Monthly Guide To HVAC Maintenance

Monthly Guide To HVAC Maintenance

Your HVAC system, just like any other piece of equipment, needs regular maintenance throughout the year. If you don’t keep your system maintained, you run the risk of having it break down, which could lead to more expensive problems in the future.

Both home and business owners should always stay on top of HVAC maintenance throughout the year to help improve your system’s performance and its efficiency.

If you’re unsure about what maintenance needs to be done on your HVAC system, don’t worry! We’ve put this useful month-to-month guide together for you so you’ll know what to do every month of the year.

January

  • Make sure to change your filter.
    • Remove your filter if it’s disposable and insert a clean replacement.
    • Wash your reusable filter based on the manufacturer’s directions. Be sure to let it dry before putting it back into your system.
  • Inspect all of the air grills in your home to ensure they have not been blocked or shut off by debris. These will need to be clean to allow air to flow smoothly.
  • Keep the area around your heating equipment clear of any blockages. Never store items directly by the furnace!
  • Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every month throughout the heating season, and be sure to test them in case you need to change the batteries.
  • Keep exterior vents and chimneys clear of ice and snow to prevent any breakages or blockages. If your exterior vents get blocked, it could cause a carbon monoxide leak.

February & March

  • Check your air filter. During periods of heavy heating system use, the filter should be inspected monthly to make sure it hasn’t become full of contaminants.
  • Inspect all of the air grills in your home to ensure they have not been blocked or shut off by debris. These will need to be clean to allow air to flow smoothly.
  • Again, check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and be sure to test them in case you need to change the batteries.

April

  • Schedule a preventative HVAC maintenance with your contractor so they can take a look at your air conditioning or heat pump unit. They will give your system the tune-up it needs to keep running smoothly during the spring and summer months.
  • Preventative maintenance helps you find any issues that could pop up and get them fixed as soon as possible before they become a real issue.
  • Make sure to change your filter. Remember: disposable = insert a clean replacement, reusable = clean and dry.
  • Be sure to check the surrounding area of your exterior condenser or heat pump. Remove any items that may have been stored in the area around it and remove the cover if it had been covered over the winter. If vegetation has grown around the system, be sure to trim them away so you can improve its airflow.

May

  • Run your air-con, even if the temperature outside isn’t quite hot enough for a cooling system yet. It’s a good idea to fire up your system ahead of the season so it won’t have a problem starting up when you actually need to use it.
  • Set your schedules for your programmable thermostat to be ready for the cooling season, so you’re ready and prepared for the hot months ahead.
  • Check your air filter as, during periods of heavy cooling, the filter should be inspected monthly to ensure it hasn’t become overrun by contaminants. You may need to replace it sooner than the 3-month mark during these times as you will be using the system a lot more. Have a replacement ready just in case.
  • Check your exterior cooling equipment to make sure it isn’t covered in debris. If it is, gently brush it away and trim any vegetation that could have grown around the unit. Don’t store outdoor furniture in the area around the unit, as this will create bad airflow.
  • Be sure to inspect your cooling systems drip pan and condensate drain lines for any clogs that may have formed. If they do become clogged with mold or algae, the condensation from the cooling process cannot exit your home or building properly and may cause more mold to build up and damage your equipment.

June

As with May, check:

  • Your air filter is clean and buy a replacement, just in case
  • Your grills are clear
  • Your exterior cooling equipment is plant and debris free
  • Your cooling systems drip pan and condensate drain lines for any clogs

July

  • Make sure to change your filter (you should be a pro at this by now!)
  • Do your monthly checks on:
    • Your internal air grills
    • Your exterior cooling equipment (it’s the season for vegetation to grow like crazy)
    • Your cooling systems drip pan and condensate drain lines for clogs

August

August is…more of the same!

  • Check your air filter, replace/clean when needed
  • Remove any blockages to your interior vents
  • Maintain a good outside airflow to your exterior cooling unit by removing plants/trees that are taking over
  • Get rid of any clogs in your drip pan and condensate drain lines

September

  • Complete your monthly summer checks as usual
  • It’s time to start thinking about the heating season! In September, you should schedule an HVAC maintenance for your heating system. A contractor will be able to tune-up your furnace, heat pump, boiler, and other equipment to help improve their performance over the winter.
  • Set your schedules for your programmable thermostat to be ready for the heating season, so you’re ready and prepared for the cold months ahead.

October

  • Check your air filter regularly as it may have become blocked by contaminants due to the heavy use of the heating system.
  • Keep the area around your heating system clear, it should never be cluttered, or the airflow may not work as efficiently.
  • Check both your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every month throughout the heating season. Test batteries each month to make sure they are working, and if any dust has accumulated on either detector, simply vacuum it away.
  • Temperatures may dip low enough during this month that you will need to use the heating system. Before this happens, however, you should always fire up your heating system to test it and make sure it works properly. If it isn’t working up to standard than now is your opportunity to make the repairs before the real cold weather hits.

November & December

  • Check your air filter regularly as it may have become blocked by contaminants due to the heavy use of the heating system.
  • Inspect all air grilles in your home to make sure that they haven’t been blocked or shut.
  • Keep the area around your heating system clear, it should never be cluttered, or the airflow may not work as efficiently.
  • Check both your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every month or so throughout the heating season. Test batteries each month to make sure they are working, and if any dust has accumulated on either detector, simply vacuum it away.
  • Keep exterior vents and chimneys clear of ice and snow to prevent any breakages or blockages. If your exterior vents get blocked, it could cause a carbon monoxide leak.
At Nichols & Phipps, we want to make sure your HVAC system keeps you cool in the summer and toasty in the winter.
We have specialists that know the ins-and-outs of HVAC systems and will make sure that your air conditioning and heating unit is in perfect shape all year round.
We offer all kinds of tune-ups and services for your HVAC systems and can provide you with professional service whenever you need it.
Give us a call on (703) 670-8519 to schedule your appointment.