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Basic HVAC Maintenance Tips that Make Preventing Costly Repairs Easy

The heating, ventilation and air conditioning system of your home, or HVAC, is one of the most important pieces of equipment in any residence. Even here in Vancouver where some of Canada’s mildest winters often occur, you’re glad that furnace is there when February comes along.

But in order to make sure your HVAC system is keeping you cool in the summer and providing warmth in the winter, you should pay it some attention. Most of the time, your HVAC system will work without complaint, and usually, you only pay it mind when something very wrong and very expensive occurs. But by exercising some basic maintenance mindfulness, you can avoid any expensive problems, and here’s how.

Replace Filters Every Three Months

ac-filter_480This is just basic housekeeping 101, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget to do this on a regular basis. Your filter is a consumable, and it will eventually get too dirty to protect you from contaminants in the home because that’s what its job is; to get dirty by capturing contaminants instead of constantly putting them back into the air you breathe in your home.

Even though the recommended replacement period is every three months, if you have other circumstances, such as being a pet owner or have smokers regularly lighting up within the residence, you may want to check your filters more frequently and replace them more often as well. Higher amounts of contaminants are released into the air by pets, cigarettes and even hobbies like woodworking.

Clear Your Vents & Condensers

High-efficiency furnaces and air conditioners have air intakes and other vents for both bringing in air to the process, as well as purging steam or other waste into the air. That means that for modern HVAC systems to work, a healthy flow of air needs to be maintained.

However, the outdoors can be an unpredictable place, which is why it’s important to occasionally do an inspection of vulnerable areas. That vent for your furnace to put out excess waste air may suddenly turn into a great nest for birds, while the condenser for your air conditioners is now choked out by a pile of leaves. If you leave these obstructions alone, you’re admitting you’re okay with paying higher utility bills.

Have Your HVAC System Tuned Up Once A Year

tune-up_480Some things you can and should do by yourself, but yearly inspection and tuning up of your HVAC is not one of those things. When it comes to looking at your system as a whole and inspecting specific parts, you want an expert.

Call a professional to come in for this activity. That way, some of the more technical maintenance, such as replenishing coolant or cleaning vents can be done quickly, efficiently and cost effectively, so you don’t end up paying more later for an expensive repair.