How To Maintain Your Home’s HVAC System

By Paul Endrichs and John Rives

Your home’s HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system is one of the most important and expensive systems in your house. Proper maintenance of the HVAC system can not only save you time and money down the road, but will help you keep your home’s environment comfortable and safe.

HVAC maintenance

Just as you change the oil and air filters in your car to keep dirt and heat from ruining your engine, you also need to change the HVAC filters regularly to keep them from getting clogged up with dust and dirt which reduces the air flow in your system and makes your air handler work harder. If your air handler is full of dust and has to constantly work harder to move air because of clogged filters, it will have to be replaced much sooner than a unit that has clean filters and is not overtaxed. The air in your home will be cleaner as well and your vents will not be full of dust which gets blown into your home when your HVAC system is running.

Most people know better than to constantly spin the wheels of their car and race the engine at high RPM’s causing unnecessary wear and tear on their vehicle which can lead to costly repairs. However, many people aren’t aware that changing the temperature setting on their home’s thermostat more than two degrees at a time does the same thing to their HVAC system’s compressor. The compressor, which is one of the most expensive parts of the HVAC system, has to run continuously for a long time to raise or lower the temperature in your home more than a couple of degrees at a time. Forcing the compressor to work really hard too often will shorten the lifespan of the unit and may result in costly repairs.

Most car owners understand the benefits of maintaining a clean car and parking in an area that is free of debris that could damage their vehicle. An HVAC system can be looked at in much the same way. Maintaining an outside unit by keeping it free from debris such as leaves and limbs from bushes and trees and not placing anything permanent around it such as fencing or walls can greatly increase the longevity of the entire HVAC system.

Maintaining your HVAC system is crucial to its longevity and making sure it doesn’t break down in the hottest or coldest times of the year. McKee Homes provides a 2-10 Home Buyer’s Warranty which covers your home’s systems for two years. Most heating and air companies offer “maintenance warranty programs,” which usually includes annual check-ups and priority service. These programs are designed to help you to keep your HVAC System running for years to come.

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McKee Homes online marketing manager

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16 thoughts on “How To Maintain Your Home’s HVAC System

  1. I didn’t know that I needed to change the HVAC filters in my house like I would the oil in my car. Our house is super dusty, so I wonder if this might be the cause. I will take a look at our filters before the next time I turn on the air conditioning. Hopefully changing them out will help keep my house cleaner.

  2. Love it! I like this topic.This site has lots of advantage.I found many interesting things from this site. It helps me in many ways.Thanks for posting this again.

  3. When I was at college changing the thermostat temperature in my apartment was something that happened a couple times a day. I honestly didn’t think that it was all that harmful. I’ll be sure not to change the temperature more than 2 degrees at a time now. Would it help if I turned of f the air and waited ten or fifteen minutes and then changed the temperature?

  4. Thank you for all of your insight on how to maintain your HVAC system. Specifically, you talk about how it’s crucial to regularly change the filters in your system because this helps them from getting clogged up with dust and dirt. Overall, I can see how this can make sure that your system is circulating air throughout the air efficiently and maintaining the longevity of your heating and cooling system. Additionally, however, I think that if I put my HVAC system higher on the priority list for my home, I will also put maintaining my home’s plumbing system higher up on the list. Lumping these tasks together for me will ensure that they get cleaned and that they are continually safe and efficient. Thank you for sharing!

  5. I really like all the similes this article makes, linking HVAC systems to how you would take care of a car. I actually didn’t know that changing the temperature too drastically can put that much strain on a system, I’ll have to keep that in mind this winter. In fact, I should probably clean it out before winter rolls around as well. I wouldn’t want too much dust being blown into my house while I’m trying to warm it up.

  6. When I rented a town house from my parents. My Mom would come and change the filters about every 3 months. I could tell the differences when the filter was put in right and when it was not. It is very important to make sure it is done correctly.

  7. I recently had a really nice commercial HVAC system installed in my home and I really want to take care of it. I liked your tip about changing the filter regularly. This is something I that I know I could forget about very easily, and now I hopefully won’t. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I think it would be really good to work on maintaining my HVAC system a bit more. I haven’t taken very good care of it in the past, and I usually only rotate my filters once a year, since I forget all the time. I think it would be really good to change these more often so that they don’t get clogged. Another thing I will try to do is make sure that I am not overworking my unit by constantly changing the temperature. I will see if there is a good temperature that is comfortable that I can just keep my home at most of the time. Thanks for the great advice!

  9. This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that changing the thermostat more than two degrees at a time can be harmful to your HVAC system. I didn’t realize that this could be so detrimental to heating and cooling systems! I’ll definitely keep this in mind and only change the temperature in small increments. Thanks for the great post!

  10. Thanks for sharing all of this advice on maintaining your home’s HVAC system! I had no idea that you aren’t supposed to change the temperature setting on the AC by more than two degrees. Unfortunately, that is something I do quite often– I should probably stop soon. In fact, know that my compressor could be overworked is making me want to look for a contractor to take a look at it. After all, I’d rather perform some cheaper maintenance now than have to replace the entire compressor.

  11. Funnily enough, I appreciate you relating this system to a car. I actually know a lot about cars, although I’ve been struggling to understand my HVAC system. It makes so much more sense now that I can see the parallels between the two. Thank you for an informative article and for your helpful information on how to maintain HVAC systems.

  12. I didn’t know that the filters had to be changed regularly. I’ve cleaning them, but maybe that’s not enough. Next time maybe I’ll just buy some replacement filters and see if it runs any better. I’m willing to do that if it means it’s easier on my hvac system.

  13. I’m glad that you related a system like this to a car, it makes a lot more sense to me now. I have been kind of lost on how to take care of my HVAC system, and I’m glad to have had some direction! Thank you for such an informative article, I appreciate all of your helpful tips on maintaining a system like this.

  14. As you said, the AC or heater can be the most expensive appliance in the home, especially if it isn’t functioning properly. I know that it is hard for many people to take care of HVAC problems right away because it is not a part of their normal schedule, but you can save a lot of energy by dealing with problems as soon as they arrive. If, for example, one of the machine’s fans isn’t rotating smoothly, it may overheat and use more energy to keep up to speed. The only thing to alert you to the problem may be a subtle difference in the sound when the AC is on. Pay close attention and don’t put it off!
    Eli

  15. John, this was a great post about how to maintain an HVAC system. My husband and I are hoping to buy our first home this year. We have never had to worry too much about the HVAC system when living in an apartment. The tip about changing the filter regularly seems like a good idea. I will have to keep that in mind.
    Emily Smith

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