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Throughout the year, Indiana County experiences the full range of temperatures.

The summers are getting hotter and the winters remain cold. If you’re going to stay comfortable in your home year-round, you need to prioritize heating and cooling maintenance. Failing to look after your HVAC unit will lead to a furnace or AC failure at the worst possible time.

In this post, we’re going to give you 6 essential preventative HVAC maintenance tips to implement ASAP. When you take the time to look after your HVAC unit, you won’t have to worry as much about costly repairs, your home will stay comfortable all year, and you’ll have great indoor air quality.

As the top HVAC service in the area, we’ve seen what poor HVAC maintenance looks like. Read on and we’ll give you our expert advice for a comfortable 2024.

1. Change Air Filter Regularly

Let’s start with the easiest bit of maintenance, but also one of the most important. All HVAC systems are equipped with an air filter that – you guessed it – filters out contaminants and allergens from entering your home.

A clean air filter will ensure you’ve got good indoor air quality, which is important since we spend around 90% of our time indoors. Over time, however, your air filter becomes clogged with debris and needs to be changed.

When you fail to change your air filter, two big problems occur. One is that the contaminants that should be blocked start pushing through your ducts into your home, which can cause allergies and other illnesses.

The other is that it causes your HVAC system to work harder to get your home to the desired temperature. When your system has to push harder, it puts more strain on the parts and leads directly to an HVAC breakdown.

Most filters should be changed every 90 days or so, but you should inspect them regularly and clean them whenever you notice a buildup of debris. This small act can save you loads of money on major repairs.

2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clear

Your air conditioner has an indoor component and one major outdoor component – the condenser unit. While the indoor part of your AC unit is responsible for absorbing the heat inside your home, the condenser unit is responsible for releasing that heat outside.

Being outside, the condenser unit is susceptible to being covered by fallen leaks, grass cuttings, tree branches, and a variety of other debris. You need to make sure you’re inspecting it and removing the debris whenever you see it building up.

When you have blockages in the condenser unit, you’ll see restricted airflow. This hurts the unit’s efficiency, again, forcing the unit to work harder to do its job, which shortens its lifespan. If debris gets into the unit, it can damage the parts, most notably the fins and fan.

3. Inspect the HVAC Unit for Blocks and Leaks

Most homeowners tend to take their HVAC system for granted. As long as it’s keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, there’s no need to inspect it for any issues, right? Wrong.

You should be inspecting your HVAC unit every once in a while to check for an AC leak, block, corrosion, and frost/mineral buildup. Doing so is an essential aspect of preventative maintenance because the sooner you catch something, the easier (and cheaper) the fix will be.

When you know what your HVAC unit should look like, you’ll know when something’s amiss. A visual inspection can be the first line of defense against maintenance issues and larger problems.

4. Use Your Thermostat Wisely

Telling you to check your thermostat setting may not sound like an HVAC maintenance tip, but it is integral to how your unit functions. An HVAC unit runs in cycles, so if you’re running it constantly, it’ll start and stop over and over to maintain a consistent temperature.

Not only is this going to result in massive energy bills, but your unit is going to experience more wear and tear. Eventually, you’ll start to notice it short cycling, which means that it turns on and off too quickly. Over time, this causes the unit to degrade and you’ll need to call for repairs.

One of the best ways to combat these issues is to use a programmable thermostat. When you can set your HVAC system to turn on and off at certain times of day, and even in certain rooms, you can run the unit more efficiently. 

For around $100, you can save yourself a lot on your monthly bills and keep your system running efficiently in the long run.

5. Clean the Evaporator Coil and Drain

When you’re performing an AC inspection, one of the things you need to look at is the evaporator coil. This is the component that does the most to cool your home, but when it’s used heavily, it can get clogged with mineral deposits. 

If this happens, you’ll notice higher energy bills since the unit can’t work as efficiently. Fortunately, you can quickly clean the evaporator coil and drain with a household vacuum cleaner. Put the wand attachment on the vacuum and gently go over the coil, sucking up any buildup that you can see.

6. Schedule Professional Maintenance

Our last tip is to schedule professional inspections and maintenance a couple of times per year, before winter and summer. HVAC systems are complicated pieces of machinery and it can be difficult for a homeowner to spot issues, even when you’re doing everything we’ve discussed so far.

To ensure your system lasts a full lifespan – at least 15 years – you need a top HVAC professional to inspect every aspect of the unit, as well as your ducts. This will prevent major issues, keep your unit running perfectly, and protect everyone in your home from the issues that come from poor indoor air quality.

The Best Heating and Cooling Maintenance in Indiana, PA

These preventative HVAC maintenance tips will keep your system working for you in the heat and cold that Indiana, PA experiences each year. You can’t do it all alone, however, so finding the best heating and cooling maintenance in the area is a must.

At Eagle Air Service, we’ve been providing comfort and elite service to Indiana County’s homeowners for over 35 years. Whether you need heating and cooling maintenance, repairs, or an indoor air quality test, we can help. Contact us today to schedule your HVAC maintenance.