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Essential HVAC Maintenance Tasks for the First-Time Homeowner

March 23, 2020

As a first-time homeowner, you’ve
probably noticed that you no longer have the luxury of calling a landlord to
take care of home maintenance issues. However, you also now have the freedom to
conduct home maintenance tasks as you see fit to enjoy the quality of life you

Your HVAC system might be one of the
most comprehensive systems you’ll need to maintain. Below are some tips for
essential maintenance that you can perform to help your heating and cooling run

Change the HVAC Filter

An easy task for your HVAC
maintenance checklist is to change the filter seasonally. You should change
more often if you have pets because their fur and dander can get into the
system. Change the filter frequently to prevent allergies.

First, you must locate the filter.
Typically, the air filter is located in the return air duct or blower
compartment of your unit. On a horizontal unit, you’ll usually find it to the
side. It might be on the top or bottom of a vertical air handler. If you can’t
find the duct or blower compartment near the unit, look behind the return air
grill located somewhere on the wall in one or all of your rooms.

Replace the existing one with a
similar type and model. The most popular model is the disposable pleated
filter. A good filter for people with allergies is a disposable electrostatic
model, though it might be more expensive. When you settle on a filter, buy a
few of the same kind at a time so you can easily replace the filter when the
time comes.

Clean the Furnace and AC Units

Both your furnace and your outdoor
air condenser need to be cleaned. The advisable time frame is to clean each
unit just before you’re ready to start using it for the season.

To clean the furnace, turn off the
power switch and open the unit. Use an attachment on your vacuum to clean off
any dirt and debris inside the unit. If you feel comfortable with maintenance
tasks, remove the blower from inside the unit and use a stiff brush to clean
the blades. If you don’t feel comfortable with these tasks, you can hire HVAC
professionals to clean the furnace.

The air condenser might be a little
simpler to clean. Once the power is off, you simply have to remove the fan cage
and sweep away debris that’s left behind. Next, clean the exterior of the fan
cage. You can then use a hose to rinse from the inside. If you see any bent
fins, use a knife to straighten them. Additionally, make sure no plants are
encroached on the unit.

Keep the AC Drain Line Clean

A secondary function of air
conditioners is to reduce the humidity levels in your house. For that reason,
the units include a condensate drain line. The drain is small, so sometimes it
fails to clear out moisture. It can then develop mold, mildew, and algae
inside, which clogs the drain line. The result is elevated humidity inside your
home and an accompanying musty smell.

The drain line is outside the air
compressor. Look for a small hole near the base. This hole should be clear. If
you suspect mold, mildew, or algae might be inside the drain line, use a funnel
to pour distilled white vinegar down the drain. The vinegar will kill those
particular pests.

If the line is actually clogged, you
could try to clear the clog yourself. To do so, you’ll need a shop vacuum with
a tight connection to get good suction. You can also use a plumber’s snake or
similar tool to push the clog out.

As a new homeowner, consider
investing in yearly HVAC inspections to ensure that all components of your
system operate well. Call Comfort Solutions
for all your heating and cooling needs.