When properly taken care of, an HVAC system can last nearly fifteen years. While much of that work should be done by a qualified professional, there are things that you, as the homeowner, can do to make sure that your system stays in good shape. We’ve laid them out for you below. Keep this annual HVAC maintenance schedule close at hand so that you can refer to it throughout the year. With a little TLC, you’ll be able to keep your system running smoothly for years to come.

Clean off your HVAC system every time you see that it’s collected dirt and debris. Image: Shutterstock/ Christian Delbert

As often as possible

  • Visually inspect your HVAC system: The best thing you can do to keep your HVAC healthy is to pay close attention to it. Any time you are in your yard, just take a quick glance over at your system and make sure that nothing is amiss. If you see any dirt or debris on the system, clean it off. Additionally, pay attention to how your system sounds. If you notice any changes in the way the system sounds, you’ll want to call a professional.
  • Keep your landscaping in shape: You should also make an effort to keep any landscaping that surrounds the HVAC unit in good shape. The last thing that you want is to have roots or vines grow too close to the unit and have it cause problems with your system’s functionality. Ideally, you should aim to keep a clear 2-foot barrier around the unit at all times.

Remember to change the air filter every few months. Image: Shutterstock/ Steve Heap

Every three months

  • Change the air filter: Believe it or not, using a clean air filter is one of the keys to keeping a healthy HVAC system. It keeps dust and debris from building up in your ducts or being blown into the other rooms of your home. You should replace the air filter at least once every three months. Though, you may even want to check it monthly to make sure that it’s not full of dirt.
  • Adjust the thermostat: Constantly lowering and turning up your thermostat can have a big impact on your bills and not in a good way. Instead, if you can, consider setting your thermostat once a season and then letting it go.

Have a professional come evaluate the functionality of your system twice per year. Image: Shutterstock/ I AM NIKOM

In the fall

  • Professional seasonal maintenance: The reality is that the vast majority of your HVAC maintenance should be done by a professional. They will check the electrical connections and voltage, condensate drain, exhaust outlets, fuel lines, burners, heat exchangers and other components. Additionally, this is the time when they can address any problems other problems you’ve noticed.
  • Clean ice and snow off the unit: Depending on where you live, ice and snow may be inevitable. However, letting too much of it accumulate on the outdoor components of your HVAC system can do serious damage. Do your best to clean off any ice and snow.
  • Replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector: Though this is not truly a component of your HVAC system, it’s just as important. If they’re not working properly, heating systems can give off dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Make sure you stay prepared by testing the detector at least once a year and putting in fresh batteries.

In the spring

  • Professional seasonal maintenance: Bring your local HVAC professional back out for spring maintenance on your AC unit. They will inspect the connections, voltage, lines, fins, pans, coils, refrigerant levels and blower system components. This is also the time to bring up any problems or damaged areas that you’ve noticed over the winter as you get ready for warmer temperatures.

Still have questions? Talk to an expert

Are you getting ready for the upcoming season? Get in touch with a local HVAC professional today to make sure that your HVAC maintenance is taken care of.

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