a regularly maintained heat pump system accounts for $200 a month on your energy bill. If neglected, the cost would run between $220 and $250 a month instead, adding up to an additional $240 to $600 over the course of a year.

However, you can avoid unnecessary waste by using these tips to help you dodge an HVAC emergency and keep your system running at peak efficiency. Some tips you can easily do yourself, while others should be left to your licensed HVAC contractor.

When homeowners should take charge

With a little bit of elbow grease and time, here are four ways homeowners like you can regularly keep your HVAC systems running smoothly:

  • Keep systems debris-free: Although your tomato plants or rose bushes might be thriving, they can adversely affect your heating and cooling system if they are growing into your unit. Remove plants, trees, leaf buildup, animal nests and any obstruction from the outside unit to optimize your HVAC system’s efficiency. 
  • Wash outdoor units: Since dust and debris can quickly coat outdoor units, hose down the outdoor unit. Just be sure to turn the system off before cleaning.
  • Clean vents and registers: Since vents and registers easily get congested with pet fur, dust, dryer lint and other indoor particles, maintain them regularly. To clean ducted units, remove obstructions to ensure sufficient air circulation. Next, vacuum vents and registers to prevent dust buildup. This step is unnecessary for ductless systems.  
  • Check and change filters: Replace air filters every one to three months, according to the filter type. Doing so will help maintain proper airflow and protect the system from debris. Many filters for Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US systems are removable and washable, saving you money.

When to enlist a licensed HVAC contractor

Even do-it-yourselfers need help keeping your home’s HVAC system running at the top of its game. Therefore, have your licensed HVAC contractor to do these nine tasks, most of which, if not all, should be on their checklist:

  • Test for leaks: Inspect for refrigerant, oil and water leaks. When needed, repair to improve efficiency and indoor air quality.
  • Examine coils and fins: Regularly clean evaporator and condenser coils, as well as the fins, to ensure optimal heat transfer and system efficiency. If the fins are bent, use a fin comb to realign them back into or close to their original condition.
  • Thermostat calibration: Since thermostats can lose their calibration if dirt gets inside or it gets bumped, verify the thermostat's accuracy and calibration to ensure the system maintains the desired temperature efficiently. Consider installing a programmable or wireless thermostat so homeowners can more easily custom-schedule heating and cooling.
  • Assess the electrical connections: Periodically inspect electrical connections and tighten loose ones to prevent potential hazards and system malfunctions.
  • Clean the condensate drain: Regularly inspect and clean the condensate drain to prevent clogs that could lead to water damage. Dragging a stiff wire through the drain channels can help loosen clogs
  • Examine refrigerant levels: Since low levels or leaking freon can’t air-condition homes efficiently, check refrigerant levels. Top off when needed to maintain optimum cooling efficiency.
  • Check the filter: Even though homeowners of ducted units can easily do this, having your technician double-check is still a good idea. If the filter isn’t in top shape, replace it.
  • Inspect ductless units: Periodically service the HVAC unit’s inside blower wheels, clean the coil and wipe the cabinet down. 

Keep on top of your HVAC system’s needs

For a relatively small investment of your time to do light maintenance and the cost to have a contractor service your HVAC system, you could save money, breathe cleaner air and enjoy a more comfortable home. 

Would you wait 15,000 miles or more without getting an oil change? That could cause catastrophic failure, including a breakdown of your vehicle. Similarly, you shouldn’t wait to service your home’s HVAC system, either. Work together with your licensed HVAC contractor to ensure your system is optimized.

As Benjamin Franklin wisely said nearly 300 years ago, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 

Energy Efficiency
All-Electric Heat Pumps
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