Taking proper care of your Charleston, SC, HVAC system is just as important as maintaining any other appliance in your home for many reasons, from meeting warranty requirements to ensuring the safety of your home and loved ones. If you want to add HVAC care to your spring cleaning checklist but aren’t sure where to start, don’t worry! As your local Trane Comfort Specialists, we at AGL Heating and Air are here to walk you through a few HVAC maintenance and care tips that you need to know to extend the life of your system, lower your monthly energy bill, and avoid costly repairs in Charleston, SC!
Preventative Care for Your Charleston, SC, HVAC System
There are more reasons than we can count on two hands that you should prioritize caring for your HVAC system. For starters, keeping your home and loved ones safe is a top priority, especially if you have a gas heating system. All-natural gas furnaces put off carbon dioxide, no matter how efficient they are, and routine maintenance checks can help catch any normally undetectable gas leaks. We always recommend you install a carbon monoxide detector for added safety!
In addition to being safer, a clean HVAC system uses much less energy, helping to maintain efficiency and keep your utility bill low. Like rinsing a dish off before you put it in the dishwasher, a well-maintained heating and cooling system avoids unnecessary strain on the components that can happen when dirt builds up over time. That means addressing bent fan blades, dusty filters, clogged drain lines, and dirty coils. Oftentimes, dust will build up on your filter, but less obviously on your indoor coils, which can take a toll on indoor air quality.
Tuning up your HVAC system regularly will also help keep your system running year-round, as summer and winter are when systems tend to break down most. It’s during these peak seasons that we get quite a few phone calls for emergency repairs! All in all, routine care can help you catch any problem early on and extend the lifespan of your HVAC, just like noticing low oil in your car can help prevent engine damage. Keep in mind, that if anything were to happen, most manufacturers require proof of annual maintenance to honor claims.
DIY Checklist for Charleston HVAC Maintenance & Care
A maintenance program from your local HVAC contractor should include a spring and fall visit to check and clean your heat pump, furnace, and air conditioning system. This annual inspection is a must when it comes to HVAC maintenance, but that doesn’t mean you can do your own periodic checks, too. Now that you know how important it is to give your Charleston HVAC system the care and attention it needs, you can implement these 6 preventative measures around your home every so often!
1 – Replace Your Filters
Most of us are familiar with this golden rule, but not many of us are as good about it as we should be. Checking your filter monthly and changing your filters can keep your air cleaner and save wear and tear on your system. We typically recommend replacing your filters every 30 days. The more clogged the filters get, the harder it is for your HVAC system to breathe, limiting the lifespan of your Charleston heating and air system.
2 – Clean Drain Lines
Your HVAC system takes moisture out of the air which then accumulates within the drain lines of the air conditioner and is directed outside. Therefore it is important to clean your drain line periodically as it can collect dirt, dust, algae, and mold. If you have access to the drain lines, feel free to pour a cup of bleach down them once a month. Otherwise, one of our Trane Comfort Specialists will clean it for you as part of the routine maintenance program.
3 – Clean Your Vents and Condenser
Over time, your outdoor units build up dirt and grime on your Charleston heating and air system. It’s best practice to use a vacuum and/or damp cloth to keep pollutants and debris from building up on your vents, especially the filter vent. On outdoor units especially, cleaning the condensers and heat pumps with water can ensure that there is no debris causing your HVAC to overcompensate.
4 – Don’t Obstruct or Close Off Your Vents
Many customers assume they can close a vent off if a room is not being used, however, this is not the case. While you may not be actively trying to heat or cool a room, closing the vent won’t turn off your system. It will simply block the airflow, adding stress to your HVAC system’s blower motor. Not to mention, obstructed vents can cause cold buildups at the vent, which can start to condensate. With that in mind, it’s important to keep your system breathing easy! Avoid any obstructions over floor vents, wall vents, and most importantly, the filter vent.
5 – Keep Your Outdoor HVAC Unit Clear
Just like with your vents, you don’t want to “leaf” clutter around your outdoor HVAC system! HVAC requires proper ventilation to operate, so periodically make sure there is clear airflow above the unit. Prevent leaves and debris from building up on the outside of the unit by trimming bushes, branches, and shrubbery away.
6 – Use a Smart Thermostat
If you’re looking for a way to reduce energy consumption, put your system on autopilot and invest in a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat can turn itself down during non-peak hours, saving you money while you are away from home. However, we do not recommend turning your system too far down during the hottest and coldest days of the year. You can read more about setting your thermostat to the optimal temperature in our blog here!
Closely following these DIY HVAC preventative care tips will not only keep your Charleston HVAC system running efficiently for as long as possible but also save you time and money on costly repairs and monthly bills. Most importantly, it can give you peace of mind knowing your loved ones are safe. At AGL Heating and Air, it’s our mission to give you top-notch service and an honest, professional, and stress-free experience. With a team of skilled and friendly comfort specialists, you can count on us to handle any of your needs, from maintaining your current system to installing a more efficient one!