Nearly every home will have an HVAC system. These units are pivotal to ensure not only our comfort, but also our health. Neglected HVAC systems can fail quicker and easier than those that are maintained, leading to expensive repairs and replacements. Whether you bought a new home, or you just haven’t checked on your HVAC system in a while, a routine do-it-yourself inspection can go a long way in spotting potential issues and making sure your HVAC system is maintained.
How To Start A DIY HVAC System Inspection
One of the most important pieces of machinery in your home is your HVAC unit. AC helps keep us cool in Hawaii, as well as removes pollutants and humidity from the air in our homes. A basic HVAC inspection can help keep your system operational, as well as help you spot any potential issues that may need further inspection by your HVAC technician. Here is how to complete a basic HVAC system inspection as a homeowner:
Start your inspection at your thermostat, making sure it is working properly. Check that heating and cooling systems turn on and off when activated through the thermostat. You can also physically open the device and carefully clean the inside of the thermostat with a cotton swab.
- Power Down
Turn off power to your unit through the breaker box, as well as the “off” switch on the unit. This is an especially important step; you should never inspect inside your HVAC unit while the power is on.
- External Unit
If you have a unit outside your home, such as an AC unit, this section is for you. Head outside and use a screwdriver to detach the fan cage from the top of the unit. Remove any excess leaves or debris from the interior, using a vacuum if necessary.
Clean the fins inside the unit by either wiping them down if they are accessible, or by lightly spraying them with a hose. Do not use a power washer, as the pressure may damage the fins. You can also find fin cleaning spray at your local hardware store.
It is also good practice to keep the area around your unit clear. Clean away any vegetation, debris or shrubbery from around the unit.
Before you finish up outside, check that the unit is level. If the unit is crooked, it could cause the compressor to fail too soon. If it is not level, proper up whichever side is too low.
- Internal Unit
Now that you are finished outside, head in to your internal HVAC unit. Open the evaporator coil door and clear the area of dust and debris. You can also get no-rinse coil cleaner at your hardware store, which will turn to foam and drip into the drain pan. Use hot water and soap to clean the drip pan out.
Use a vacuum to suck out any debris that is blocking the evaporator drain.
Replace the filter in your HVAC unit. This is one of the key pieces of maintenance, and should be done every couple months, depending on usage.
Lastly, inspect your duct work wherever it is visible to check for dents, cracks or leaks. You can remove the front of the air vent in each room, checking for debris or mold.
Is professional maintenance necessary?
Even though you’re completing a basic inspection and cleaning on your own, you should still hire a professional HVAC technician to perform annual maintenance and cleaning on your system. Professional technicians have the tools and training to identify potential issues that may become problems. Repairs and replacements should always be completed by a certified technician, as working on HVAC units can be potentially dangerous.
Scheduling annual HVAC maintenance
When was the last time you had a professional HVAC technician complete annual maintenance on the system in your home? If it is time for your home’s annual HVAC maintenance, contact a professional technician, like the staff at Airpro Indoor Air Solutions. They’ll be able to complete a deep cleaning, as well as help assess any issues and let you know if your system needs any additional repairs. Contact us today to set up an appointment.