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Avoid Costly Repairs With This HVAC Maintenance Checklist for Your Chicago Area Home

In order to avoid costly repairs on your home's heating and cooling system, it's important to be proactive about performing regular maintenanceThere are plenty of year-round maintenance tasks that can easily be completed by homeowners. Following this HVAC maintenance checklist should prolong the life and increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.

Perform Maintenance Now

There are a few things on your HVAC maintenance checklist that you can do right now:

  • Install a high-efficiency pleated air filter. High-quality pleated filters allow for higher airflow efficiency, and some of the new ones come complete with an electrostatic charge that, like a magnet, grabs and holds on to dust particles – even those carrying bacteria.
  • Make sure that your outdoor air conditioning or heat pump compressor/condenser is free from debris such as leaves, pollen and grass. Debris obstructing the airflow can prevent your system from running optimally, and increase your energy bills.
  • There should always be two feet of space, clear from tall grass and debris, around your outdoor air conditioning unit or heat pump. Routinely maintain this space to prevent the obstruction of your system.

Regular Maintenance Tasks

Other tasks on your HVAC maintenance checklist don't need to be completed immediately, but should be performed throughout the year.

  • Replace your filter at least every 90 days. Check the filter monthly and if it looks clogged before the three-month mark, replace or clean it. If pets live in your home, consider changing it monthly.
  • Continue to check for debris weekly during spring, summer and fall. Remove leaves, pollen, and sticks from the sides and top of the outdoor air conditioning or heat pump compressor unit. When mowing the grass, it's important to avoid spraying grass clippings onto the unit.
  • Perform regular inspection of the insulation on the refrigerant lines that lead into the house. If it's missing or damaged, replace it immediately.
  • Check every year to ensure that your outdoor air conditioning or heat pump compressor unit is on level and firm ground.
  • Pour a cup of bleach mixed with water down the air-conditioner condensate drain once a year. This will help prevent clogging through the buildup of algae and mold, water damage, and unreasonably high indoor humidity levels.
  • During the summer months, shut off the water supply to the furnace humidifier. During the fall, or whenever you are considering turning the heat back on, replace the humidifier wick filter. You should then set the humidistat to somewhere between 35 percent and 40 percent relative humidity, and turn the water supply on.
  • To avoid placing strain on the HVAC system, avoid closing more than 20 percent of your home's indoor vents.
  • Replace the battery in your carbon monoxide detector once a year.
  • Clean your air conditioning or heat pump condenser and evaporator coils. Dirty coils impede your system's ability to cool your home. Dirty coils also cause the system to run for longer periods of time, which increases energy costs and reduces the life of equipment.
  • Check the ductwork for your forced-air heating or cooling system for leaks. As much as 20 percent of conditioned air can escape from leaky ducts. If you find leaks, seal them with mastic sealant or quality metal tape. Don't use standard duct tape; its adhesive won't hold long term.

If you live in Chicagoland, northwest Indiana or southwest Michigan and are in need of HVAC maintenance, or would like to speak with a professional regarding your HVAC maintenance checklist, contact us at today. 

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