5 Worst HVAC Mistakes Homeowners Make + DIY AC Maintenance Tips
Updated: Apr 19, 2022
HVAC Mistake #1: Not Changing Your AC’s Air Filters
Your HVAC system has an air filter that needs to be cleaned or replaced every so often. Depending on the type of unit and its amount of usage, you might need to change the filter as often as every three months or as little as once a year. Failing to change the filter will not only allow dirt and debris to build up but will also reduce the efficiency of your overall system.
HVAC Mistake #2: Failing to Schedule Routine Maintenance
Like any other appliance, your HVAC system works better if it is taken care of. Here are some DIY AC maintenance tasks you can do on your own without the help of a professional technician: – Clean on and around the indoor and outdoor units. – Ensure the AC unit outside is unobstructed; clear any sticks, leaves, and dirt to protect the fan. You can hose it down when dirt begins to accumulate and trim back foliage at least 18 inches from the unit. – Test the thermostat by either raising or lowering the temperature. This will get the system to turn on and off in response to your temperature demands and will give you an idea of any potential trouble or malfunction. – Keep supply and return registers unblocked by drapes, curtains, rugs or furniture. – Visually inspect various components of your HVAC system—electrical connections, leaks in the condenser, blockage or algae buildup in drain line/tube.
HVAC Mistake #3: Not Having Your AC Unit Inspected
Even if you take good care of your HVAC system, it still needs professional attention. It’s a good idea to have your system inspected and serviced at least once a year, although professionals recommend having everything checked at least twice a year—once before cooling season and again before cooler winter months set in.
HVAC Mistake #4: Closing off Rooms or Air Vents
You’ve probably heard people say that you can save money on heating and cooling costs by closing off rooms you don’t use. That may have worked in the days of wall-mounted air conditioners and fireplace heating, but with modern central air and heat systems, it has the opposite effect. Closing off rooms makes your system work harder, which makes your heating and cooling costs rise.
HVAC Mistake #5: Blocking Air Return Vents
Air return vents are there for a reason, and even though you might not like the look of them, you shouldn’t hide them or cover them up. Doing so makes it harder for your HVAC system to heat and cool your home, ultimately leading to inefficiency.